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Chicago and most cities have had their GIS data available to the public for years, so this seems like a nice progression



Two key differences here:

1. The data is now available under the MIT license. This is important because (a) it is a predictable, well-known license that allow businesses to interact with the data without fear of the unknown (license) and (b) it does not have the "you must remove our data if we ask you to" clause that their data portal has [0].

2. They're actively seeking contributions from the community. None of the existing data portal tools have a built-in way of doing this, so they went with GitHub because it's a step in the direction of taking feedback. Is the data wrong or lacking something? Add it yourself and submit a pull request.

[0] http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/narr/foia/data_disclaim...




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