Socrata, Inc.

Socrata, Inc.

June 21, 2011 17:38 ET

Governor Quinn Inaugurates State of Illinois Open Data Initiative

Socrata Open Data Platform™ Boosts the State's Ambitious Innovation Program

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - June 21, 2011) - Governor Pat Quinn today announced the launch of the State of Illinois Open Data site, to bolster ongoing initiatives by the Illinois Innovation Council (IIC) to promote economic development through innovation and the engagement of citizens, developers, academia and industry.

The new service, powered by the Socrata Open Data Platform™, is available at Starting today, the State of Illinois is offering 48 initial datasets covering the economy, the environment and transportation. These datasets can be freely and interactively explored in an online environment that promotes access, participation and opportunities for co-creation. To enable technology entrepreneurs and developers to fully leverage this resource, all datasets are also programmatically discoverable and accessible via modern, open, standards-based Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The Socrata platform automatically API enables every dataset released by the State of Illinois.

"The Illinois Innovation Council, which was convened by Governor Quinn, is working to connect the dots between research, talent, capital, ideas, government and technology to accelerate the growth of businesses and industries in the Midwest. Today, we start to add the troves of public data to the mix. This underutilized asset holds untapped potential to fuel the growth of Illinois' innovation economy," says Matthew Summy, President and CEO of the Illinois Science & Technology Coalition.

"The Open Data initiative in Illinois is part of a purposeful and deliberate project-driven approach focused on creating new opportunities for non-government actors who can apply their creativity and critical thinking to transform Illinois's public data into innovative new services," adds Andrew Ross, Chief Operating Office for the State of Illinois. "This dynamic platform gives us comprehensive, market-responsive offering that is not only turnkey, but also aligns our data offerings with actors nationwide and, as such, heightens interest in the developer community."

The next iterations of this project will engage the Open Data developer community and innovators in colleges, universities, and technology startups to launch a statewide developer challenge. The goals of this challenge will be to encourage the private sector to invest in and benefit from efficiency and service improvement gains that will result from entrepreneurial ideas, innovative technology and unfettered access to valuable data.

Kevin Merritt, Socrata's Founder and CEO, adds, "Innovative states like Illinois, Oregon, Washington and Oklahoma are at the forefront of two important trends that we're seeing in Open Data. The first is to design their initiative from the ground up to provide economic value for their constituents. The second is to work collaboratively with cities and counties within their state to federate data between them in a citizen-centric approach that transcends jurisdictional boundaries. The great work being done by the State of Illinois and the City of Chicago will contribute to the ongoing emergence of Illinois as a hub of Open Data innovation, which will serve as a model other regions are sure to emulate around the country."


Established by Governor Quinn in February 2011 and Chaired by Groupon Co-Founder Brad Keywell, the mission of the Illinois Innovation Council is to identify and advance strategies to foster and accelerate the innovation and economic growth that will create the jobs of today and tomorrow. For more information, visit


Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data Services, a category of cloud-based Web 2.0 solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments to dramatically improve the reach, usability and usefulness of their information assets.

The FISMA-compliant Socrata Open Data Platform™ accelerates the flow of accessible and reusable data and its transformation into powerful new applications and services for improving the lives of citizens, while eliminating the need for costly infrastructure, scarce IT resources and custom development for government organizations.

The Socrata Open Data Platform™ is the most widely-adopted Open Data solution in government. Socrata customers include Medicare, State of Washington, State of Oregon, City of Chicago and City of Seattle. Socrata was recently chosen to deliver the next-generation Open Data platform for Data.Gov and participating federal agencies, through its GSA reseller and fulfillment partner, Alamo City Engineering Services.

Socrata, founded in 2007, is based in the Pioneer Square district of Seattle, Washington. Socrata is privately owned and backed by venture investors Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit

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