Data Collaboratives

Where data science meets civic interest

Help answer discrete, data-related questions

Data scientists, programmers, students, and residents needed


What is a data collaborative...

Our data collaboratives connect local governments and organizations with citizens and students with formal data backgrounds to analyze existing datasets, improve data collection, and strengthen data systems. We always try to include a resident-member, who is often not a data professional but who is interested in the topic in each group.

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What collaboratives are currently active...

1. Transit Data System Architecture Collaborative (send email to join)
Project Sponsor:
Stephen Johnson, Jaunt
Project Inspiration
Part of why the internet works well is the infrastructure around domain name registrars, domain name servers, and search indexing. Registrars ensure that only one person can own a particular domain name, domain name servers ensure people can find the most up to date content related to that domain name, and search indexing allow people to discover web content to consume. All of these core technologies are missing from transit and it is hurting us. Instead, transit agencies are forced to contract with vendors for custom apps to serve GTFS data to customers to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars per app. That’s as though everyone who operated a website had to pay someone to build them a web browser. It’s crazy. It also hurts the consumer, since a new visitor to a city has to do a web search to figure out if the city has an app, figure out what it’s called, download, create a new account with another username and password to remember, setup payment information. Etc. It’s one more barrier stopping people from using transit when they can seamlessly use a single Lyft or Uber app anywhere.
The Project
The project is to demonstrate how a set of open standards and server architecture can offer cost savings to public transit agencies and create an open environment allowing app builders to access transit services and build innovative applications.
Minimum Viable Product
1. Build a server that maps unique transit services with a server location hosting their GTFS data.
2. Build the mechanism for registering a transit service and administering a transit service account.
3. Build search capabilities to make transit services discoverable based on geography
2. Airbnb/Rental Supply Collaborative (send email to join)
Coming soon!


Who has answers to my questions...

Please use the contact form on the Smart Cville website and shoot us your question! We'll do our best to update this page with frequently asked questions.

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Sounds great! How can I get involved?

Contact us to join a collaborative or get on a list for future collaboratives