Friday, June 15, 2012

Somerville to Share City Data via Innovative "OpenData" Service

City data will soon be at your fingertips--and you might even find it fun (and not just informative) to look through. 

Mayor Curtatone announced Thursday that the City of Somerville has partnered with Socrata, Inc to use the Seattle-based company's OpenData service to provide direct public access to municipal data covering a variety of departments. (Similar to the Chicago data portal shown here.)

Starting in July, the cloud-based service will be used to share data collected through the 311 constituent service system directly with the general public in an interactive format. Once live, the web address will be After a pilot period, more data will be available. 

Residents will be able to view maps of 311 requests that show both the citywide history of work done as well as current individual requests and their status. Other data to expect includes crime reports, budget charts and more. The user-friendly format will allow residents to generate their own reports or review real-time data as it's posted to City databases.  
Data available on the portal will include (but not be limited to): 
  • 311 work orders and related data: Check requests on your street or in your neighborhood; see citywide requests over time
  • Geospatial and mapping data
  • Public safety data: Moving vehicle violations, crime stats by neighborhood, parking violations
  • Health and ISD information: Restaurant inspection reports; health code violation reports
  • Budget and government expenditures

To get a sense of what you might expect, check out the OpenData portals for these cities:
Although Socrata supplies similar services to a number of communities across the nation, including those listed above, Somerville is the first city in New England to adopt the OpenData application. Read the full press release HERE


  1. This is fantastic! Will there be an API ? I see that the Baltimore & Seattle sites have a Developers link that goes to , which in turn has a whole site about how to develop for the Socrata API. Is that going to be available with Somerville's version, as well? I can easily imagine people using access to that information to build iPhone & Android apps, Google Maps overlays, journalism resources, etc.

  2. Did this ever happen?


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