The Infometer has audited open data of the largest Russian cities, those populated over 100,000 (except the federal-level cities).

Earlier, we audited open data for federal and regional government bodies. The results show that, at federal level, there is uneven but active work with open data: leading bodies increase the number and improve the quality of their datasets, the road map is approved and partially implemented. In regions, the state of affairs is worse.

How do city administrations deal with a similar task?

What We Have Done

We have audited 166 websites belonging to administrations of cities populated over 100,000 (except Moscow and St.-Petersburg).

We have checked:

  • whether municipalities observe the requirements to design of technological sites, datasets, and metainformation;
  • whether they approve normative acts regarding open data;
  • whether they work with the community of software developers. 

We have revealed that:

      • most cities' administrations do not publish open data;
      • most of those publishing open data do it at their own resources that is not always the best solution;
      • quite few city administrations approve normative acts regarding open data;
      • the very few city administrations  work with the community of open data software developers.


73 of 166 cities populated over 100,000 (except the federal-level cities) publish open data.

73 cities publishing open data (or at least having website sections for their publication) observe the requirements on open data publication for 47.9%.

How the audit has been performed?

  • There were 57 parameters based on normative and expert requirements to open data publication
  • Cities' online resources were evaluated in per cent (100% meant full compliance with audit requirements)
  • From February 25 to March 4, all participants of the audit could obtain free remote advice based on expert advice (c 15.02 по 04.03)
  • Final rating of open data publication by large cities (showing average and individual compliance rates) is published for open access

How It Works

Though most of Russian largest cities' administrations do not publish any open data, there are some municipalities that have created sound website sections containing many datasets.

Administrations of Tula and Novomoskovsk use the open data portal of the Tula Region for publishing their open data. The functionality of the regional portal fully meets actual requirements for open data portals.

 Open data portal of Tula region

Alexander Lamonov, specialist of the Tula Region portal "Open Region" section:

We have started with executive government bodies of the Tula Region, and since 2014, we work also with municipalities. At the initial stage, we tested the mechanism for working with open data and sought for making it more efficient. After the process started working at regional level, we included (since 2014) also 28 municipalities of the Tula Region. Our experience has helped us to introduce open data in municipal units in a short time. To facilitate the work, we developed departmental orders assigning officials in charge and scheduling the work. Today, most activities are already aimed to maintain actuality of the datasets  already published. Some datasets of ours are updated monthly so that we should track the process.  

Organizational Work

The legislation provides several ways for government bodies to publish their open data: 


1. Federal open data portal (

+ no costs for a separate site for open data publication,

+ high compliance with the regulations for open data publication.

2. A section on a government body's own official website.

A section "Open Data" available from the home page is created at an existing website, publishing a register of datasets and links to the datasets' pages.

3.  A special open data portal.

Regional. Open data are published at a regional open data portal. Information can be searched by data owner or by publisher.

Municipal. A special local portal for open data..

In some cities, there are sound resources of their own. For example, administration of Krasnodar publishes at a separate portal not only open data but also infographics based on them.

City administrations prefer to publish open data at their own portals but their quality is often poorer than that of federal or regional sites. To city administrations that have not enough possibilities to place sound open data at their own resources to use functionalities of larger aggregators providing favorable conditions instead.

Quite few cities' administrations approve normative acts and create tools for working with software developers in the field of open data.

3 cities have published plans for work with open data;
36 cities provide possibilities to request or to comment a dataset;
9 cities have created FAQ sections.

We propose to all city administrations to place their dataset publication schedules, to organize events with participation of software developers, and to share news in the open data field at their informational resources.


  • Administration of Rubtsovsk has created a section at the open data portal;
  • Officials of Nizhny Tagil administration have created a FAQ section on open data field;
  • Administration of Taganrog has placed information on plans for publication of new open datasets in 2016;
  • Administration of Yoshkar Ola has created a news section regarding open data.

We asked municipal officials what difficulties they met while working.

Elena Lychagina, head specialist of the department for work with mass media, Nizhny Tagil administration:

It took time to deal with technical requirements. Today, a key complication is extension of the range of topics. We plan to publish new datasets; to make it possible, is it necessary to establish the processes for collecting information on departments and subordinate bodies as well as to update the data in time.

Anton Sivoplyas, deputy head of the ICT department, Taganrog administration:

The key complication is to select information that will be demanded in open data format both by software developers and by final users.

 - Do you cooperate in any way with IT community of your city? Are any joint events held?

At present, there is no close cooperation in the field of open data, However, we now take opinion polls on public demand for specific categories and formats of open data over IT community representatives we meet at various local conferences.

Most of the officials we interviewed admitted that they did not cooperate with software developers but planned such cooperation for the future. But there are also exceptions.

Alexander Lamonov, specialist of the Tula Region portal "Open Region" section:

- Do you cooperate in any way with IT community of your city? Are any joint events held?

We try to respond timely for coming requests for publication of new open data topics. If developers asks for some data then they usually have an idea of a project but lack specific information for it. At ours, five applications created  by third-party developers already work. Today, we are forming data on the USE (Unified State Exam) with breakdown for specific schools; these data have also been requested by means of our portal. We hope that one more software product will appear in the nearest future.

Active cooperation with open data users will help to publish specific data that will then serve as basis for software applications as well as to improve their quality.

Bonus: Useful Applications Based on Cities' Open Data

Open data published by city administrations help to create services of use for wide public of the cities. For instance, Yandex services are based on cities' open data. The services not only are user-friendly but also help to save taxpayers' money. Last year, the Higher School of Economics calculated that disclosure of just four open datasets regarding transport of Moscow could save billions of rubles in a year. There are also useful eservices based on open data of other cities.

Krasnodar Service

An application at the open data portal of Krasnodar

This is not only a guide on transport and culture of the city. It also helps to get in real time information on towed cars.

"Where is the bus?"

An application at the open data portal of Kazan

Informs on current location of a specific public bus and time of its arrival to each stop.

See Also:

Open Data of Largest Russian Cities, Interactive Map

2016 Municipal Openness Rating: Administrations of Cities Populated Over 100,000 (except Federal-Level Cities). Open Data

List of Parameters for the Audit Cycle "2016 Municipal Openness Rating: Administrations of Cities Populated Over 100,000 (except Federal-Level Cities). Open Data"

Legal Basis of the Study