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The City of Evanston has launched a new open data portal, openEvanston.org, providing residents and community stakeholders with convenient access to historic and real-time information about City services.

Using the portal, residents can quickly look up the condition and species of a parkway tree; find out how many gallons of water the City’s Water Treatment Facility pumped in a given month; check for recent crime activity in their neighborhood, and much more.

The launch is part of a collaborative effort among all City departments to provide data for easy consumption and usage by the public. The new portal allows users to browse datasets, export data in multiple formats – including Microsoft Excel and Google Docs, and even embed the data on their own websites. Local civic technologists and developers can also directly access the data to build apps and other tools.

“Evanston is proud to become one of only a select few communities of our size to enact a full open data portal,” said Digital Services Coordinator Luke Stowe. “Open data not only improves transparency and increases community engagement, it provides residents and stakeholders the opportunity to access and leverage public information for everyone’s benefit.”

Fewer than 15 percent of cities with populations under 500,000 have enacted similar open data initiatives.

Currently, Evanston’s portal provides information about select services, including pothole repairs, trash and recycling pick-ups, water main breakages, building permits, licenses and inspections, 311 data, employee compensation, crime statistics, and park amenities. As the City continues to expand and improve the portal, residents are encouraged to visit openEvanston.org to browse the data and suggest additional information that would be useful to the community.

For more information, please contact Digital Services Coordinator Luke Stowe at 847-448-8633 or lstowe@cityofevanston.org.