Data In Context

Towards #NextgenOpendata

Today we are proud to announce that Ontodia has joined OpenGov — the leading government financial intelligence, planning, and transparency platform. It’s been a long (yet worthwhile!) journey, and we couldn’t be happier to continue our efforts by joining OpenGov. Not only do they share our values, mission and ambition to help create the 21st Century connected government we expect and deserve, combining forces with OpenGov […]

Why we built CivicDashboards

Because we also started hating data portals.  As a purveyor of one, I know its a bold statement to make. But as a company born of open data, we’ve spent the past four years not only deploying but hacking on open data portals of all kinds.  Actually, all our early experiments – from NYCDataWeb, to NYCFacets, to NYCpedia, were attempts at improving data portals – […]


Cost-Effective Data Portal Bundling a Performance Management Platform, Data Subscriptions & Analytics-as-a-Service Enable Government Agencies Worldwide to Jumpstart Open Data Initiatives & Quickly Put Data to Work New York, NY (November 4, 2015) –  Ontodia announced today the launch of CivicDashboards™. CivicDashboards is a next-generation open data suite designed for agencies to go beyond listing raw datasets in an online catalog. “We believe a data […]

OpenData Proposal: PDF + Data = PDDF

A lot of government data is published as PDFs, which is machine-renderable, not machine-readable. When it comes to Tim Berners-Lee’s 5 star deployment scheme for Open Data, PDF is at the bottom of the heap.  And as we found out from last year’s World Bank study, hardly anybody reads PDFs! Still, PDFs are a very useful, portable way of sharing information, so I’m not saying […]

Talk is not Cheap reprise

I was getting ribbed by some folks that all that talk about open-sourcing ckanext-discourse WAS cheap, because we sat on it for a while. Well, we finally got around to cleaning up the code, and even improving it a bit after some initial feedback. Check it out in action at and! Open Data + Open Conversations = Community Insights! P.S.  Hopefully, somebody gets […]

Humanizing Open Data

Our focus on context here at Ontodia, is not just about making it easy to create maps and promoting conversations around data – its all towards our ultimate goal of Humanizing Open Data. Behind each dataset, there’s a story.  Building and construction permits tell stories of urban renewal and gentrification.  311 heating complaints tell stories about delinquent landlords and old infrastructure.  And Vision Zero data records the tragedy of […]

Open Data is Geospatial Data

  When we first started Ontodia, we were really keen on applying pragmatic semantic web technologies to open data.  “Onto” comes from ontology, and “dia”, from encyclopedia.  We thought (and still do) that “Open Data is the killer app of Linked Data and vice-versa.” NYCpedia was actually our third attempt at doing that (NYCFacets was our second,  and NYCDataWeb, the first).  And on our third attempt, […]

Talk is not Cheap is not just about democratizing opendata in terms of affordability.  Its also about  widening the opendata community to something that regular citizens, businesses and students can understand and use in their daily lives. And as we learned when we built NYCpedia in 2013, its all about creating context.  People don’t care about raw Big Open Data – thousands of datasets in a portal.  They care about Small Data – actionable […] is Live!

Today, we’re thrilled to announce  that is live! As a company born out of Open Data, we’ve seen how fast the field has evolved.  When I first entered NYCBigApps back in 2010, NYC’s DataMine was primarily a list of 350 files being served out of a web server – no API, files in various formats, little metadata. Since then, NYC has become the top Municipal Open Data City […]

PDF stands for “PDF Data-Fication”

(counter-clockwise) Mayor Bill de Blasio with Dick Dadey, Executive Director of Citizens Union NY, Noel Hidalgo from BetaNYC, Rachael Fauss, director of Public Policy at Citizens Union, and yours truly Last Thursday, I had the great honor of witnessing the passage of the City Record Online Law.  In my book, its as big a milestone as the widely-acclaimed PLUTO dataset release last year. Because the City Record is the […]