Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie will sign the state’s first open data bill into law Wednesday at a ceremony in Honolulu.
The bill, HB632, will provide the state’s citizens with greater access to the government’s vast data thanks to a new set of open data guidelines.
“Open data is the foundation for a better Hawaii, and I was delighted to support this grassroots effort by the tech community,” said Sen. Glenn Wakai, chair of the Technology and Art Committee and co-sponsor of the bill. “This new law is a significant step towards a government that is measurable, responsive and more accountable.”
The bill was passed in May and, once signed, will make public data that is already deemed public available to create opportunities for developers and entrepreneurs to create apps, mashups, and other services and tools to serve the public and to grow the local tech industry.
“The State is a treasure trove of public data, and with that data more accessible to the public, it becomes a foundational tool for our civic innovators to build upon,” said Burt Lum, executive director of Hawaii Open Data and a key proponent of the bill. “We’ve already seen great things from local developers– including several apps for The Bus riders and insightful visualizations of government spending — and we can expect to see much more of this creativity and innovation in the community.”