Pittsburgh Launches New ‘Burgh’s Eye View’ Online Map Tool for City Data



Connecting state and local government leaders

The city plans to “open source” the computer code for the application in the coming weeks, offering a way for other local governments to replicate the project.

Pittsburgh residents will be able to view a variety of municipal data, like 311 requests, crime incidents and building code violations, using an online map tool the city released Monday.

The new web application is called Burgh’s Eye View. It was built internally by the analytics and strategy team within the city’s Department of Innovation and Performance, according to Mayor Bill Peduto’s office. In the coming weeks, the city plans to “open source” the computer code for the app, meaning it will become publicly available to other jurisdictions looking to replicate the project.

Burgh’s Eye View users see a map of the city with color-coded icons indicating the location of various types of data points.

Clicking on an icon opens a popup window showing additional information. For instance, the popup window for a 311 request for a streetlight repair will display details such as when the request was initiated and the department responsible for fixing the problem.

(City of Pittsburgh)

Datasets available through the application include 311 requests, arrests, crime incidents, non-traffic citations, code violations and permits for buildings, and information about city facilities, like community centers and firehouses.

For certain types of data, like arrests, block or neighborhood locations are provided, rather than exact locations, in an effort to protect privacy.

The application has a number of drop-down menu search options in addition to the map tool. It’s also possible to download the datasets featured in the app.

Information displayed in Burgh’s Eye View is updated with data sent nightly to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center. Formed last year, the data center acts as a clearinghouse for data from local governments and other organizations in Pennsylvania.

Burgh’s Eye View is not Pittsburgh’s first foray into data mapping initiatives. Other notable examples have included its Buildingeye application, which enables users to look at inspection and permit information for buildings, and a snowplow tracker activated during winter storms.

Other cities have engaged in similar projects. Los Angeles unveiled a platform called GeoHub early this year for searching and visualizing location-based city data.

PREVIOUSLY on Route Fifty:

Bill Lucia is a reporter for Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

NEXT STORY: Jerry Brown's California Pension Reforms Have Done Little to Rein in Costs