Happy weekend! I’m Elizabeth DiLuzio, volunteer curator for AEA365. In honor of International Open Data Day on March 6th, I want to share some of my favorite open data sources with you. But first, let’s level set a moment.
What is Open Data?
According to Open Knowledge Foundation, open data is information that people are free to “access, use, modify, and share without any legal, technological, or social restriction”. While open data has existed for a long time, it’s only been within the past decade that we saw a global shift towards governments providing their data for free access, use, and sharing in an effort to foster better relationships with their constituents and to provide more transparent, interactive services. Today, nearly every major city in the United States has some sort of open data portal.
You can find a list of cities, states, and countries around the world with open data portals here.
Open Data Resources
Whether you want to learn more about Waco, TX or the country of Nepal, there’s almost certainly the data you’re seeking somewhere on the wild world wide web. You simply need to know where to look. Below I’ve listed my current open data favorites for global, US, and NY specific information. Don’t see yours listed below? Drop a comment and share it with us, or find us on the Evaluator’s Slack Channel.
- Our World in Data – My current favorite – a curation of global data from across the internet in one easy-to-use interface that includes raw data and aggregate visualizations
- World Bank Open Data – Data with a development spin
- Fragile States Index – An index that measures a country’s vulnerability
- World Health Organization Data – All things related to global health
- UNICEF Data – A go-to for data on the world’s young people
- Google Public Data – A list of top global data platforms, curated in a way that only Google can
- American FactFinder – The new website for the US Census. If their old website scared you away from using census data all together, I feel you. Give this one a try.
- Data.gov – Nearly 200,000 datasets about the US population from most of the major departments
- Pew Research Center – Your imagination is the limit when it comes to mining Pew’s annals
- National Centers for Environmental Information
- Kaggle – Another site that curates open data from across the web. Mostly US data, but it contains global data as well.
- If your state has an open data portal, you can find it at data.[your state’s abbreviation].gov
NEW YORK DATA (for my fellow New Yorkers)
- NYC Population FactFinder – Census data for NYC that’s far more accessible than the American FactFinder website. It has a map feature and lets you drill down to city blocks.
- NYC Open Data Portal – One of the heartiest open data portals in the US.
- NYS Open Data Portal
- Data2Go – An excellent curation of NYC data that offers maps and other aggregate visualizations
The American Evaluation Association is hosting Gov’t Eval TIG Week with our colleagues in the Government Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our Gov’t Eval TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators. The views and opinions expressed on the AEA365 blog are solely those of the original authors and other contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the American Evaluation Association, and/or any/all contributors to this site.