SOMERVILLE BECOMES FIRST COMMUNITY IN NEW ENGLAND TO HOST DATA ON CLOUD-BASED SOCRATA PORTAL

City Data to be Posted on Innovative “OpenData” Cloud-Based Service to Provide Easier Access for Residents, Including 311, DPW Stats and More

SOMERVILLE - Mayor Joseph A.
Curtatone today announced that the City of Somerville has partnered with
Socrata, Inc to use the Seattle-based company's hosted OpenData service to
provide direct public access to large amounts of municipal data covering a
variety of departments.   With the
cloud-based service, the City of Somerville will be able to share data
collected through its 311 constituent service system directly with the general
public in an interactive format.  When
the new data portal site goes live sometime in July, the web address will be
data.somervillema.gov.  Although Socrata
supplies similar services to a number of communities across the nation, including
Seattle, Chicago, New York, New Orleans and Baltimore, Somerville is the first
city in New England to adopt the OpenData application.

The OpenData initiative is
the latest in a series of City steps to provide information online.  In 2006, Somerville became the first city in
the nation to offer a combined 311-CitiStat-mass notification constituent
communications and work order tracking system. 
The City's ResiStat program, which provides neighborhood-based data summaries
for public meetings and discussions, was introduced in 2007.  The City's somervillema.gov website has
earned Common Cause's E-Government Award for five consecutive years.

"Somerville has continually
been at the forefront of innovative government management and transparency, and
we're excited to roll out this latest data tracking tool to bring real time
information to residents," said Mayor Curtatone.  "As part of our ACE Initiative - Accurate,
Courteous, and Easy customer service - our goal is to provide residents with
the best possible experience with all of our City departments, and through this
OpenData portal offered by Socrata, we'll be able to offer additional services
and follow up to our constituents, further ensuring that all needs are met and
all concerns adequately answered."

"Since its inception in 2006,
the focus of 311 has always been to provide excellent customer service to our
residents, and to make access to City Hall as easy as possible," said Director
of Constituent Services, Steve Craig. 
"We are excited about this new partnership with Socrata, which will
further our mission to make this kind of information available to the public in
real-time and provide another way for us to engage residents. We look forward
to seeing what new and innovative ideas our constituents come up with once they
are able to dive in and review the data for themselves."

The initial dataset will be
posted n July, with additional information posting to the site in subsequent
months.  Data available on the portal
will include (but not be limited to): 

 

  • 311 work orders and related data;

  • Geospatial and mapping data;

  • Public safety data:
    Moving vehicle violations,
    crime stats by neighborhood, parking violations;

  • Health and ISD information;

  • Budget and government expenditures

 

Through the portal, community
members will be able to track and map work orders and other important
information by neighborhoods, streets, or citywide, in an interactive and
user-friendly format.  OpenData will
utilize data tracked through Intelligov, the City's current work order
management vendor through 311, as well as data analyzed by SomerStat, 311, and
other City departments.  Most data will
be available in real time - the public will see it at the same time as city
managers.

"In the last year, we have
updated our City's websites, including the main City webpage, Traffic &
Parking, and others, as well as begun to post "ACE Scorecards," identifying
exactly how our City departments measure up to work order management
expectations.  With Socrata, we will
offer a more in-depth look into City data, allowing residents to hold us even
more accountable for work orders and follow-up," Mayor Curtatone said.

 

 About
Socrata

Socrata is the leading
developer and provider of Open Data cloud services, a category of Web 2.0
solutions that enable public sector organizations to dramatically improve
citizen access to information and online services, while reducing costs.

The Socrata Open Data
PlatformTM optimizes the management and speeds up the dissemination of data-driven
interactive content to citizen, professional and internal government audiences,
through multiple interfaces: Web, social, mobile, API, apps, voice, SMS.
Information assets include tabular data, geospatial data, unstructured content
and real-time data from government transactional systems of record.

 

Socrata customers include
cities such as Seattle, Edmonton, Chicago and New York City; states such as
Oregon, Illinois and Oklahoma; and federal agencies such as Medicare, SAMHSA
and GSA (Data.gov). Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington,
with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler
Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit www.socrata.com.