Until recently, if you ever wanted to know how your city worked, not the politics, but the basic machinery, how basic things get done, how much, when and were, you would pretty much get a collective blank stare from Chicago government.
And then, Mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed John Tolva as his Chief Technology Officer. As CTO, Tolva has been steadily opening up city databases so that average citizens can search them and even create automatic queries. Powerful stuff.
It seems like every day a new database is added to the list. For those of us who want to dive into the mechanics of our city, it is a heady time. Some of the recently opened data includes:
The data is not perfect. For some reason much of it contains street and ZIP code locations, but not wards. But still, it’s a treasure trove.
Some things mined from the databases:
It is pretty easy to figure out, so dive in if you’re curious!