sunet_idEntity TypeEntity NameOfficial custodianVendorProduct NameOfficial purposeCollection frequencyUpdate frequencyinterest_levelWhy is this interesting to journalists?Examples of other stories/records requests that refer/rely on similar database/datasetDirect URL to official data/homepage (if exists)
dunCity/TownEast Palo AltoRent StabilizationCity of Redwood CityCustomer Information SystemCustom database program created by RWC IT to manage Rent Stabilization Program functionsAs neededAs needed7Housing availability and rent prices is a major topic in the Bay Area. This database may contain property-specific data, which we can then aggregate to find scope/frequency of rent-controlled properties (average price control, number of properties, change over years, etc)
The LA Times wrote a story looking at how inventory of rent-controlled apartments was decreasing, and how more rent-controoled apartments were being demlished. The produced a data viz and analysis using data from the LA Housing and Community Investment Department.

Trulia used city assessor data and their own real estate price database to calculate/explain the differences between how NYC and SF handle rent-control
dunCountySan FranciscoGSA-Public Works??enCampTracking homeless encampment location and timeframes.????10This is the data system San Francisco uses to log known homeless encampments, as well as official city activity (such as inspections and violation findings). Note that it is different than other homeless encampment data that is based off of 311 calls, i.e. encampments noticed by the public and called in:
Parker Higgins and prevous Stanford Journalism class make a request:

NYT wrote a story about tent cities in San Francisco but doesn't seem torefer to data about encampments

Story and map from Peninsula Press, which also uses 311 data:
cegerstrCityMalibuAdministrative Services DepartmentStone Environmental Inc.IWIMSEnvironmental Health Document DatabaseDailyDaily7Environmental health and coastal health are major topics, particularly because of the effects of climate change. The database can contain data that will indicate changes over time and whether these are related to pollution, the warming of the ocean or/and sea level rise.
cegerstrCityOaklandFire DepartmentOneStepOneStepFire Prevention Bureau Permit and Inspection TrackingDailyDaily8This may contain information that shows whether fire regulations are being followed. It can show if permits are being given without the required inspection and could show the general fire hazard of living in buildings in Oakland.
cegerstrCityOaklandFire DepartmentKronosTeleStaffWorkforce ManagementDailyDaily9Contains information on timekeeping, scheduling and notifications for emergency services personnel. The data may be able to show the chain of events that occurs in emergency situations and whether emergency responses are efficient and organized. It can show the time it takes to respond, the level of coordination between different emergency agencies, and how quicklly emergency personnel are notified.
cegerstrCityPittsburgHousingHappyHappyAffordable Housing managementDailyDaily9The data can show the proportion of Pittsburg that is considered to have affordable housing and whether what they have deemed as affordable is actually affordable to low income residents. The data can also show whether Pittsburg is like other cities in the Bay Area that are seeing increses in housing costs. If the data shows that Pittsburg has a higher proportion of affordable housing than other cities in the Bay Area this could also be indicative of the level and type of economic activity in the area, which could also be indicative of population movements withing California.
cegerstrCityPittsburgPWCartegraphCartegraphUtility MaintenanceDailyDaily7This data could show how well utilities are being maintained in the city and whether there are utilities that have been neglected. If there are neglected utilities, the data could also indicate potential problems that the city has been complaining about. The data could also show positive things. It might reveal that the city of Pittsburg is very well maintained compared to other cities in California with similar budgets and populations.
cegerstrCitySanta MonicaTransitTrapezeTrapezeTransportation Management SystemDailyDaily6The data may show traffic information and public transport routes. This could be used to show the convenience or lack of convenience of using public transportation. It could also show wheter different public transportation routes are overlapping and whether there are areas of the city that are inaccessible by public transportation. Data can also show whether the city has the infrastructure for biking and walking.
cegerstrCityVallejoPolice DepartmentTaserEvidence.ComVideo evidence storage for Taser Body camerasDailyDaily8Data can show when and on whom police are using tasers. It could also show whether there have been any deaths because of the use of tasers on suspects and what situations were prompting the use of tasers.
cegerstrCity VallejoPolice DepartmentEvidence ON QEvidence ON QCrime Evidence Management SystemDailyDaily8The database can show crime statistics for Vallejo which can be used to figure out what the most common crimes are, how much crime is happening, how many arrests are being made and for what and whether crime has increased or decreased.
cegerstrTownLos GatosPolice DepartmentTritechPolice CAD/RMS SystemPolice computer aided dispatch, records management, field reportingDailyDaily7Data can show if computer aided dispatch is working properly. Are officers reponding quickly to situations? Are response times faster when there is computer aided dispatch? How often does the system crash?
cegerstrCountyNapaHealth and Human ServicesCerner AnasaziMental Health and Substance Abuse Case ManagementDailyDaily9The database could have information on whether Napa has adequate mental health services for the communities. It could also show whether mental health services have improved or worsened over the years and what this might say of Napa and of more general societal trends in California and the United States. Given the nature of the information in the database, trying to access the data could be useful to see if privacy rights are being respected. It could also be an interesting case study of how private information is being used. The data can also show who in the population has the greates need for mental health services.
acscruzCityIrvineCommunity ServicesHLP Inc.ChameleonAnimal Shelter Case managementDailyDaily8This contains animal profiles, shelter team and veterinary information, treatment records, inventory information and payment transactions. The data would be helpful in stories about animal shelters and whether the numbers of displaced pets are increasing or decreasing.A local story on someone who worked in an animal shelter, and how many animals were taken care of:

Investigation of an Associated Humane Societies Animnal Shelter in New Jersey:

Story on the Irvine animal shelter:
acscruzCityLos BanosCommunity & Economic DevelopmentEsriArcGISGeographic Information System (GIS)QuarterlyQuarterly7This includes addresses, general plan for land use, zoning land use and parcel data. I would think this would be useful in identifying whether the city has been sticking to its original land use and zoning plans or not, and see whether this has made an impact on the city. Sage-grouse habitat being openued up to mining... arguments for and against based on land management plans:

Land use plans used to improve parking:
acscruzCitySan MateoFire DepartmentTyler TechnologiesFire CAD (dispatch)Fire computer-aided dispatch softwareDailyDaily8Although the drought is coming to an end (I think), fires could still happen. The database could help journalists see where most fires start, and whether these incidents threaten other areas or not. Fire database program blamed for the failure to followup on flagged inspections by fire department:
acscruzCitySan MateoCommunity DevelopmentGranicusHomeKeeperTracks first time home buyer loan information and demographics8It would be interesting to see trends in in the housing market, especially first time home buyers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Who can afford to take out loans to buy their first homes, especially now when housing prices are way up? LA Times on first time home buyers:
acscruzCitySan MateoPublic WorksPOSM SoftwarePOSMSewer inspection video indexing, reportingAnnuallyAnnually7The condition of sewers could influence the waste processing and also play a role in water management in the city. They might also contribute to flooding, if they are not in good condition. When it rains, sewage gushes into Niagara River:
acscruzCityAnaheimCity AdministrationIn-house/GoGovAppsMyAnaheimMobile app for iPhone and Android devices that allows residents to report graffiti and other problems to the cityDailyDaily6Many people deem graffiti as vandalism and a crime, however there are people who also see it as art. This shift in thinking would be interesting to look at, from an art journalist's point of view. Graffiti complaints in NY rising?:
acscruzCityAnaheimPublic WorksIn-houseAQMDSCAQMD annual survey (commute survey)AnnuallyAnnually7Air quality affects not only people's healths, but also properties. Many people are concerned about air pollution and how it could increase the chance of contracting cancer. In addition, emissions could also contribute to climate change. Even toxics control successes can leave affected Southern California neighborhoods on edge:

Stench reports spike in Huntington Beach and Seal Beach: (website was down when I tried it)
acscruzCityWoodlandPublic Works
Infrastructure Technologies
I.T. PipesUnderground pipeline inspection systemDailyDaily6Pipelines provide people with the needed gas and electricity, however without regular inspection, these could also lead to fires and explosions. Pipeline data could show whether inspections are held regularly and whether these are still in good condition. Pipeline agency fails to explain how it assesses risk, prioritizes inspections:

Enbridge pipeline:
acscruzCityCarmel by the SeaPublic SafetyTracNetTracNetPolice computer aided dispatch, records management, field reporting, jail, property and evidence, and crime analysis systemsDailyDaily7From a journalist's point of view, crime would be an interesting subject to tackle just because it is universal. What would vary from city to city would be the trends in crimes committed. New FBI crime data takes search for solutions to the state, local level:

Medicaid Expansion Tied to Reduction in Crime:
acscruzCityRohnert ParkPublic SafetyCrossroads Software, IncCrossroadsAccident investigation softwareAs neededAs needed5Accidents, especially those involving vehicles, are often a matter of public safety. If a certain junction/crossroad causes more accidents than others, then it would be a cause for concern (and one more story a journalist can write about).
jmbottsCityAzusaLight & Water DepartmentITRONMVRS/MV‐90Meter ReadDailyDaily5Azusa is located in the San Gabriel Valley in LA County, which was seriously impacted by the California drought between 2013-2016. A database of meter readings by parcel will reveal the biggest users of water and electricity in Azusa over time, which could contribute to greater accountability.

It would also be interesting to see how people changed their water usage overtime as a reaction to lived drought experience, declarations of drought, local regulations, and/or conservation campaigns. Light and electricity could be similarly revealing.
jmbottsCitySanta BarbaraFire XeroxFireHouseFire Incident TrackingDailyDaily6Santa Barbara has an annual fire season, and nearly every year, hundreds of families are evacuated. Recently, it seems, they've been getting more intense and dangerous, fed by dried out brush. Can we confirm this trend? How many are caused by arsen?
jmbottsCitySanta BarbaraAgriculture DepartmentMS AccessAccess DBCollect Crop StatisticsOn DemandAnnually 4By tracking which crops farmers are choosing to plant and how much, we may be able to understand how issues like subsidies, climate change, demand, or politics are affecting local production. For example, how many more acres of marijuana will we see between 2017 and 2018? (published crop stat report, rather than a database)
jmbottsCitySanta BarbaraDept. of Pesticide
Regulations, State of CA
Calico Calagpermits.orgIssuing pesticide permits DailyDaily7Certain pesticides are known to cause severe health issues to certain populations, while others are considered relatively harmless. It's in the public interest to track where different pesticides are being permitted and what populations (i.e. workers, schoolchildren, senior home) might be exposed.Couldn't find any
jmbottsCitySanta BarbaraPublic WorksIn HouseGBP (Green Business Program)Track applicants for Green Biz Certification MonthlyMonthly4Many in Santa Barbara dream of expanding the green economy, especially in partnership with UCSB. How many businesses are seeking green certification in Santa Barbara? Is Santa Barbara on track, behind, or ahead of the curve compared to California? The US?- this story tracks green houses and LEED certs:
jmbottsCityPalo AltoDevelopment Services
Open Counter Enterprises
Open Counter
"This is an online tool to register local businesses and prepare for the permitting stage of the start-up process"
As neededAs needed4It would be interesting to track which new start-ups are in the permitting process in Palo Alto, and how the numbers and types of start-ups have changed in the past decade. How do current events/political issues relate to trends in start-up types?
jmbottsCitySan JoseInformation Technology / Contact CenterOracle
ACE CRM Customer Relationship Management
"Customer Relationship Management System for residents to request city
services such as billing, graffiti removal, illegal dumping, abandoned
vehicle, potholes, streetlight outages, and general requests."
Real TimeReal time4Illegal dumping can cause environmental and health issues. I hypothesize that most illegal dumping happens in poorer neighborhoods or remote areas. Where is illegal dumping happening, what is the nature of what's being dumped, and who might be most impacted due to proximity? interesting!
jmbottsCitySan JoseDepartment of TransportationPTV groupTraffix DatabaseRecords intersection level of service based on traffic volume inputVaries, as neededVaries, as needed3Which intersections are experiencing the most congestion during rush hours? How does this correlate with accidents at those intersections. It is in the public's interest to understand where poor intersection design or changing traffic patterns (i.e. more Uber/Lyft-type services) are increasing the likelihood of an accident
jmbottsCitySan JoseParks, Recreation, and Neighborhood ServiceGraffiti Protective Coatings, App-OrderSan Jose Clean App / GPC Work Order System"The system serves as the mobile enterprise that is used to manage the City
of San Jose's Anti-Graffiti Program. The system serves as a mobile
application that allows residents to report graffiti and as the work order
system that manages both the internally generated graffiti work orders and
those that are reported by the public."
DailyDaily7"From some perspectives, grafitti is a proxy for crime, unrest or gang activity.. For others, it is artisic expression or a political act of resistance or reclamation. How often is grafitti being reported in San Jose, what kind of grafitti, where, and by who?

Also, hateful vandalism is increasingly appearing as a form of hate speech. Has there been a notable trend in hate speech vandalism in San Jose?"
jmbottsCityOaklandHuman ServicesData Quest - StateData questMeal enrollment tracking for free and reduced cost mealsDailyDaily6Enrollment in free and reduced-cost meals serves as a good proxy for income-level for a student's family. How many are enrollled in Oakland and what schools do they attend? If the data is available, what is the race/ethnicity breakdown and how does that compare accross skills? If there are discreptancies in the number of low-income individuals and the number enrolled, what causes that discreptancy?
dfreedCity/TownBerkeleyPolice DepartmentLexisNexisCopLogicOnline police reporting systems for automated crash and incident reporting.DailyDaily3How are individuals filing police reports independently? Are the reports primarily used for traffic incidents, or are more serious crimes being reported independently? How do self-reported crimes differ from police-reported crimes? Is the system being abused?
dfreedCity/TownBurlingamePublic WorksIncompliCloudCompliManagement of storm water complianceAs neededAs needed6As CloudCompli dashboard-izes data like inspections, sampling, investigations, etc. related to stormwater compliance, claiming to reduce environemntal impact of sites, this raises a few questions. How can automated environmental tools decrease a city's footprint? Does this software only prevent time-consuming errands associated with parsing and managing all the compliance data, or does it proactively make suggestions to be more green and steer cities in the right way? How much does it cost, and what does it provide that is more significant than the traditional ways of monitoring stormwater compliance?

