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Anchorage unveils data portal on crime, property, inspections and more

  • Author: Devin Kelly
  • Updated: February 9, 2017
  • Published February 8, 2017

Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz on Wednesday unveiled a new website to display the city's trove of public data, including crime rates, property information, restaurant and child care facility inspections and homeless counts.

The "open data portal," data.muni.org, reflects a national trend toward making government data publicly available.

Some examples of data on the new site: A bar graph showing a declining overall burglary rate in Anchorage from 1985 to 2014. An interactive map of child care facilities, where clicking a dot on a map displays inspections and other information. A log of restaurant inspections with scores, on a scale of zero to 100, and comments. An inventory of commercial properties.

Screenshot of a map on the Anchorage city portal. Each dot is a restaurant that’s been inspected.

Users can also download or export the information to make their own databases and create graphs or charts. Much of the data on the Anchorage website was already available online, but it was often buried or not easily accessible.

 The website is hosted by Socrata, a Seattle-based company that has also built data portals for larger U.S. cities, like Los Angeles and Philadelphia. 

Among the data listed for those two cities that does not appear on Anchorage's portal: the salaries and overtime for all city workers. City innovation officer Brendan Babb said no one has asked him to include that information.

Babb, who is overseeing the data project, said the portal is only in its early stages. He was working Wednesday to add the latest federal crime statistics to the site.

Babb said the data will be regularly updated and that new data sets will be added in the future. He said the city wants feedback from Anchorage residents on the types of data that should be available.

Do you see a story in your own exploration of the data? Email reporter Devin Kelly at dkelly@alaskadispatch.com.

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