Open Hamilton


Transparency, accountability, efficiency — these are core values that should drive public service. A robust open data policy is one tool governments are increasingly adopting to meet them.

Open data offers many benefits:

The government of Hamilton County, Tennessee, does not have a clear open data policy in place. It publishes some data and records on its website, but there is room for improvement.

Metro Ideas Project interviewed county officials and representatives of cities and counties that have implemented open data policies.

Our open data toolkit includes three case studies looking at how other local governments have transitioned to open data policies, practical applications for open data, and guidelines to help county officials get started on this important work.

Read the report

Case studies

Baton Rouge, Louisiana

San Mateo, California

Nashville, Tennessee

Data-driven restaurant inspections


Converting restaurant inspection reports to open data would increase public accountability and lead to more efficient government.


Hamilton County map

Our app demonstrates how tax data can be used to visualize historical property trends by neighborhood.

Hamilton County data inventory


This inventory is a starting point for Hamilton County officials who want to identify potential open datasets.

Further reading

The Open Data Handbook
This comprehensive guide provides common adoption practices and implementation steps.

Open Data Policy Guidelines
The Sunlight Foundation has extensive guidelines for identifying datasets to release and navigating private vendors.

Video: How Leading Governments Measure Performance
Three municipal officials talk about next steps for open government data after getting a portal online.

The Complex Relationship Between Data and Cities
Richard Florida argues that "nuanced human reasoning" is needed to make big data work for cities.

About this toolkit

Metro Ideas Project prepared this toolkit during the summer and fall of 2016.