December 18, 2013 By News Staff
Joining the national push for open data, the city of Sacramento has launched an open data portal that provides access to building permit activity, crime reports, budget information, land-use data and more.
“This new Web site provides digital access to city hall in a way that has never been done before. It is our continued goal to be transparent and this is a great starting point for us,” City Manager John Shirey said in a prepared statement released last week.
Sacramento officials described the site, found at portal.cityofsacramento.org/opendata, as a “one-stop shop” for city data and reports. The site offers more than 40 data sets, including detailed information on 311 service requests, finance and budget statistics, police department data, citywide contracts, and building permit numbers, according to the city. Users can view the data via charts, through an online dashboard, or in sortable spreadsheets.
Sacramento CIO Maria MacGunigal said the site is designed to be user friendly and scalable to accomodate new data sets at the request of residents. The city is encouraging residents to suggest additional municipal data sets for inclusion via www.envisionsacramento.com, Sacramento’s citizen engagement site.
The city also intends for the portal to support civic IT projects and third-party civic app developers. “It is important to support and encourage innovation by providing access to information and encouraging residents and businesses to find ways of using public data. We are willing to add other data the community requests,” MacGunigal said.
The open data portal is the latest in a string of digital and open data efforts at the city. Previous projects include a revamped city website launched earlier this year, the launch of envisionsacramento.com in 2012, and the implementation of electronic building permit processing. Sacramento also offers a 311 mobile app that allows customers to report issues or concerns.