Los Angeles, other major U.S. cities, launch urban data portals
Crime reports. Building permits. Budgets. Rat control. Data on all these things are or will be available online in Los Angeles, Chicago and Sacramento. The goal is to keep citizens informed and assist city leaders with planning.
Los Angeles unveils its data portal site early this year. “Raw data” collected by city agencies will be accessible for free to “empower Angelenos,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti says in an announcement.
Chicago, which collects 7 million data points a day, has debuted a similar portal with a $1 million grant from Bloomberg Philanthropies. According to Harvard’s Kennedy School, the software powering the site is “open source,” meaning that it's free for other cities to use. Among the Windy City’s goals is to analyze complaints about rodents to help predict outbreaks.
The Sacramento portal features some unexpected categories, such as the locations of city trees. Officials describe the site as one-stop shopping for information about California’s capital, according to Government Technology’s Digital Communities.