DETROITography organized an Open Data Day hybrid event on 7 March 2024 at the Purdy/Kresge Library on the Wayne State University (WSU) campus in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The presentation focused on neighborhood data discovery through the relaunched CKAN data portal and catalog called DetroitData, crowdsourced input on community boundaries via, and the launch of an open data platform to track the city of Detroit’s progress on the SDGs using OpenSDG

I led the presentation first focusing on the relaunch of DetroitData as the open data catalog for the city. A few city and regional entities have their own open data portals, but nonprofits and community organizations don’t have a place to share and contribute to the city’s data narrative. I also highlighted how DetroitData can serve as an essential resource for journalists who utilize FOIA or “freedom of information act” requests to open up data from local government entities. DetroitData currently compiles over 1,000 datasets shared by more than 50 local organizations.

The next presentation featured the tool to collect and analyze community input on neighborhood boundaries. Detroit has a long history of defining neighborhoods without much community engagement or feedback. The tool specifically tallies a submitted response related to how the city government defines a neighborhood area as well as what the degree of agreement there is among those submitting. Alex shared that the hope for the site is that community groups can use it as a data-driven tool to better advocate for their neighborhood boundaries. 

Finally, the session ended with a discussion around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Detroit and how well they are tracked at the city level. The OpenSDG platform applied to Detroit will slowly be adding new datasets that highlight where the city is at in relation to the global goals. As the only UNESCO City of Design in the USA, Detroit must make concerted efforts to achieve the SDGs for every community and neighborhood. The participants were very excited and engaged with the presentation with detailed questions on community involvement and ensuring clear background information gets shared about datasets. A cohort of WSU Libraries staff were on hand and shared their passion for metadata. Future collaborations are likely as the School of Information Science works to train new librarians on digital tools and metadata maintenance.

About Open Data Day

Open Data Day (ODD) is an annual celebration of open data all over the world. Groups from many countries create local events on the day where they will use open data in their communities.

As a way to increase the representation of different cultures, since 2023 we offer the opportunity for organisations to host an Open Data Day event on the best date within a one-week period. In 2024, a total of 287 events happened all over the world between March 2nd-8th, in 60+ countries using 15 different languages.

All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use.

In 2024, Open Data Day was also a part of the HOT OpenSummit ’23-24 initiative, a creative programme of global event collaborations that leverages experience, passion and connection to drive strong networks and collective action across the humanitarian open mapping movement

For more information, you can reach out to the Open Knowledge Foundation team by emailing You can also join the Open Data Day Google Group to ask for advice or share tips and get connected with others.