📖 A guidebook for publishing government open data.
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Open Data Guide

This document was created by Mark Headd during his tenure as the first Chief Data Officer for the City of Philadelphia, and is shared in the hope that it proves useful to other state and local governments wishing to start an open data program.

The original purpose of this guidebook was to provide practical guidance to City of Philadelphia departments and agencies on the release of open data to the public. It has been modified to include information used as part of an open data presentation at the 2014 Code for America Summit.


  • Why release open data?
  • Identifying data sets for public release
  • Reviewing data for completeness and accuracy
  • Conducting an internal data review
  • Adding Metadata
  • Adding a License & Terms of Use
  • Publishing data for the world to use
  • Engaging users in the data community


This site is built using Harp with a boilerplate theme and is hosted on Github pages. To contribute to this guide, fork it and send a pull request or open a new item in the issues list.


Some amazing guides to running civic hacking events where new things can be built using open data: