About the Open Data Program

The Open Data Program makes the data generated by the City of Seattle openly available to the public for the purpose of increasing the quality of life for our residents; increasing transparency, accountability and comparability; promoting economic development and research; and improving internal performance management.

Specifically, the Open Data program seeks to:

  • Improve public understanding of City operations and other information concerning their communities.
  • Generate economic opportunity for individuals and companies that benefit from the knowledge created by Open Data.
  • Empower City employees to be more effective, better coordinated internally, and able to identify opportunities to better serve the public.
  • Encourage the development of innovative technology solutions that improve quality of life.

Open by Preference

Seattle data is now "Open by Preference". Learn how to access and use City data, and get involved in the City's civic technology community.

Seattle is home to an engaged, innovative public that strives to make the city a better place to live. As a City, we strive to make our data open to the public, enabling those outside of government to find solutions to our most pressing civic challenges.

Since the launch of the City’s open data program in 2010, more than 500 datasets have been made open, including several that are used by private companies, journalists, and community members. Open data also powers tools hosted on the City’s website such as Open BudgetPerformance Seattle, the Police Department’s Neighborhood Crime Map, and the Department of Transportation’s Capital Projects Explorer.

In February 2016, Mayor Murray signed an Executive Order directing all City data to be "open by preference," meaning City departments should make their data accessible to the public after screening for privacy, security, and quality considerations. This policy is the result of a collaboration between the City of Seattle, the University of Washington, and the Sunlight Foundation through Bloomberg Philanthropies' national What Works Cities initiative.

Beyond Tabular Data

When people think of data, they often think of rows and columns arranged in a table, like a spreadsheet or database. However, tabular data doesn't always tell the whole story!

While the City strives to expand and improve the tabular dataset inventory available at https://data.seattle.gov, we are also proud leaders of a nationwide evolution of open data to “go beyond tabular data”. This means a new and growing emphasis of the City’s Open Data program is to provide data consumers with meaningful context, a greater variety of data formats, and ultimately striving to provide a single front door where data consumers can be confident that multiple formats and varieties of data are discoverable through the data.seattle.gov open data portal.

One example of our efforts to go “beyond tabular” is the Open Data Program’s recent launch of a public Tableau site where City Departments can publish rich dashboards and visualizations built on the Tableau platform. Another example of our “beyond tabular” effort is a recent partnership with the Seattle GIS team to link open GIS datasets from the open data portal at https://data.seattle.gov. Now data consumers can use data.seattle.gov to discover not only tabular datasets, but rich maps and visualizations that help ensure rows and columns of data have a 'place', or tell a meaningful story.

Information Technology

Rob Lloyd, Interim Chief Technology Officer
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2700, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94709, Seattle, WA, 98124-4709
Phone: (206) 684-0600
Phone Alt: Cable TV & Internet Discount Information: (206) 684-8498

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