Home town makes good (data)

Some of you may already know that ClueTrust (the folks who run this site) has been located in the National Capital Area since 1989 (over 20 years now), and during that time, DC has gone through a lot of changes. The District's new mayor is nothing if not high tech, and to that end announced an amazing level of data openness through the CityDW (City Data Warehouse) program this over the last couple of years. Not surprisingly, this includes a lot of geospatial data. And this continued with a large release of data about the transit system in the last month.

DC's crime map has been available from the city's website for about two years now and over that time, the District has increased the frequency of updates, transparency of information, and proliferation of formats available to the public.

This year, the District began offering information in RSS feeds and other more real-time modes to provide the most up-to-date information possible on things like breaking crime stories, subway and bus delays, and other data which may be of interest to residents of the District.

In a move that drew the ire of stalwarts in the captive data movement, but drew widespread praise in open government circles and the mashup community, all of this data is available for free and in a timely fashion.

And, from a geospatial perspective, not only do they offer up-to-date shape files of things like parking meters and tax plots, but most of this data is also available in KML format for Google Earth and they regularly embed geospatial data in their RSS feeds using GeoRSS.

Among the data available are:

  • Crime incidents
  • Building permits
  • Purchase orders
  • Ongoing and completed construction projects
  • Program services location data
  • Census data (including PUMA)
  • Voting districts
  • Parking meters
  • Bus and subway lines

And the list continues...