Berkeley Launches Open Data Portal

The city of Berkeley, California has chosen Socrata to run and launch its open data portal. The initial data release includes 17 data sets which include employee salaries, information on local crime, and restaurant inspections.

The data includes more high-value information than we’ve seen at launch in other cities.

City officials say that they moved to implement open data in the interest of transparency and civic engagement. Nearby Oakland and San Francisco have already been experimenting with various open data projects for a number of years.

The data is machine readable, can be downloaded, and there are some visualization tools available. Points of contact are included with each data set.

According to the launch announcement from the city, these 17 sets represent the most frequently requested information under the local Public Records act.

“This was driven by a commitment to transparency and open government,” Berkeley Director of Information Technology Donna LaSala said the announcement.

The portal is available at https://data.cityofberkeley.info/

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