Sunday, August 7, 2011


Want to get started using open data from the city of Chicago and Cook County? The purpose of this blog is to help. There will be a series of examples that will provide simple instructions for different ways to access and use the data.

There are two sets of examples.
  1. Data visualization - Examples #1 - #8 cover how to use different tools to display data found in the city and county portals.  The intended audience is the new user just getting started with the portal and some typical tools.
  2. Code - Examples #9 - Example #23 cover how to access the data in the portals from a program.  The intended audience is the novice developer new to using a web API and the Socrata API (SODA). 

Material for each example:
  • Short blog entry describing the example along with a screen shot of the results.  Titled, "Example #n." Look through these to find examples of interest.
  • Video screencast showing the steps to take.  They will be on YouTube.  The Example blog entries for data visualizations will have a link.  Watch this to see the steps in action.
  • For examples that include publishing the results, a blog entry with the embedded results.  Titled, "Results #n."  This will give you an idea of what you could publish on your own web page.

Who is involved:
Civic Consulting Alliance arranged for this project.  One of the many pro-bono consulting projects they have created using talent and resources from their corporate partners to meet the needs of metro Chicago government.

City of Chicago Department of Innovation and Technology supports the data portal and supplies the city's data sets.

City of Chicago Chief Data Officer oversees the city's data sets that are released to the data portal.

Cook County Bureau of Technology supports the data portal and supplies the county's data set.

Cook County Chief Information Officer oversees the county's data sets that are release to the data portal.

Socrata supplies the platform used for the data portal.

IBM is CCA's partner for this project and is providing the pro-bono work for a set of open data examples.

Me, Stephen Newell, the IBM employee who is working with all of the above folks to create the examples.

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