The Registrar/Recorder County Clerk (RRCC) is working to transition the County’s main street centerline dataset from the licensed Thomas Brothers files to the Census Bureau’s TIGER file. “Owning” the data will support collaboration and distribution.
The last phase of this, and a complex one, is reviewing a set of potential false matches (where we find an address but it is in the wrong place). To get more background, see this post on using GIS to improve addresses. Once complete, we will be loading the street centerlines into the editing environment.
I wanted to pass the LARIAC 3 Project completion letter along. Especially with the recent passing of Milan Svitek, who helped initiate this program, the timing is right to showcase the value of collaboration across the County.
Earlier today, President Obama signed an Executive Order making open and machine readable data the new default for Government information. The White House simultaneously released the accompanying Open Data Policy.
ESRI has published a how-to guide on building web maps showing Sheriff Crime data with ArcGIS Online: read the post here
The reason this post hit me was not so much for the fact that it uses LA County data, which is great, or the fact that our Sheriff department shares this data (which is even better – kudos to Wendy Harn!!!) – but that it shows the value of making our data open, updated, and easy to find! This increases access to developers, who can make the data more visible to citizens, improving their understanding about what goes on around them, and potentially improving their lives.
What sparked this “epiphany” was this little banner on the top:
As of April 30th (8 days after the post):
52 people had shared this on Facebook (this goes into their timeline)
120 people had shared this on Twitter
200 people had shared this via Tumblr.
372 total shares.
Well – 372 folks doesn’t seem like much, until you realize that means that this has been shared with ALL of their friends and followers – so we may be talking about thousands of other people. Each one of them can backtrack to both the ESRI post, as well as the LA County GIS Data Portal. So they may end up using the instructions to create their own maps and applications, learning both about GIS, crime, and analysis, but maybe finding other data that they have interest in, and can work with.
Maybe one of them will build an application like crimemapping.com that does some neat analysis (supported by the Sheriff and other police departments), combined with other data that we have, to do some neat work.
You can interact with the data directly in the portal – you can zoom around, and using the Fusion Tables you can interact with the data right away inside of the site. Right now that is the one thing I want to be able to do within WordPress – allow users to play with the data before they download (our GIS Viewer (http://gis.lacounty.gov/gisviewer) is a place to do this, but there is a lot of manual work to get data in there.
The styling is nice and streamlined.
What I don’t like about using Fusion Tables
You cannot download the data – you can only access via the Google API. This “walled” garden approach does not unlock the data for public use, it limits what can be done with it. This appears to be a setting within the Fusion Tables that Palo Alto didn’t enable, so it is available.
KML is not a GIS format – there is no topography. Even if I could get to the KML, I am not going to use Google Earth to do any real analysis – I would need to convert to a shapefile.
The data symbolization is very generic – you don’t know what it means – we use ArcGIS layer files to provide labelling and symbolization guidelines where they are needed.
The interactivity is pretty limited – but that’s a minor issue.
There is no search tool. Right now there are 6 datasets – what happens when there are more than 50? We in LA County are tracking over 400 datasets, and we organize them by theme, source, etc.
211 is both a phone number and a GIS dataset. In LA County, you can dial 2-1-1 to get information about non-emergency services. These services are stored in a database which is therefore a valuable research tool.
This link between 211 and UCLA is a good one – it will be interesting to see the results.
From the press release:
Today, 211 LA, the largest non-profit community information and referral service in the nation, announced a new partnership with the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. This new partnership provides mutual benefits—linking UCLA researchers with information about population health needs for the county’s most vulnerable residents while providing 211 LA with more effective data collection strategies and more efficient screening and evaluation tools. Each year 211 LA fields approximately 500,000 calls, linking Los Angeles’ most vulnerable families and individuals to vital community resources to provide health care, child care, prenatal care and access to food and shelter, among other services.
Congratulations to Scott Gregory (GIO of California) and his team – it’s a great start!
My quick take:
The sound clips talk a lot about mobile apps – looking forward to what that means
I really like the application carousel – it’s a pretty cool interface – but it doesn’t work in Google Chrome.
My favorite map could be the Parcel Viewer – but it isn’t working.
The Viewer leaves a lot to be desired – throwing data on a map without any tools that provide context doesn’t help too much. I think that Philadelphia’s map viewer is a bit closer to what we need – where you can switch between maps. But on that map, too there aren’t tools that let you interact with the information in a way that is specific to each map.
If this portal is for California, why is there Oregon data there?
Under the gallery, the organization by theme is really cool, but some of the links are just PDFs – don’t know if that is really what we need. BUT as this part fills out I look forward to it – I just hope that the search capabilities are robust enough to clear out clutter.
For LAR-IAC members, Pictomery has released its ArcMap extensions that will enable you to access the oblique imagery using ArcMap. With the County moving away from locally hosted data (Network Image Warehouse – NIW) toward Pictometry Online, this is a critical enhancement to the suite of tools used to access oblique imagery.
Note – you will need your LAR-IAC organization or sub-organization username and login to access POL.