Work, Work, Work and Open Data at the City of San Diego

Cities all around the world are starting to release their data in an effort to boost innovation and be more transparent. San Diego is one of those cities, the finest city in America.

Work, Work, Work and Open Data at the City of San Diego


For this article on data we're going to check out something I used to map public sentiment from the City of San Diego's open data portal (go check out their page on Medium). The hardworking folks of cities are out and about every day fixing things that inevitably break with thousands or millions of people going about their daily lives. From replacing burnt out street lights and filling potholes to clearing storm drains in the middle of the night during a rainstorm, all of it gets tracked somewhere.

The City of San Diego has been a leader in releasing its data to the public. Doing this can expose you up to more scrutiny from the public, but it can increase transparency, efficiency, and data quality. The City is building some great things built over at the Performance and Data Analytics Department. open data portal.

Data layers

There's a variety of data sets available, but I picked five to work with. Most were clipped to the central part of the City to reduce draw time and storage size. I pulled some metadata directly from the portal and added it the list below:

  • Transit Routes: Public transit routes covering the County of San Diego. Bus, commuter and light rail, and trolley routes managed by the San Diego County Metropolitan Transit System (SDMTS) and the North County Transit District (NCTD). This could be useful by using Census data to figure out how many people are being served by a particular route.
  • City Owned Property: You'd be suprised where the city owns property. The land that SDCCU Stadium, Petco Park, and Brown Field Airport are built is city owned. Go check out there real estate assets website if you want to see a full list.
  • Pavement OCI: The City performs street condition surveys and assigns an Overall Condition Index (OCI) number to each street. OCI is only one of many factors to determine the order of street repairs. OCI is not available for private or military roads or streets the City was unable to survey due to closures. OCI is simplified from a 100-point OCI rating system to three categories: Good, Fair, and Poor.
  • Get It Done Requests: Get It Done is the City's digital 311 system that can receive and manage requests directly from citizens. This data is useful in determining the workload of various departments and what the most common issues are in the City.
  • Resident Satisfaction: To promote a customer-focused culture, the City of San Diego conducted a Resident Satisfaction Survey in 2015. The survey assessed satisfaction with the delivery of City programs, services, and City staff and preferences about how City officials should prioritize programs and services. This is a dataset that could be combined with any of the others and allow specific questions to be asked, such as are people less satisfied with the City in areas with high Get It Done requests? You would think that's automatically the case, but things aren't so straightforward in cities.

The map

The map below

Shout out!

City of San Diego - Performance and Data Analytics (PandA)
Thanks to the team over at the department for making this article possible. This data is really making a difference and looking forward to the future!