Pennsylvania’s Open Data Portal officially opened last week.
Users can find data on a variety of topics, including:
At this point, datasets are available from eight state departments, including the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Human Services. More datasets are on the way.
As I said earlier this year when Governor Tom Wolf announced the open data initiative, Pennsylvania’s embrace of open data will lead to exciting opportunities for taxpayers, academics, and businesses. Experience in other states and regions has proven that good things happen when the government provides open data — data that’s free to be downloaded, used, and redistributed — in a comprehensive, organized way.
I also hope the state’s open data portal will encourage more counties, school districts, and municipalities to take similar steps. Even if a local agency doesn’t have the resources to develop a full-blown open data portal, making more public information instantly available online has many benefits.