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San Diego’s Open Data Website Allows Residents To Search Police Stops, Water Quality

A screenshot from San Diego's open data website, April 26, 2017.

Above: A screenshot from San Diego's open data website, April 26, 2017.

San Diego's open data website's DataSD allows residents to browse a variety of data sets, including water quality reports, how much money parking meters have made, or where police stopped cars in the past year.

Since it launched last July, the website has published 46 data sets and seen more than 100,000 downloads, said Almis Udrys, the director of San Diego's Performance & Analytics Department.

Now, the website has made another change. It is being run entirely by city staff, instead of relying on an outside contractor.

"Typically governments have a hard time attracting innovative technologists into public service, and so a lot of governments don't have the expertise to design and host their own portal," Udrys said. "What we are today is the first city we know of to design and host our own open data portal."

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Almis Udrys, the director of San Diego's Performance & Analytics Department, April 24, 2017.

That saves the city about $60,000 a year, he said, and has allowed Udrys' team to add new features, such as a search box on the home page, a blog with inside information about the website and the ability to browse the site offline.

Udrys said his team also recently tested the website's speed and found it is measurably faster since becoming in-house.

"We actually have more control and are able to update it more rapidly, more frequently," he said.

He said they hope to add 10 to 20 new data sets in the next six months and have found 146 total sets that can be published.

When the website first launched, Udrys said they found more than 2,000 data sets covering everything they thought could possibly be data.

Of those 2,000 data sets, the city is only identifying 146 for now because those are the ones that are ready to be made public, Udrys said. He expects the list will grow as more data is deemed ready for public release.

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Claire Trageser
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs a member of the KPBS investigative team, my job is to hold the powerful in San Diego County accountable. I've done in-depth investigations on political campaigns, police officer misconduct and neighborhood quality of life issues.

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