The small municipalities of the metropolis floundering in open data

Illustration of a person consulting the open data site of Rennes Métropole. – C. Allain / 20 Minutes
            The law requires administrations of more than 50 agents to publish their public data. In fact, it's very complicated.
Rennes was one of the pioneering cities of open data and shared its platform with the other municipalities of the metropolis.
Of the 43 cities in the agglomeration, half should open their data. Only four did it.

    
            
It has been a year since the Lemaire law required administrations hiring at least 50 people to publish their data. In Rennes, open data has been "tamed" for a long time. Among the first engaged, the metropolis
regularly publishes datasets such as the number of visitors to its libraries, the average age of the couple or, more recently, the location of charging stations for electric vehicles. But
Rennes is very alone. In the other municipalities of the agglomeration, open data is almost a big word.

Of the 43 municipalities in the metropolis, half are concerned by this law. Only three of them have taken the plunge: Saint-Jacques-de-la-Lande, Noyal-Châtillon-sur-Seiche and Cesson-Sévigné. "It's complicated because services often start from scratch. They do not have a culture of data, and they have no way, "says Ben Lister, open data manager at Rennes Métropole.

Convention of the elected representatives of Rennes Métropole. Air quality, mobility, waste, energy, … How can data make our public services more efficient? Elected officials are testing, exchanging and "tinkering" this morning around the issue! pic.twitter.com/Cw8vUtouJY– Emmanuel Couet (@ecouet) October 20, 2018

Asked by the municipalities, his department is regularly confronted with a question. "What's the use of opening his data? ". "We try to produce data, to classify them but it takes time because it is not our job. Interest, it's hard to pin it down. It may come one day, "says Nathalie Coldefy. Communications manager of the city of Cesson-Sévigné, she works with her webmaster on the open data file. This is neither his profession nor that of his web specialist. She recognizes that this is not a priority for her services. "It is estimated that we offer a greater transparency of public action," argues Ben Lister.

"We can save time"

By digitizing its data, the city has also become more efficient. "In some areas, we could see that two or three services could waste time producing the same data. We can save everyone time, "says the open data project manager.

Open data is good but still it must be reliable. Relay Park Henri Fréville is tjs full mark on your site but in fact it is empty @keolisrennes @metropolerennes #rennes– fabien dalleau (@fafarun) September 24, 2018

While some data are out of the reach of administrations, they could be very useful for its policies, as for the theme of mobility. "We do not know how many cars circulate in Rennes every day. But companies like Orange, Tom Tom or Waze, they can know, "says Ben Lister. Partnerships are regularly made with companies. Keolis, Enedis or Météo France have already agreed to share their statistics. Others will come.

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