What can we do about it?

Broadly speaking, we are currently in the midst of a technological and cultural shift towards open platforms and open data. This shift makes it easier for more people to produce and use data in new ways; to develop and redeploy new technologies at lower cost; and generally to increase the value of data, and the strengths of the networks and communities that use it.

More specifically, a tremendous opportunity recently emerged for this particular field of community resource directory data: in 2013, Schema.org proposed a ‘civic services’ schema to the World Wide Web Consortium (the W3C). This schema represents an emerging standard that can enable community resource data to be read and delivered in new ways by search engines like Google, Yahoo, Yelp, etc.

Given this opportunity to make it easier for data on civic and social services to be discovered on the web, we have a mandate to bring governments, funders, civic institutions, and technologists together around a shared goal: let’s make it as easy as possible to publish, find, trust, and use this information. That entails the establishment of interoperability between the language of the web and the field of information-and-referral systems, and the discovery of new means to sustain the production of this data as an open resource.


Posted in: Overview