California launches DebtWatch open data site

California launches DebtWatch open data site

California’s new open data website, DebtWatch, provides details about $1.5 trillion in debt issued by state and local government entities.

With the Socrata-powered site, users can track proposed and issued debt, cost of issuance as well as bond and tax election results. The debt-related information on the site goes back to 1984, includes more than 2.8 million fields of data and will be updated monthly. Users can download raw numbers, create charts and make comparisons among debt issuers.

“What I’ve done with DebtWatch is brought the data out of the shadows and presented it in an easy-to-use, more accessible way using graphics and tools that permit slicing and dicing,” said California Treasurer John Chiang. “We want to engage a broad audience. We have not left anyone out, from Jane Q. Public looking for an intuitive interface, to sophisticated data experts seeking raw data for their own research.”

A tutorial can be seen here.

About the Author

Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.

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