(not really anything out there yet in the news sense. Must be a relatively new company)
dfreedCity/TownLos Altos HillsCity ClerkGranicusGranicusProvide web-based videos of City Council meetings and Planning Commission MeetingsMonthlyMonthly5What does this service entail and what conditions fostered to need to record city council meetings? How effectively are residents utilizing this service? How has the recording of city council meetings altered the behavior of the city officials / other actors?
dfreedCity/TownLos Altos HillsPublic Works / West Bay Sanitary DistrictESRIArcViewGeographical sewer infrastructure dataMonthlyQuarterly5How is sewer data used to inform various decisions by the city? How effectively are the sewers routed? How does the sewer infrastructure for a high-end city like Los Altos compare to that for a less economically prosperous city? The raw data could yield pleasant or interesting visualizations around human waste and its environmental impact.N/A
dfreedOtherSanta Clara Valley Transporation AuthorityOperationsTrapeze OperationsTrapezeCovers operator timekeeping, bus status, reporting and analyticsReal TimeAs data is collected7Public transportation is a topic of great interest in Silicon Valley. Accessing time tables for the light rail and busses and evaluating how effective / ineffective they are at transporting commuters could make an interesting data story. What other public transit systems would help the area? In what ways are people utilizing the services? How much volume flows through lightrail vs busses vs cars?N/A
dfreedOtherSanta Clara Valley Transporation AuthorityOperationsTVM - Functioning systemVentekA functioning ticket vending machine used at VTA Light Rail stationsReal TimeAs data is collected7How often do people attempt to buy a ticket and then withdraw because of price? How have the prices changed over the years? How many tickets are purchased each day and how has this trend changed over time? Is there a way to see how many people ride without a ticket, risking citation?N/A
dfreedCity/TownMountain ViewCommunity ServicesEZLinksEZLinksGolf T-Sheet and POSDailyDaily6Shoreline Golf Links is a public golf course in Mountain View that charges membership fees. It would be interesting to look into how the city profits from having its own golf course, and if a course that costs for game-time is truly public. What other public city golf courses are there in the area? How do their costs differ from privately owned golf links? To what extent is the EZLinks software used by cities / counties and private corporations?
dfreedCity/TownMountain ViewITGoogleGSASearch Engine9What exclusive services does Google provide the city of Mountain View that are not available to the general public? What is the nature of Google's relationship with the city, and has Google received any benefits as a result in construction, development/infrastructure, or experimental technologies like self-driving cars?
dfreedCity/TownSanta ClaraCommunity DevelopmentAccela, Inc.TidemarkCommunity Development department collects customers address, and building permits. Fees.As neededAs needed7How can a private company be trusted to handle sensitive information like customers' addresses and building permits? What other technologies does Accela offer to cities, and to how many cities does Accela provide services? How secure is their infrastructure? What would happen in the event of a data breach?

