Connecting state and local government leaders

Exploring Philadelphia’s Newly Upgraded Open Data Portal

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall f11photo / Shutterstock.com

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

It’s not all dull municipal datasets. There’s even a listing of happy hour specials.

If you’re looking for streets where vending is prohibited in the city of Philadelphia, the city’s newly upgraded open data portal has that information. If you’re looking for information on reported bicycle thefts, the city’s open data portal has that information, too. Same goes for the city’s budget.

Philadelphia’s recently relaunched open data portal, Open Data Philly, has 264 data sets, applications and APIs available for the public to access and use. Much of that information comes from municipal sources.

“The redesign of OpenDataPhilly will increase access to available data, thereby enabling our citizens to become more engaged and knowledgeable and our government more accountable,” Mayor Michael Nutter said in a statement last month.

But Philadelphia’s open data portal isn’t just designed to unlock datasets at City Hall.

The city’s universities, cultural and non-profit organizations and commercial entities are part of the portal as well. Portal users interested in historic maps of the city can access the Philadelphia GeoHistory Network, a project of Philadelphia’s Athenaeum Museum, which maintains a tool where layers of historic maps can overlaid on an interactive Google map.

You can even find a list of current happy hour specials, courtesy of DrinkPhilly.

The upgraded portal was paid for in part through a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and is maintained through a partnership by Temple University’s Center for Public Interest Journalism and local software company Azavea.

Check it how Open Data Philly works in this newly uploaded video: