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District of Columbia Launches New Data Visualization Tools


 

Media Contact: Ayanna Smith, (202) 724-5178

(Washington, DC) The District of Columbia’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) today announced a new addition to its Internet government data site, data.dc.gov. The District now uses visualization tools to present the data in a myriad of ways—charts, graphs, maps and more.

The new data visualizations are the latest in a series of data transparency initiatives OCTO has launched during the past two years. OCTO’s data websites and data catalogs (data.dc.gov and dps.dc.gov) opened vast arrays of District data to public view—a total of 405 datasets on subjects ranging from crime to building permits to historic sites to procurement. OCTO’s two “Apps for Democracy” contests invited the developer community—and the public at large—to compete for prizes by developing new software applications to make the data more accessible and useful for the public. OCTO’s App Store, launched this summer, collected these and other useful applications in a single online emporium at http://apps.dc.gov/.

However, the public demanded more—tools and methods to “do it yourself” by presenting the data in new ways. OCTO created the new visualizations to meet this need by linking to free tools available to all.

Now, visitors to data.dc.gov can choose from a wide array of tools to view and present District government data. For example, users can choose among interactive graphs and charts, reports, spreadsheets and maps. They can find business analysis tools to perform their own data analysis. Visitors can also find this data through the Digital Public Square. When they have finished their work, they can place it on their own, or other, websites and even start online discussions on the data and visualizations.

And it’s all open to everyone, completely free of charge.

The site offers tips on how users can create their own data visualizations with the tools, along with samples of successful visualizations. Some samples and the datasets used include:

More is still to come. In the coming weeks OCTO will offer additional exciting tools the public can use to view, analyze, present and manipulate District government data. The ultimate goal is to make it as easy and fun as possible for the public to understand how government works and participate more directly in the government of their communities.

“Our new visualizations are just some of the tools people can use to understand government information better,” said District Acting Chief Technology Officer Bryan Sivak. We invite everyone to try these exciting free tools—or others of their own choosing--to slice and dice government data in brand-new ways. And stay tuned for more as we continue delivering innovative technology solutions to make government more efficient, effective, and transparent for all”