Accela was just recently acquired by Berkshire Partners. How can we trust a company's aquirers to preserve the integrity of the data and not use private individuals' information for private purposes? How can we ensure residential information will not be sold to private parties for profit?
dfreedCity/TownSaratogaCity Manager's OfficeConstant ContactConstant ContactEmail marketing systemAs neededAs needed5What business does a city manager have using email marketing software? In what ways are email marketing campaigns used in the city of Saratoga? How do locals feel about emails, assuming they are the individuals targeted? Is any information used to target emails to individuals for promotional purposes?It's hard to find any news stories linking Constant Contact to city or government use
Bay Area Water Supply & Conservation Agency
Water ResourcesWater SmartWater Smart SoftwareCustomer Water Use Reports and Account DataDailyDaily6
While some of the individual data might be redacted, it would be interesting to find out: Who are the top users (both household and businesses) of water in the Bay Area? Which cities or industries complied with water conservation laws during the drought, and who didn't? Comparisons over time and across geographies within the Bay Area would be interesting to investigate. It would also be valuable to see how government offices compared to private companies or individual residences in their water savings -- did the government practice what it preached during the drought?
San Diego Tribune did a "top water users unmasked" story:
isalianCountyCounty of San MateoACREHomegrownElection Day Issue Tracking SystemThe Election Day Issue Tracking System is a database with a web interface that allows staff in the Election Day Call Center (EDCC) to track and escalate issues that field personnel have called in to report.Continuous during electionsContinuous during elections8Since election hacking has been a subject of interest since the 2016 election, it would be interesting to do a county by county analysis of election machine issues that came up during the 2016 elections. Though this would likely not be the only place voting issues would be recorded, it would be a good place to start if data from multiple counties across the country were gathered and analyzed. In isolation, the San Mateo County data is probably not going to be particularly interesting, but it may be interesting if a pattern emerged.ProPublica tracked such issues through its Electionland project: n/a
isalianCountyCounty of San MateoACRESouthtechFictitious Business NameOnline application that allows County citizens to search and/or register a Fictitious Business Namedailydaily5San Mateo County contains many cities well-known for its startups, venture capital firms and entrepreneurs. Taking a look at what some of the fake businesses trying to operate in the County would make for a fun feature on the kinds of things people are able to get away with when people are constantly believing and funding crazy businss ideas. This might lead to uncovering a company that spammed many innocent people, but even if it didn't it would still be fun to look at.Found a story about someone pretending to be a government collector of fake business information who actually wasn't, but no stories using this dataset per se:
You can search the database but can't view it all at the same time:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa CruzProbationInhouseCase Management
Adult pretrial information: Booking, sentencing of offenders, supervision of offenders
DailyAs needed6Data on booking, sentencing and supervising offenders in the criminal justice system is extremely relevant in the midst of the national conversation criminal justice reform. This data could be used to find patterns of treatment and see if there are any discrepancies with booking/sentencing based on the demogrpahics of the offenders. I don't know if Santa Cruz County in particular has a problem, but it would still be worth investigating for a beat reporter in that area.Pacific Standard magazine is one of many outlets that has investigated arrest record data correlated with race/income: and Peni Press alum Farida Romero investigated traffic stop data from Menlo Park and found signs of discrimination:
Arrest logs: and monthly reports, but not the raw data from this dataset:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraHealth and Hospital SystemNetsmartAvatarMethadone dispensing systemDailyDaily8This seems to be data on how much methadone (an opioid) is dispensed to hospital patients in Santa Clara COunty. This would fit nicely into an opioid epidemic story if a journalist were looking into which hospitals or doctors overprescribe or how certain opioids are abused more than others. An article from some kind of healthcare media site discussing opioid prescription data and recommending more such public health data is collected: and an article about a different data collection system in Indiana: n/a
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraHealth and Hospital SystemJohns Hopkins UniversityESSENCE
The Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics (ESSENCE) is a syndromic surveillance system for capturing and analyzing public health indicators for early detection of disease outbreaks.
DailyDaily7This data would only be interesting in the event of a sudden outbreak of disease. A journalist would have the potential to break a story on underreported illnesses or use this dataset to get hard numbers in the event of an outbreak. While individual informaiton would not be released, it would provide a list of hospitals and treatment facilities to target when looking for sources to speak with.This SJ Merc story refers to a county database, but they don't seem to have the data themselves:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraHealth and Hospital System
Partner's, Inc
Web-IZ is a web-based system used to track smallpox vaccinations, dressings and results of the vaccination. The system is able to track mass prophylaxis.
PeriodicPeriodic6Vaccinations are a big issue as many parents are opting out of vaccinating their children. This dataset, once redacted of personally identifiable information, would help journalist see whether rates are declining and, if so, where. Are there geographic, religious or socioeconomic differences?SF Chronicle story about vaccination rates going up after a law passing:
Aggregate, but not raw data:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraSocial Services AgencySSASIUFraud investigation trackingDailyDaily7It would be interesting to look intro fraudsters to see what kinds of frauds are most common and why. Are any particularly prevalent in Santa Clara County versus other counties? Is there any difference in who they tend to target?In light of all the recent hacks like Equifax a lot has been done about fraud but not with local data -- see this story from Yahoo finance:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraSocial Services AgencySSAVACSDebt (overpayments) collectionDailyDaily6While it's probably not likely that the state would hand over the actual information on who the debtors are, it would be interesting to find out what the biggest debts owed to the county are and any other demographic details about who owes and why they aren't paying up.There's been a lot of great coverage with people who get too many traffic tickets to drive because they owe the county too much money. This is just one example:
isalianCountyCounty of Santa ClaraSocial Services AgencyPanoramic Software IncSCC Foster
Case Management and Fiscal management for Foster Care Clients
DailyDaily6The foster care system is deeply problematic as much as it is useful for children in the system. There have been several investigations into foster care including a great one by the SJ Merc, where this kind of data on where the money goes could help tell whether children are being properly supported by the system. This longform piece by the Mercury news gets at some of the deep problems with foster care using some data, but I'm not sure if they had access to this particular database (it's not named):
ckoscheCityBurlingamePolice Department information technologyVersatile Information SystemsPumaAudio recordingAs neededAs needed7It would be interesting to see the audio from police stops made by the Burlingame police and see whether there is any racial or gender bias that the officers have vis-à-vis members of a different race or the opposite gender.
ckoscheCityBurlingameFinance / Information TechnologyRocket SoftwarePayrollPayroll processing including time card entry, paying
staff (excludes fire department as they are on the
ADP payroll system), and reporting to departments
and external agencies
As neededAs needed6It would be interesting to see what Burlingame officials are payed and how much they are paid overtime, and then to compare the wages of different departments, races and genders.This is far away, but Sydney is moving one step closer to gender-equal pay:
ckoscheCityBurlingamePublic Works DepartmentGPS insightFleet trackingTracking of all City owned and operated vehiclesDailyDaily7It would be interesting to see whether Burlingame has the same problem of speeding cops like Florida.
ckoscheCityFremontPolice Department CDD Code
Data TicketData TicketParking Citation ManagementDailyDaily
ckoscheCityFremontCommunity Development Public WorksAccelaTidemarkLand Management – Historical Data OnlyDailyDaily5It would be interesting to see the history of how land has been used in the past, especially for cities like Berkeley, were mayor contruction projects are planned on the land of former shell mounts. I don't know whether there are any shell mounts in Fremont, but it would be worth finding out.
ckoscheCityLos AltosMaintenance Service CenterRain Master
iCentralManagement of irrigation at park sitesDailyDaily6Even after the end of the California drought we can ask ourselves how much water cities are actually using to sprinkle park sites. Have they made efforts to consumer less water in the last few years? This is a different city but a similar issue:
ckoscheOtherSanta Clara Transportation Authority
Customer complaints. Also used with the Requests for
Proposals and Requests for Information processes.
Hourly to dailyHourly to daily6It would be interesting to see what people are upset about and it might be a way to find a story or see whether a particular issue really is a big issue or not.N/AN/A
ckoscheOtherSanta Clara Transportation Authority
Capital Project ControlsOracleContract ManagerCapital project contract management. Every few minutesEvery few minutes6It would be interesting to see what they spend their money on and there might be interesting topics emerging from that: which projects get funded with how much money? Which projects get delayed because of funding issues?
ckoscheCountySanta Clara CountyCounty ExecutiveBitFocusN/A
Supportive housing and services to homeless persons system
DailyDaily8It would be interesting to see how many homeless people get
support in Santa Clara County. Maybe it would be possible to relate
that to the homeless youth issue that has become worse in the last
ckoscheCountySan MateoDPW (Department of Public Works?)PlaneNoisePlaneNoiseAllow public to submit aircraft noise complaints via webDailyDaily9Airplane noise has been a big issue in San Mateo County for the last
two years. The thing is that nobody knows how many households
are actually effected by inacceptable noise. Looking at the
complaints could help estimate that.
clwang32CityBerkeleyPolice DepartmentTyler TechnologiesNew World/Aegis911 Dispatch and Police Records ManagementDailyDaily7It could be fairly interesting to examine police dispatch protocol in the City of Berkeley to elucidate any nuance from that of other cities; perhaps there lies some correlation between dispatch protocol and crime rates/policing practices more generally. It may also prove interesting to examine how police records are managed and archived in case there's a story to be told about police culture / detail of recordskeeping.Boston Globe did a recent piece on how the Boston Police management system is fairly inefficient:

