Open permit data standard BLDG

Alliance releases open data standards for construction permit info

An alliance of civic and real estate technology companies has released the first open data specification for building and construction permit information, and several local governments have already gotten on board.

The Building and Land Development Specification (BLDS) is a standardized format for jurisdictions to use when reporting information on building and construction permits as open data. The specification was created by professionals from Accela, Civic Insight, Zillow and others, and will be applied to data sets contributed by participating city and county governments. The goal is to make data about buildings and land more accessible, usable and valuable for citizens, developers and consumer applications.

BLDS is the latest open data standard for commonly used government data. Similar standards exist for citizen service requests, transit data, park and trail data and restaurant inspection data.

"The first step towards creating a building standard is getting agreement on what it will offer municipalities," said Eddie Tejeda, CEO of Civic Insight. "We are excited to contribute to the creation of the standard, but also to leverage the data to provide tremendous value to the public."

“Building permit data can provide huge insights to those working to improve communities,” said Mark Headd, a developer evangelist for Accela and former chief data officer of Philadelphia. “Permit data can be used as a proxy for economic activity and allow for insights into how an upswing – or downturn – in the economy plays out at the community level.”

Cities and counties that have already adopted the BLDS standard include Boston; Chattanooga, Tenn.; San Diego County, Calif.; Seattle; and Tampa, Fla.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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