The City of Santa Monica’s open data initiative has launched online, accessed via data.smgov.net. This Open Data Portal publishes datasets collected and maintained by the City.
The initiative launches with access to data in six categories: Finance, Permits & Licenses, Public Assets, Public Safety, Public Services and Transportation. Chief Information Officer Jory Wolf commented, “This is public data and this portal makes our data available to the public in an easy to access manner.” The City plans to add to the number of publically available datasets for the foreseeable future.
The Open Data Portal currently includes data on the City budget, campaign disclosures, police calls for service, fire hydrants, permits, inspections, Public Library data, public facilities, City Wi-fi, address data, neighborhood organizations, historic landmarks, the airport, preferential parking, electric vehicle charging stations, bike paths, the Big Blue Bus, and more.
One of the most popular data sets with residents is City trees. Users can explore a map that has all trees within the City.
From there they can delve deeper and discover the type of tree, its size and even its dollar value.
Some datasets under review for future use include City fleet data, a street sign inventory, and bike and pedestrian counts by intersection.
Open data can also help inspire creation.
“We expect to derive a side benefit.” said Wolf. “We expect software developers to use our data to create apps for public use.”
Third parties have leveraged the potential of government data through the development of applications and services that address public and private demands.
In New York for example, a master’s student created an app using the City’s open data which turns any New York City subway map into a tour of urban data, including median incomes, rental prices and even when the next subway should arrive.
In unison, Santa Monica’s financial data can also be found on OpenGov.com, where more than 150 governments in 30 states use the portal to access, analyze and share financial data.
The Finance Portal, located at santamonicaca.opengov.com provides in-depth visualization and analysis of the City’s operating and capital improvement budgets, respectively.
OpenGov is the go-to source for government financial transparency.
These datasets are made available to the community, businesses, and public agencies in standardized open formats.
The new Finance Data Portal utilizes engaging visuals and interactive functions to communicate City finances in a simple, intuitive manner.
Director of Finance Gigi Decavalles states that the Finance Portal, “continues ongoing efforts to release useful data that improve the City’s mission of transparency.”