The Courier-Herald did a piece on police dispatches taking an excessive amount of time:
clwang32CityBeverly HillsPublic Works DepartmentTritonWater TrackerWater usage trackerDailyDaily5Given the California drought, it could be of interest to look into civilian water use. Obviously major water overconsumption is a result of agriculture/industrial use and not attributed to citizen use, but it could still be interesting to look into how much water civilians do actually consume, and for what purposes.KQED looked into homes/buildings reducing their power use (but not water use):
clwang32CityRiversidePolice DepartmentPublic EnginesCrimeReports.comGIS Crime mapping software on City's websiteDailyDaily8It could prove interesting to compile this data into some sort of data visualization involving a map which could potentially elucidate trends in infrastructure that make certain places more susceptible to crime than others.Database that allows you to search crimes in a particular city/zip code, returns a map with crime locations marked:

UK Police use big data and mapping software to predict where/when crimes may occur:
clwang32CityBurbank Community Development DepartmentHappy SoftwareHousing ProSection 8 housingDailyDaily7Real estate and housing in the Bay Area are currently hot topics in contemporary media. Data on section 8 housing could point to areas in which such measures are more/less successful and why so.LA Times has run multiple pieces on the struggle to find affordable housing in the Bay Area:
clwang32CityCulver CityHuman ResourcesUnknownFamily Medical Leave Act (FLMA)FLMA tracking softwareDailyDaily7Enforcement of FMLA labor laws could be interesting to look at in comparing how long people typically take off work, whether workers are paid/unpaid during that time, and the ultimate effects.National Law Review covers FLMA mistakes but not from a data perspective:
clwang32CityCulver CityPublic Safety/FireUnknownFire MedProEMS records and ambulance billingDailyDaily7Depending how far this data goes back, could produce an interesting visualization of how costs have changed over the years.Not much information on ambulance billing/EMS records existN/A
clwang32CityCulver CityPublic Safety/PoliceUnknowneCrashTraffic accident report sharingDailyDaily5From our exercise in analyzing accidents involving self-driving cars, there is clearly a lot of nuance in the ways in which traffic accidents are reported and varying degrees of detail in such reports. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has database:
clwang32CityCulver CityPublic Safety/PoliceUnknownALPR (not sure what stands for)Capturing license plates for stolen/wants vehicleDaily3x/day7Could be interesting to track the location of these license plates/profile the people who stole the cars, and the places from which they stole them.Chicago WGN9 went through the Chicago Police Department database which keeps track of reported auto theft and mapped these thefts to five geographic hotspots:
clwang32CityFremontPlanning/Community DevelopmentEsriArcGIS/ArcSDEGeographic information systems; provide aerial photography of earthquake/landside/public safety/zoningAs needed/every 3 yearsAs needed/every 3 years4Environmental journalists could be interested in using this data to provide a more comprehensive understanding of earthquakes in Fremont and their effects on land use.Human-Induced Earthquake Database (HiQuake) is database of 728 earthquakes that may have been caused by humans over the past 149 years:

