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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