A guide for local Cleveland open data by Will Skora

22 September 2017

A guide for local Cleveland open data

(What is open data?) Open Data is generally quantative data about the city’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 generally has to be “open”: free to obtain, in a file format that is friendly to work with, and to be legally able to use and share with minimal or no restrictions.

So, many times we want data about our city: where do we start? The US Census is most comprehensive source of data about our city, particularly about population and demographics.

First, ASK the agency that you think would have the data (Advice on that in a later post).

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.



  • collection of spatial boundaries that Will Skora from Open Cleveland manually georeferenced or individually obtained; City of Cleveland’s police districts, wards, landmark districts, neighborhood boundaries.


  • downtown Cleveland car parking available to the public; Will Skora from Open Cleveland manually surveyed this and keeps it relatively updated. Does not include parking meters.


  • Cuyahoga County geospatial data (roads, railroads, addresses, parcels; natural resources)

NeoCando: http://neocando.case.edu/

  • demographics, crime, property data, census for cuyahoga county; also property transactions; the most comprehensive source of civic data in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County
  • requires registration

Public Transportation:

RTA http://www.riderta.com/developers ..* Bus and subway routes and locations of stops; in GTFS format;


campaign finance reports are available in PDF




Digital C’s Civic Insights http://www.civicinsights.org

  • Variety of topics; aggregated from city, county, state, and federal sources.

Cleveland’s Open Data Census http://us-city.census.okfn.org/place/cleveland

For all of Ohio:


  • state-wide geographic data (roads, railroads, addresses, parcels)
  • may not be the most up to date, search the particular county’s GIS website for an updated data set.


Still unsure where it is or can’t find it? Ask us by opencleveland@gmail.com or on twitter @opencleveland and we’ll try put you in touch with who has it or Also ask your local librarian at your local public library. :)

We’ll try to keep this up to date and encourage you to share by email (opencleveland@gmail.com) and

Next step: How to ask for the data if it’s not publicly available.