Scientific American also has a piece:
clwang32CityIrvineAdministrative ServicesOpenGovOpenGovBudget transparency (financial data)DailyDaily6Breaking down the city budget will elucidate where citizens' tax dollars are being spent, what programs are ultimately being pushed and made actionable, what policies local public officials support. OpenGov exists for other municipalities, as well.
milleranCityThousand OaksFinanceSungard Public Sector (FIS)NavilinePayrollAs neededAs needed6Public payroll records are full of potential stories - who makes the most in the city, why, and what is their role? it may also contain auxiliary information i.e. hours worked, bonus payments, kind of benefits offered. Seattle Times story:; BART Janitor makes $270k due to overtime
milleranCityThousand OaksFinanceSungard Public Sector (FIS)NavilineAccounts receivableAs neededAs needed6Accounts receivable would list all the charges billed to the city. This would give insight into how the city spends taxpayer revenue. This could lead to evidence of mismanagement, artificially high contracts, etc. MU Alum and SAE Fraternity Treasurer caught stealing $380,000 from fraternity in Missouri:
milleranCityConcordITAccelaPublic StuffCitizen Relationship ManagementMonthlyAs needed8It would be worthwhile to see what kind of information the city keeps on its citizens in this database. How is this data collected and what concerns are there relating to privacy? The name "citizen relationship management" doesn't explain what kind of information is stored on citizens. Beyond the type of information being recorded, what does the city do with this information? Is it only the city that has access to this database or is it available to businesses to use as well?Cloud based solutions helps San Jose connect with citizens
milleranCityNewport BeachCommunity Development DepartmentAccelaPermits PlusCode EnforcementDailyWeekly4Being able to see what buildings/owners are in violation of building codes would provide information about frequent offenders, most common violations, how strictly violations are enforced, and how (if at all) buildings with violations affect real estate markets.It takes a gripe to get enforcers out in WA county:
milleranCityNewport BeachCommunity Development DepartmentAccelaPermits PlusInspectionsDailyAs needed7It is in the public interest to know which buildings are safe and which aren't - especially in disaster situations like an earthquake. The inspections database would show what buildings are in violation of code and which aren't as well as who is accountable. Especially in an earthquake prone state like California, building managers need to be current when it comes to adhering to safety requirements.Architects and engineers assess building damage after Mexico City earthquake
milleranCityWest HollywoodDepartment of Public WorksXeroxEtimsParking Citation ManagementDailyDaily6How often are tickets handed out in West Hollywood? What are the most common violations? How much does the city make in revenue from tickets? What patterns are there (if any) when it comes to the types of citations, days, times?Gators player Jordan Smith earned $1,450 in parking citations
milleranCityWest HollywoodCode ComplianceTyler TechnologiesEdenBusiness LicenseDailyDaily4Knowing what kinds of businesses are getting licenses and who the owners/applicants of these businesses would provide a lot of insight into the economy of the city and the major players in the business community. It could also illustrate how much/little the city is developing in a period of time. Audit reveals poor record keeping of Cobb business division
milleranCityWest HollywoodHuman ResourcesNeogovApplicant TrackingOnline applicant systemDailyDaily5With regard to the applicant system, I'd like to know what the pool of applicants looks like for open positions. Are the people being hired for city jobs qualified for the ones they have? What is the average amount of applications for each job opening? This would also be interesting to use for comparison in seeing what types of applicants actually get the jobs - is there any type of discrimination?Who, or what, is reading your resume?
milleranCityMalibuAdministrative Services Dept., IT DivisonStone Environmental Inc.IWIMSEnvironmental Health Document DatabaseDailyDaily7What information does the city collect on "environmental health"? Given its proximity to the ocean and other preserve areas, as well as the city's wealthy demographic, I imagine they keep a lot of information on the health of the environment. Developments often face zoning issues and is fairly restricted - knowing if there are environmental reasons why would be helpful to understanding the larger picture of development in MalibuUrban noise pollution is worst in poor areas
milleranCityVacavilleHousing DepartmentHappy SoftwareHousing ProSection 8 and Public HousingDailyDaily7Having information on Section 8 and Public Housing would be interesting particularly considering the housing crisis in most of California. How many citizens live in public housing in Vacaville, and what is their financial situation like? Furthermore, I imagine this database would provide information on developers, management of the public housing sites, and any complaints/violations that have taken place.Tenant mix in subsidized apartments can lead to conflict
mocrCityTiburonPolice DepartmentDigital AllyWatchguardIn-car video cameras, storageDailyDaily7Having access to Police in-car cameras would be helpful for a story where police are involved. If we get the images, we could analize police actions in any giving situation. Helpful when analyzing police brutality or complains from arrested people in the city, so we can check if there is a pattern.NYTimes on Police Brutality:
mocrCountyOrangeOC Community Resources (OCCR)ChameleonChameleonAnimal Care/Shelter information SystemAs neededAs needed4This database could be interesting if we want to write about animal abandonment, so we can compare rates in other cities, by type of animal, see the relationship between new bought animals and adopted ones.NYTimes uses data on abandonments:
