Media playback is unsupported on your device

New Yorkers are learning to love big data

5 November 2013 Last updated at 00:03 GMT

New York City officials collect an extraordinary amount of data, ranging from information about parking meters to phone calls to a city-run help line.

A new law signed last year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg requires the release of all public data by December 2018.

In the meantime, officials who work for city agencies may be granted access to other agencies' information in order to help their workflow. And entrepreneurs can tap into the data.

"With the news of the NSA and Prism and all that stuff, people are scared about big data," says Joel Natividad, the co-founder of Pediacities.com, which compiles data about restaurants and schools.

"We're doing Big Data for good, for regular people."

The BBC's Jonny Dymond spent a day in the offices of NYC Open Data and met city workers and entrepreneurs trying to understand - and build on - big data's waves of zeros and ones.

Produced by Maria Byrne and Anna Bressanin