How Open Is Your City? Check This Census of Civic Data

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

More cities are making their data available, both in the name of political transparency and to allow residents to help chip away at civic problems. This lovely-looking chart measures 36 cities by how many civic datasets—from crime to transit to zoning—they've released to the public.

Not surprisingly, San Francisco is the most "open" city, with all data except for the city's property deeds readily available and searchable online. This is by no means a comprehensive list—yet. The list seems to be culled from places that Code for America, one of the site's creators, already operates its fellowships, so many big cities aren't listed, and some cities are listed without any information.

But, in the spirit of the data it hopes to collect, this site itself is open-source. Don't see your city listed, or maybe you can help fill in a blank? The site provides a step-by-step primer for how to go about gathering this information from your local government and share it here. Not only will having it all mapped out like this hopefully inspire more cities to throw open their data doors, but having similar datasets in one place can help anyone from geographers to researchers. It's a very good thing. [US City Open Data Census]