mocrCountyOrangeProbation (PROB)In house ITIntegrated Case Management SystemManages Probation RecordsAs neededAs needed7Good way of accessing probation records if we are working on a story about someone committing a crime while on probation. Also, it would be interesting to see the rehabilitation into society of someone who got out of jail on probation.NYTimes on criminal records data:
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Information and Technology ServicesMetroBudget TrakBudget Monitoring & TrackingDailyDaily6It would be interesting to see how much of the budget for LA transportation system is being used, and track where the money is exactly going. It is a good way to "control" the LA Authority, and keep it accountable.Washington Post on Federal Government cutting transportation budget:
San Diego County Regional Airport Authority
Airport Planning & Noise MitigationBruel & KjaerANOMSNoise Monitoring and Flight Track AnalysisDailyDaily7When residents complain about planes noise, like they do in the Bay Area, it is always a good option (apart from talking to those affected and city/transportation officials) to check data on how the airport is dealing with noise reduction and modifying flight paths in order to solve this.LA Times with a similar idea, but with no use of data:
mocrCityWest HollywoodCommunity DevelopmentSuperionTRAKiTLand Records ManagementDailyDaily6Land management records could help us get specific data on issues related to business distribution of a city, huge land developments or lack of affordable housing in some areas.LA Times mapping with data provided by the Bureau of Land Management:
mocrCityWest HollywoodRent StabilizationHDL Software LLCHDL Rent StabilizationRent Stabilization ManagementDailyDaily6The rent control is an important part when it comes to understanding how certain areas are becoming more gentrified. How does rent control in those areas affect the prices of the other houses?Comparison of rent control in some US cities:
mocrCitySan DiegoSan Diego FireRescueCustomRegional Public Safety GeodatabaseMappingWeeklyWeekly5Having access to fire rescue mapping could help clarify some of the fire incidents in San Diego, as maps might reveal more information than some reports. Being able to complement those reports with a mapping software would make our story much more complete.Not much information on fire rescue mapping.n/a
mocrCountySan JoaquinAgriculture CommissionerPesticide TrackingTrack pesticide use enforcementsAnnualMonthly7Data on pesticide use is helpful in order to examine the products from certain fields. Some of those products might have a non-regulated use of pesticide, not being registered as "organic", for example, but advertise themselves as ecological. It is a good way to control these regulations.Data revealed pesticides' presence in honey from every continent:
mocrCountyYoloSheriff's OfficePet LicensingPet LicensingDailyDaily4For certain stories, accessing a database about licensed pets would be necessary to check if pets were obtained legally or ilegally. This is especially important when reporting on animal attacks to people.Not much reporting on pet licenses.n/a
katlynCityCerritosAdministrative Service (Water Billing)Advanced UtilitiesCIS Infinity
The CIS Infinity software maintains consumption and billing records relating to the Agency’s Water Utility.
As needed to resolve software bugs or add features
7Water usage is a hot topic because water is always needed and often scarce. Looking at a specific city's water usage could draw attention to areas that are living unsustainably.I know this isn't exactly the same, but Stanford researchers used data like this to visualize water usage and see who in California met their water reduction goals during the drought (and then Stanford News covered it):
katlynCityCerritosCommunity SafetyCerritosParking permits
The parking permit system maintains resident permits for street parking between the hours of 3 and 5.
DailyWhen new features are required5Parking permits can be used to indicate number of commuters and traffic. If parking decreases, it can be assumed that number of commuting vehicles also decreased, so it can be used as a metric for eco friendly commuting.Coverage of Palo Alto's attempt to get cars off the road:
katlynCityDixonHuman ResourcesAccelaSpringbrookHuman Resources: Benefits, position control,
employee details
DailyDaily6Government employee compensation is a point of public interest because the public must pay the government in good faith that they will allocate funds well. Significantly too much or too little compensation would be considered newsworthy."Salary study shows many Augusta city employees are underpaid":
katlynCityLancasterInformation TechnologyParcel QuestParcel QuestReal Estate DatabaseDailyDaily7Real estate markets inform prospective buyers and indicate who has been priced in and out of communitiesSan Francisco real estate is overvalued:
katlynCityMaderaPolice DepartmentBair AnalyticsRAIDS (Regional Analysis and Regional Data Sharing) Online
Share crime data with the public through a crime map and analytics dashboard.
DailyDaily9Crime reports are always of public interest because (a) they tend to be patently interesting in sort of a scandalous gossip kind of way and (b) because they imply something about the general community's safety and the successes/failures of law enforcement.Which BART stations have the worst crime?:
katlynCityMaderaPlanning and Public Works DepartmentsESRIArcGISMapping and Planning SoftwareAs neededAs needed7Mapping data can be an incredibly useful tool for visualization and story discovery, if there are trends based on location.Map of Anchorage pedestrian and cyclist collisions:
katlynCityMorgan HillAdministrative Services DepartmentGranicusVotecastVote Display and ManagementAs neededAs needed7In light of all the vote hacking scandals, access not only to voter data, but also the software used to collect votes is a source of important information for the public.story on a guy who uses voter data to selectively motivate voters to hit the booths and save the environment: