Sept. 23, 2010
Executive launches King County Open Data Project for easier access to public information
More than 90 of most frequently requested data sets now online for development of new web apps by the public
Residents now have easier access to King County data for research and application development with today’s launch of the King County Open Data website, an online initiative to promote transparency and open government.
"This launch is a key milestone in opening County data and increasing citizen participation and engagement in government,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. “We’re opening access to the high-value data sets that we’re already using in County government so that others can benefit from and create useful, publicly-available applications with that information.”
The data site address is www.kingcounty.gov/opendata. From there, residents, business owners, software developers and researchers have access to 90 of the most frequently requested data sets, including information about the 2010 primary election, transit and roads, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), floodplains, parks, trails, schools and more. GIS, transit and elections data sets are among the most requested by county residents and developers.
Website users can interactively search and sort data, create and save personal, filtered views of data, submit comments and ratings, and share data with others. Users can also visualize data by creating charts, graphs and maps which can effectively embed live data county data for use on other websites.
King County will solicit public input on the website and initial data sets during an event on Oct. 26 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Developers, media and citizens are invited to learn more about the data project. Register for the event at www.kingcounty.gov/opendata/register/.
“King County is filled with the some of the smartest and most talented software developers in the world,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “I sponsored the legislation to create this website so we could harness the creative energies of these citizens to make King County data more accessible to everyone. I’m eager to see what our citizens can do with it.”
The new site will save staff time and resources because the public will be able to download data directly without making public disclosure requests and without the need for staff to compile data and create copies to mail or distribute. New data sets will be added to the project in coming weeks as it is collected and formatted for posting.
“This is an innovative Web service to meet King County’s goals for an open, transparent and accountable government,” said Bill Kehoe, King County’s new Chief information Officer. “Our website exposes large amounts of County data and makes it easy to use for developers and community groups.”
The site seamlessly integrates with online communications and social networking tools and provides the data in an “open format” that is platform independent, machine-readable, and available to the public without restrictions. Privacy restrictions under Council legislation ensure that any released data is appropriate for unrestricted public disclosure.
The Open Data website is built on a flexible, scalable technology platform that enables all branches of County government to cost-effectively participate in the process of contributing, sourcing, and propagating public data across all wired and wireless computer and smart phone devices.