Data geeks are stoked. That’s because the city of San Diego just launched its new open data portal. The site provides access to 44 different data sets that people can play with, including information about solar panel permits, street sweeping schedules, water-quality testing results, parking meter stats and more.

“And this is just the beginning,” said Almis Udrys, the director of performance and analytics for the city of San Diego.

Udrys joined hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts this week to talk about the new portal and the opportunities it affords residents, software developers who might use the data to create useful apps and city staff, which now has a more efficient way to access information and put it to use.

Udrys said the site is more accessible than similar municipal portals across the country.

“What we want to do that’s a little bit different than some other portals you might see out there is we want to actually understand all the data we’re publishing,” he said. “We don’t just want to take a dump from every department, put it out there and [make it] a free-for-all that could be wrong.”

He said his team understands the data and is ready to answer any questions that come up.

We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?

Also on this week’s podcast, the story behind McKinley Elementary‘s turnaround and the role money and parents have played, what voters seem to want when it comes to cash for the Chargers’ convadium, some thoughts on the revived Balboa Park plan and its relationship to parking and more.

Hero of the Week

Rep. Scott Peters took the shortest path to our heart by letting his wonk flag fly, and made a recommendation of “The High Cost of Free Parking” by Donald Shoup. It’s always refreshing to see elected officials who are boned up on the latest and greatest in urban planning theory.

Goat of the Week

VOSD has been doing some work on sea-level rise. The latest story is on Coronado, a city whose leadership acknowledges that rising waters could be a big problem but admits that it’s yet to address the issue.

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    Written by Kinsee Morlan

    Kinsee Morlan is the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She works to expand our reach and helps community members write op-eds. She also manages VOSD’s podcasts and covers the arts, culture, land use and entrepreneurs. Contact her directly at Follow her on Facebook or Twitter. Subscribe to her podcast.

    Reid Carr
    Reid Carr subscribermember

    Open data is a great catalyst to interesting solutions and conversations. Great news that this is finally a permanent position and perspective.

    La Playa Heritage
    La Playa Heritage subscribermember

    Big Data requires Comprehensive Data Sets.  

    If important/significant parts of the Data Set are missing, then the analysis is incomplete, results should not be used. 

    The solution is to Only analyze Full Comprehensive Data Sets.  Without Political manuvering.  Let the numbers tell the story. 

    Example 1:  2015 Resident Satisfaction Survey Results, March 8, 2016 Item-330. 

    Although Many San Diegoans stated that Homelessness was their Number 1 Civic Concern, Mayor Faulconer's 2015 Residential Satisfaction Survey Results, basically ignored everyone's Homeless concerns, then discarded the outlaying negative data point for Homeless Satisfaction.  See Pages 8, 38, 39, 49.

    -61% of San Diegans were Not Satisfied with Mayor Faulconer's and the City Council's Lack of Actions and Solutions on Homeless Issues.  -61% = F = Failure.

    By purposely excluding Homeless issues from the Full Data Set, +47% of San Diego Citizens were "Very Satisfied" with City staff performance. Not sure what the percentage results would be if the Negative Homeless number were included in the Full Data Set.