Pittsburgh’s portal integrates open data

Pittsburgh’s portal integrates open data

Pittsburgh has unveiled a data portal for government information that aims to be a ”one stop shop” -- whether it’s logging and following a 311 request or keeping abreast of police activity.

Launched Oct. 31, Burgh’s Eye View gives users the option to download data or view see it on a map that plots the location of arrests, permits, traffic citations, 311 requests city facilities and code violations. Information on the mobile friendly-site information is searchable as well.

“Transparency and openness are essential to ensuring a responsive city government and thriving neighborhoods,” Mayor William Peduto said. “Burgh’s Eye View brings that transparency directly to the citizens of Pittsburgh and more importantly transforms the experience of open government -- by making it truly accessible to everyone.”

Chief of Innovation and Performance Debra Lam, whose team built the portal, said that she sees the tool as a way to increase government accountability and for citizens to become involved in community decisions. “This is another testament to Pittsburgh's inclusive innovation,” Lam said.

The app’s datasets are among those the city sends to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, which maintains open data portals for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. The code for the map will be open source, allowing other localities to build a similar tool.

Pittsburgh launched another map-based data portal earlier this month. That tool was built in partnership with Buildingeye and provides information on building permits, code enforcement and building inspection.

The city is also seeking comment on a new website. Alpha.pittsburghpa.gov has been launched to provide information on the project and collect comments. Lam said the new site should get citizens to the services they need, some of which are provided by these new data portals.

"We want to ensure the website better promotes and highlights both the City of Pittsburgh's work and identity,” she said. “Whether you are connecting to 311 on a service, viewing our city cable channel programming, liking our latest tweets or seeking out the pool schedule, the website serves as our integrated digital platform for all users wherever they are in Pittsburgh and beyond."  

About the Author

Matt Leonard is a reporter/producer at GCN.

Before joining GCN, Leonard worked as a local reporter for The Smithfield Times in southeastern Virginia. In his time there he wrote about town council meetings, local crime and what to do if a beaver dam floods your back yard. Over the last few years, he has spent time at The Commonwealth Times, The Denver Post and WTVR-CBS 6. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, where he received the faculty award for print and online journalism.

Leonard can be contacted at mleonard@gcn.com or follow him on Twitter @Matt_Lnrd.

Click here for previous articles by Leonard.

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