The city of Chicago's open government initiatives are notable in their own right, but even more so when combined with the efforts of county and state government. Chicago, Cook County, and the state of Illinois are collaborating on a website that serves as a one-stop shop for government data from the region.
The site, at metrochicagodata.org, hosts more than 1,200 data sets in categories such as public safety, health, education, transportation, taxes, and property. Some of the most popular data sets on the site, which is hosted by Socrata, include the names and salaries of city employees in Chicago, a map of crimes in the city, and a guide to police stations.
Last fall, the three governments (along with the MacArthur Foundation, the Chicago Community Trust, Motorola, and the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning) held a contest, called Apps for Metro Chicago, to encourage developers to build apps that incorporate the data. The contest resulted in more than 50 new mobile and Web apps, including one that lets people rent out their parking spaces and another that locates recycling locations.