Redesigned NYC Open Data Portal welcomes 50,000 new users a month and received over 3 million visits this year alone
NEW YORK—The Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications today released the annual update to the NYC Open Data Plan, a schedule of public datasets City agencies plan to release through 2018. Over the last year, agencies have released datasets across hundreds of categories, from the number of trees planted to FDNY incident dispatch numbers. The annual update is part of Open Data for All, a strategic overhaul around how the City collects and reports data to New Yorkers, with a focus on helping as many New Yorkers as possible view, understand, and engage with information that describes how government is helping them live, work, and play.
“Transparency is vital for a healthy government and flourishing democracy. That’s why Open Data for All is delivering more data, in more ways, to more New Yorkers than ever before,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
“Open Data is more than a collection of ones and zeros—it’s truly a portrait of how New York City runs,” said Anne Roest, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “We’ve focused on making sure that more New Yorkers are empowered to access this data and subsequently use it to lift up their communities. We’re proud that this year’s report tells those stories alongside the numbers.”
Since the launch of Open Data for All in 2015, the program has seen unprecedented success, including more than 3 million visits to the Open Data Portal—now home to over 1,700 datasets—in the last year alone. Over 165 new datasets have been added in the past year, including:
- New York Police Department (NYPD) Complaint Data, specifically information on felony, misdemeanor, and violation crimes reported to the NYPD from 2006 through 2016. Historical data through 2015 can be found here, and 2016 data can be found here.
- City Council Participatory Budgeting Data: contains details on all Participatory Budgeting Project projects from 2012 – present. Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Council Members choose to join Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC), giving at least $1 million from their budget for the whole community to participate in decision–making. Through a public vote, residents then decide which proposals to fund.
- Programs and Benefits API: This dataset provides benefit, program, and resource information for over 40 health and human services available to NYC residents, and is used on ACCESS NYC and Growing Up NYC. The data is kept up-to-date, including the most recent applications, eligibility requirements, and application dates.
- Department of City Planning (DCP) Facilities Database: The City Planning Facilities Database, and the NYC Facilities Explorer interactive map, aggregates more than 35,000 records from 50 different public data sources, capturing both publicly and privately operated facilities ranging from health and social services, recreation, education, to solid waste management.
Additionally, thirty-eight new datasets are now automatically updated, including the Department of Environmental Protection's Harbor Water Quality sampling information, and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications' Building Footprints and Street Centerline maps.
The digital version of the 2017 Open Data for All Progress Report invites New Yorkers to give feedback on specific sections and share their own open data stories until September 1. The City’s Open Data team will also host an event at Civic Hall on Wednesday, July 19 at 6 p.m., where New Yorkers featured in the report will discuss how they are using open data to improve their communities. The event will also be livestreamed.
"Open Data for All is a critical part of our commitment to transparency, equity, and quality service,” said Emily Newman, Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations. “We are thrilled that so many New Yorkers are using this tool to make an impact in their communities.”
“Open Data provides transparency on how government works and is critical for how entrepreneurs build better technologies for New Yorkers,” said Miguel Gamiño, New York City Chief Technology Officer. “The portal reaches an average of 50K new users per month, and a total of 140K users per month which demonstrates that this information is being consumed and of real value both to new and existing users.”
"I passed the Open Data Law because government works for everyone, and unless there’s a good reason not to, datasets built by government agencies should be available for everyone to analyze, use for research, or build new apps and businesses around," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "It's been thrilling to see our open data put to use by government, students, academics, the private sector, and our growing civic tech community."
"Open Data is a fantastic resource for civic organizations, local businesses, and City residents," said Council Member James Vacca, Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Technology. "I'm very happy to see that the number of datasets continues increasing and that the Open Data Portal is being made even more accessible to New Yorkers. I congratulate the City's Open Data team on these promising results."
"Open Data empowers residents with data they need to learn about city services first hand and is an invaluable tool for elected officials like me to analyze and oversee how our city delivers services,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “In particular, I’m excited to see the inclusion of the Programs and Benefits API. Residents can now get the help they need from a list of benefits available, who qualifies and how to apply. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio and DoITT Commissioner Anne Roest for continuing to make New York City more transparent with each new data set."
"I'm proud to be part of the Open Data movement, increasing transparency and making important information accessible to all New Yorkers. Access to this data empowers New Yorkers with knowledge about how their communities are being served and what improvements are needed. Because we are creating and preserving data archives, our annual updates allow us to track our progress and make informed policy decisions, ultimately leading to great strides in service delivery and quality of life," said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
"The NYC Open Data Plan is a great way for New Yorkers throughout the city to have a transparent government and see exactly where their hard-working tax dollars are going to assist in their everyday lives. Particularly of relevance is the NYPD Complaint Data, which provides information on felony, misdemeanor, and violent crimes. As we all know, when it comes to safety, New Yorkers deserve to know what their government is doing to keep their neighborhoods safe," said Council Member Vincent Gentile.
"Through valiant collaborative work, we are thrilled with the City’s commitment to improve its open data practice for all," said Noel Hidalgo, Executive Director of BetaNYC. "Since the launch of Open Data for All, we’ve seen a wonderful partnership blossom. From NYC Civic Innovation Fellows, to NYC School of Data, to NYC Open Data Week, to Neighborhood Innovation Labs, to Data Jams hosted by Parks and City Planning, NYC's civic technology and open data community roots are growing deeper and stronger. Through open data we will demystify and strengthen civic participation in the 21st century."
"Opening up New York City government data is hard and challenging, but it will payoff with increased agency effectiveness, public accountability and unleash creative new ways to improve city services. We greatly appreciate Mayor de Blasio and the City Council's support for the Open Data Law, and we applaud the City's open data champions at the Mayor's Office Of Data Analytics and DOITT. There remains a lot of work to do before New York City achieves the goals set out in the Open Data Law, but the City is doing good work and has a lot to be proud of," said John Kaehny, co-chair of the NYC Transparency Working Group, and Executive Director of Reinvent Albany.
"It is clear that without access to accurate and timely population and neighborhood data, it is impossible to measure the progress of all the tremendous nonprofit work happening throughout NYC,” said Mary Tobin, Director of the Brownsville Partnership. “NYC Open Data helps point us to the right solutions, saves resources, and provides accountability at every level in the social impact environment. It is no longer a want, data is an impact need."
The NYC Open Data portal was redesigned in March 2017 to be more user-friendly for novices, now including a quick search, tutorials, and an easy-to-use customer service application. The redesign has sparked a 367% increase in inquiries from the public since its launch. Other pioneering Open Data successes in the past year include the First-Ever Open Data Week—featuring 12 public events across the city—and unprecedented collaboration among agencies, advocates and the tech industry to identify new data sets and build tools using them.
About the NYC Open Data Plan
As required by Local Law 11 of 2012, each City entity must identify and ultimately publish all of its digital public data for citywide aggregation and publication by 2018. Every year on July 15, the NYC Open Data Plan provides an update of the City’s progress by listing pertinent City-managed public data sets yet to be published along with their anticipated publication dates.