Solar Permits Prediction

The 2017 GE Minds & Machines conference featured an “Appathon” where teams were challenged to come up with a working application in a day and a half. The challenge theme was all about decarbonization, decentralization, and digitization in the global energy sector. Each team was provided with a Predix Kit that included an Intel Nook and various sensors, sample data from power grid feeders in Ireland, and access to the CityIQ API for accessing the intelligent street lamps in the city of San Diego.

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Watch a video explainer about the portal

The Data & Analytics program aims to empower both officials and residents with easy access to San Diego’s data. But if people don’t know about the portal, they won’t be able to build apps, hold the City accountable, or make decisions based on data.

That’s where I came in. As a summer intern focused on community engagement, I took on the task of bringing more attention to the portal. I’m excited to share my last project: a video championing the Open Data Portal. Using concrete examples and minimal technical jargon, I hope to make the portal both comprehensible and intriguing.

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City streetlights get smart

The Energy & Sustainability Division within the Environmental Services Department has been upgrading City streetlights to SMART adaptive control LED lighting systems.

Our systems include adaptive control meters, which provide the City with real-time data, energy savings, and asset management and improve lighting throughout the City.

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A few updates to StreetsSD

Hey there everyone! For all the fans of StreetsSD we have some great news!

We recently completed a small sprint and made a few fixes and improvements.

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Netlify Site of the Week

As you know by now, our Open Data Portal is hard at work keeping San Diego’s data accessible and up-to-date. As we strive to keep San Diego at the forefront of SmartCity technology, more citizens and city officials continue to recognize the portal’s benefits.

Our site and team are even turning heads beyond city boundaries! Netlify, an online platform that easily allows users to deploy websites, recently crowned our Open Data Portal the “Netlify Site of the Week.” By using the hassle-free services Netlify offers, we saved the city from spending money on expensive website builders, and saved ourselves from hours of tedious work. We are proud to epitomize “innovation, creativity, and utility,” and join the other sites in Netlify’s hall of fame.

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Our geo data has become more relevant

Dear readers / followers, we have some exciting news! Our geographic data is now integrated with Poseidon, our data automation system.

What does this mean for you?

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The building blocks of an Open Data portal

When I wrote about how we launched a homemade Open Data portal, I made the claim that a data portal is just a website with a catalog of datasets.

A few companies sell expensive portal products to governments. These companies take care of hosting the datasets and running that website I’m referring to, where people visit to download the data. Some of these portals also give users limited ability to search, filter, and chart data without downloading it.

We wanted to have more control over our portal. We had ideas for how it should look and how it should work. Some of these ideas are included in a piece of guidance the Civic Analytics Network wrote for Open Data programs.

We could also save the City of San Diego money, so we figured we would make our own website and find a place to host our datasets. We used a bunch of tools to make accomplishing these simple objectives even easier. What follows is an overview of those tools.

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Our data automation earns a nod from Amazon innovation contest

Our work to automate data updates won us a spot with 16 other finalists in Amazon’s City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge.

Finalists, announced earlier this week, include other governments and schools that are competing in the Best Practices category. This category honors a completed project that focuses on a citizen service, uses Amazon web services, and employs an innovative solution that other public entities might be able to use.

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Why data automation matters for open data portals

Be honest. When you read the words data automation you get a sudden rush of melatonin to your brain, your eyelids get heavy, and you get an uncontrollable urge to fall asleep. Don’t be ashamed; you are reacting to these words in a similar manner to 99.5% of people on the planet. Bear with me though for just a few paragraphs while I try to explain why it matters, and how we do it here at the City of San Diego.

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A Faster Data Portal

Hey San Diego! Your open data portal just got a LOT faster!

One of the reasons we wanted to run our own data portal is the flexibility we have to change it and add functionality.

Today, we’re putting the pedal to the metal on those desires. We initially launched the portal based on JKAN, but with modified schemas, layouts, and branding. Because of how fast we moved, we put off thinking about speed and performance.

Since the dust settled a bit, we had a chance to do that.

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A better open data portal

We are excited - and somewhat exhausted - to present to San Diegans a new and improved Open Data portal today.

The portal has a fresh look, but more importantly, we rebuilt the technology behind the portal and upgraded our workflow for keeping data up-to-date.

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Behind the Scenes of StreetsSD

StreetsSD was an interesting project us from an organizational and technical perspective. Let’s peek behind the scenes to see how this all came together.

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See Solar Permits Issued in 2016

The City of San Diego is not only a smart city, it’s a solar friendly city. Our 2015 Climate Action Plan sets an ambitious goal to achieve 100% clean and renewable electricity in the city by 2035. If 2016 is an indicator, we’re well on our way to reaching our goals.

Even before City Council passed Mayor Faulconer’s Climate Action Plan, our Development Services Department was ahead of the game and began expediting solar permits several years ago. This is also thanks to supportive financing programs such as PACE and other incentives.

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Keep Track of Street Sweeping

The City’s street sweeping schedule might not be the first thing on your mind when you’re looking for a parking spot - unless you’ve gotten one of those parking tickets.

The City aims to sweep commercial streets about once per week, and residential streets at least once per month. Sweeping removes debris that might clog the the storm water system and cause flooding and prevents harmful particles from entering the ocean. If the block you’re parked on has signage restricting parking during a certain day and time for street sweeping, you could get a ticket when the sweeper goes by.

The best thing to do is check for signs before you park, but this guide will give you an overview of street sweeping in general, and where you might get a ticket.

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Get Water Testing Results

Use this map of the sampling sites where the City’s Public Utilities Department tests for indicator bacteria.

Public Utilities currently has 160 sample sites for the City of San Diego drinking water system and is required to test 85 sites per week. Temperature, chlorine and pH are measured on site, and then a sample is brought to a lab to test for the presence of the indicator bacteria coliform and E.coli. Coliform and the strains of E.coli tested serve as indicators of the presence of potentially harmful bacteria.

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Explore Parking Meter Transactions in 2015

The Office of the City Treasurer recently completed upgrading all on-street parking meters to SMART parking meters!

Our IPS meters provide us with real-time data in the back office, helping to streamline operations like coin collection and repairs. Our back office system also provides up-to-date transactional data, giving us additional insight into how effectively the meters are being used on-street.

As a result, we have been working with Maksim since he started with the City supporting the open data initiative to share this data with you!

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