San Jose Unveils Online Data Hub

As part of the mayor’s new “Smart City Vision,” San Jose launched an online data portal to improve public access to information about the city.

The website—data.sanjoseca.gov—is part of an open data policy approved by the City Council earlier this week. City officials hope the policy and online information hub will encourage the public to analyze datasets and improve public services.

“We live in the most innovative community on the planet,” Mayor Sam Liccardo said in a statement. “By making our city data more open and accessible to the public, we have the opportunity to embrace ‘the wisdom of the crowd’ to really help move our city forward.”

Exempted from the policy are data that violate privacy laws, including privileged information or compromise security. Having more eyes on all that information will hopefully lead to ideas that make the city more efficient, the mayor said.

By parsing through reports about public safety issues, for example, someone could identify “hotspots” for car crashes, crime and illegal dumping. By putting all that information in an easy-to-find place, the city is urging people to drum up new analyses, visualizations and applications to solve problems facing the city.

“Opening our data to the community is the first step in turning our city into a platform,” said Shireen Santosham, the mayor’s chief innovation officer. “In the coming years, we’ll add more datasets that can benefit residents by not only having more data to experiment with but also providing the opportunity to create applications that further improve services and the community’s quality of life.

Residents have already worked with the city on projects that uses publicly available data to illustrate San Jose’s transportation budget. They have also created a crime map and another map for fires.

The information will eventually get translated to Vietnamese and Spanish, city officials said.

5 Comments

  1. Apparently SJI isn’t as tech saavy as Sam, since the link to data.sanjoseca.gov just links back to SJI. (YOU WILL FIX IT)

    Outside of that though, the documentation is sparse on the site. Looks like your standard REST API with JSON responses…. but there is no list of things I can call out on the rest API.

    Someone should have waited before publishing this… site and documentation still seem to be in alpha.

    • Just an update on my comment.

      So I guess all methods are documented. Just off memory from reading over the weekend it’s like (yourapikey)(available resources)

      My tip to the city/devs. Instead of requiring an API for getting the documentation on the call methods, list them all. That way a developer can see if it’s even worth getting an API key in the first place.

  2. > As part of the mayor’s new “Smart City Vision,” San Jose launched an online data portal to improve public access to information about the city.

    Oh, great! Facebook for cities.

    I’m not a big fan of Facebook or other “social media” apps focused on people pouring their guts out regarding all the boring inanities of their personal lives.

    San Jose was recently identified as one of the least known big cities in America.

    What are the people of San Jose potentially going to gain from this, other than snide comments on how stupid our sanctuary city policy is.

  3. The little town that could! I used to get a kick out of listening to SJ politicians boast about how we are the largest “city” in the SF bay area! The tried so hard to jab San Francisco based on our bedroom population. Angela Aliotto sure used to put the SJ leaders in check whenever a soundbite allowed. Keep trying to reinvent yourself, SJ. Sam Liccardo just doesn’t get it.

  4. Really Liccardo? You’re actually championing this website as innovative? No wonder San Jose is the laughing stock of the Bay Area & entire country. The innovation is nothing more than the usual website.

%d bloggers like this: