PITTSBURGH, PA – Furthering its commitment to transparency and open data, the City of Pittsburgh on Oct. 31 unveiled Burgh’s Eye View, a new mobile web application giving residents instant visual access to important neighborhood data.
This mobile web application will allow citizens, for the first time, to gain visual insight into a wide range of data including incidents of crime and other public safety data, building permits and code violations, and “311” service requests.
“Transparency and openness are essential to ensuring a responsive City government and thriving neighborhoods,” said Mayor William Peduto. “Burgh’s Eye View brings that transparency directly to the citizens of Pittsburgh, and more importantly transforms the experience of open government – by making it truly accessible to everyone.”
Built by the Department of Innovation & Performance’s Analytics and Strategy team, Burgh’s Eye View is designed to become a one stop shop” for residents and community groups to access and view city data. With a simple search bar, a map that responds and updates as you choose the data you want to see, and a mobile layout for use on smartphones, the application is designed to reduce technological barriers to accessing and making sense of city and neighborhood data.
“Burgh’s Eye View is proof of City’s commitment to open data,” said Chief of Innovation and Performance Debra Lam. “We hope that making this information available and widely accessible not only increases government accountability but enables residents and community groups to contribute to effecting change at the neighborhood level. This is another testament to Pittsburgh’s inclusive innovation.”
To assist residents in engaging with their neighborhoods, the following data sets are currently available on the Burgh’s Eye View map. To ensure residents’ privacy, certain types of data – such as the locations of arrests – have been generalized to the block or neighborhood level:
- Incidents of crime
- Non-traffic citations
311 Requests: All requests by type, including:
- Broken sidewalks
- Excessive noise
- Snow/ice removal
The application is populated with data the City supplies nightly to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center (WPRDC) and relevant data sets can be exported directly from the application as well as the WPRDC website.
“Burgh’s Eye View is built on City’s solid open data foundation,” said Analytics & Strategy Manager Laura Meixell. “I’m proud of our team’s ongoing work with residents and community groups to gauge how publicly available information can be of best use, and respond to neighborhood needs. We’re looking forward to increasing the number of data sets available and continuing to thoughtfully build tools for residents and City departments.”
Updates to Burgh’s Eye View are planned as the City continues to increase the amount and variety of data it publishes. The Analytics & Strategy team is currently working with the City’s Finance Department to create an internal version of the application for its own use, and to consider which data it might make public to best serve residents.
The application was built internally by the Analytics & Strategy team and has no cost.
The Analytics and Strategy team will also “open source” the application in the coming weeks, ensuring that the code used to build Burgh’s Eye View can be used and modified by other cities looking to provide a similar tool for their residents. This positions Pittsburgh as a leader in inclusive approaches to the use of open data.
Burgh’s Eye View is part of a larger suite of maps built for City departments (Police, Fire, Public Works, PLI) and City Council, which have been in use for nearly a year. This and other projects continue to deepen the City’s commitment to transparency and accountability through the thoughtful use of the data that increasingly powers City services.
The debut of the new application builds upon work by the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, and follows such other efforts to make City operations more accessible and transparent to residents as: the Snow Plow Tracker; building inspection information via Buildingeye; the mobile 311 application MyBurgh; public input into the City’s new homepage at Pittsburgh Alpha; the Transparency Portal; Citiparks online facility reservations; online business opportunities via Beacon; and the Police Data Initiative.