The Mexican Government is investing heavily in open data to directly make government more effective and the country more productive. Today, kicking off the regonal open data gathering in Latin America - ConDatos, the Government of Mexico presented a massive data portal with open public data from across the Government.

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Data must be accessible to be useful in driving innovation and participation. addresses accesibility in two ways. First, all data is machine-readable and searchable, and so is the metadata about those datasets. A CKAN data portal provides data in bulk download and via an API. Second, put a heavy emphasis on stories and tools that turn raw data into insight. Storytelling tools make the data immediately accessible and understandable to both citizens and policymakers.

Mapping open data

We worked with the Office of the President of Mexico to build a mapping tool that integrates directly with to provide rich storytelling ability. The President’s Office worked with the Civil Protection Service to map all 2013 funds for disaster response and reconstruction. The map plots thousands of reconstruction projects across 45 natural disasters, including Hurricane Manual and Ingrid which affected two-thirds of Mexico, killing 192 people and causing $75 billion pesos in damage.

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The mapping tool allows ministries to quickly stand up a rich interactive map off of any dataset on through a single page of markdown. The map generation tool anticipates many of the way in which ministires will want to aggregate and display information, while also making it easy for advanced users to develop more sophisticated visualizations.

We leaned on Jekyll for the map templating ability and mapbox for base layers. Datasets are pulled in over the CKAN API and rendered in real time. All the code for the map generation tool is open source, on github, and available to other governments interested in mapping open data.