What is open civic data? Open Civic Data (generally just referred as Open Data) is quantative data about a municipality’s functions, qualities, services, its people, and physical infrastructure. The Sunlight Foundation and Open Knowledge International’s Open Data Handbook are two sources that explain more.
If you want to do anything useful with the data, the data has to be “open”: able to be obtained freely and in bulk (no saving a file six hundred times) , “machine-readable” - in a file format that is friendly to work with and whose content can be deciphered by computer programs easily and to be legally able to use and share with minimal or no restrictions.
When we want data about our city, where do we start? First, ASK the agency that you think would have the data (Advice on that in a later post).
The US Census is a comprehensive source of data about our city specifically on our population and demographics.
Cities across the USA have dedicated websites (data portals). Unfortunately, Cleveland doesn’t have one. In this absence, different entities have aggregated or collected this data or perhaps the govt agency that produces or acts as a steward for this data may publish it themselves.
Cuyahoga County Open Data
Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)
Cuyahoga County Board of Elections
Health Data Matters
Cleveland’s Open Data Census
Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Former National Climatic Data Center (NCDC)
Still unsure where it is or can’t find it?
We’ll try to keep this up to date and encourage you to share by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Next step: How to ask for the data if it’s not publicly available.
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