May 2013
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Open Sheriff data goes viral

Sheriff_Data_ArcGISOnlineESRI 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 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.


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