Baltimore relaunches open data portal on Esri platform

Baltimore's Inner Harbor (Getty Images)


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To ensure that Baltimore’s public data is easily navigable and engaging for residents, the city government recently migrated its open data portal to a new platform.

The new portal, called the Open Data Baltimore Hub, enables dashboards, data visualizations and the use of “StoryMaps,” a tool from the mapping software firm Esri that enables publishers to merge data with maps, text and other multimedia content to tell stories. The mayor’s office migrated the open data portal to Esri on Dec. 31.

Baltimore officials also said the new platform and its APIs will make it clearer which data is taken from city agencies and which data is provided by the public.

The city plans to spend the next six months automating and “tuning” existing dashboards on the new platform, Baltimore Chief Data Officer Michael Wisniewski told Technically Baltimore.

“The updated open data portal reflects Baltimore City’s commitment to data and transparency,” Baltimore Chief Information Officer Todd Carter said in a press release. “We trust that this update will assist other organizations and communities that also use the datasets. Open Baltimore is shaped for government and the community to use the technology to promote transparency, improve performance and enhance citizen engagement.”

The city began publishing its data in 2011, and in 2016 the city codified requirements to regularly publish crime statistics, salary information and other data.

Last year, Baltimore County sought to improve transparency with the launch of BCSTAT, a performance management platform for publishing data about police stops, the opioid crisis and COVID-19 cases.

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Baltimore, Baltimore County, open data portal