Azavea to Represent Philadelphia as a New Regional Open Data Institute Node

Azavea to Represent Philadelphia as a New Regional Open Data Institute Node

Part of a global open data network Philadelphia joins Osaka, Seoul, Sheffield, Hawaii, Chicago, Dubai, Paris, Moscow, Buenos Aires, and others.

Philadelphia, PA, May 13, 2014 – Azavea, an award winning geospatial analysis (GIS) software development company, announces that it will represent Philadelphia as a new regional Node in a global open data network launched in 2013 by the Open Data Institute (ODI).  The Nodes bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities.

Often, open data initiatives are driven by local and federal government or incentivized by foundation grants, but there has been an increasing growth in open access to scientific papers and experimental data, greater transparency from some corporations, and increased pressure for access to the personal data held by corporations. In creating this global open data network, the Open Data Institute set itself to bring more rigor, structure, and guidelines in the open data movement, beyond government transparency.  ODI is promoting open data through a number of initiatives including:  case studies that make an economic case for open data, a badging system called Open Data Certificates, training workshops, implementation guides, open data startup incubation, and a commitment to expanding the influence of “open data culture”.

Azavea has both relied upon and contributed to the open data community for many years.  As the original developers of the data portal, becoming an ODI node is a way for the company to both celebrate the growing availability of open data in the Philadelphia region and to engage in activities that will promote advancement of the open data ecosystem.  “I believe that open data is important not only for government transparency but also for academic research, corporate accountability, and to build new businesses.  Working with ODI will be an effective way to advance all of these outcomes,” said Robert Cheetham, Azavea President and CEO.

There are three types of Node:

  • Country Nodes: Independent NGOs who are building national centers of excellence, working across public and private sectors, NGOs, educational institutions and other Nodes within the country.
  • City or Regional Nodes deliver projects, and can provide training, research, and development. ODI Osaka, ODI Seoul, ODI Philadelphia, ODI Dundee, ODI Sheffield and ODI Amsterdam fall into this category.
  • Communications Nodes amplify open data case studies from around the world and promote understanding. ODI Kenya and ODI Hawaii have joined at this level.

For more information about the Open Data Institute Nodes or to apply to become one, visit:

About Azavea – Azavea is an award-winning geospatial data analysis and software development firm.  Azavea is a certified B Corporation that applies geographic data and technology to promote the emergence of vibrant and sustainable communities while advancing the state-of-the-art through research.  Each of Azavea’s projects, products and pro bono engagements showcases this commitment.  Find out more at

If you would like more information about Azavea or to schedule an interview with Robert Cheetham, Azavea CEO and President, please contact Amy Trahey at (215) 558-6184 or e-mail

About the Open Data Institute – The Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, Limited by Guarantee company. It has secured £10 million over five years via the UK innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, $750,000 from global philanthropic investor Omidyar Network, and is working towards long-term sustainability through match funding and direct revenue. Find out more at