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Open Government Catalyzing the Private Sector: The Case of Properati

Gobierno Abierto para Potenciar al Sector Privado: El Ejemplo de Properati

Properati map Bogota
Nicolas Grossman|

It is not always easy to make a connection between open government and the private sector. We often think that only civil society and government institutions can help open up the government, but the private sector can play a key role in strengthening public policies, especially as it relates to beneficial ownership, anti-corruption, and protecting civic space. What is clear to us is that the private sector can greatly benefit from government openness in various ways, as is the case in Argentina.

Properati is a real estate search platform where people can find houses, apartments, office space, and all sorts of properties for rent or sale. Since its launch just six years ago in Argentina, Properati has stood out as it offers users information about cities and neighborhoods such as price per square feet, average in the targeted neighborhood as well as a comparison with bordering neighborhoods, predominant typologies and the most common types of properties.

Users can access information and data from multiple sources, ranging from data sourced from the posted properties to open databases such as Open Street Map or DBPedia. But Properati does not just feed from collective construction sources. A key resource is data that governments disclose as part of their open government policies. Official and up-to-date information is highly valuable to users, as it allows them to make better-informed decisions.

Building on this extensive data use, we developed a content strategy based on internal and external sources, heavily relying on data published as a result of open government policies. Properati’s has published dozens of blogs from Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru that include open government data among their sources.

In cities that produce sufficient open data, for instance, we have created interactive 3D maps to explore and understand the cities’ various zones.

But the datasets we use are not always focused on real estate markets. Properati is interested in showing cities from a holistic and dynamic perspective. In Buenos Aires, for instance, we developed an open data-based mobile app that helps identify a type of tree that is highly allergenic during spring. Citizens can thus identify areas with high densities of this type of tree.

The intersection of data published by states and information published by Properati is of great interest to citizens and the media, whether in relation to city planning, or with regards to societal issues, such as the recent elections held in Ecuador, where we assessed the election results based on the average property price of each neighborhood.

Properati operates in various cities of Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Uruguay. Through our work, we have noticed the progress in open government policies, offering more open data in more user-friendly ways. With more powerful and open databases, we will be able to create better and more optimal products.

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