(cut and pasted from a mail that Mike sent out this evening):
We’re happy to announce that Oakland Crimespotting is back, thanks to the generous help of Oakland’s City Information Technology Department. After three months without access to report data, we’ve been granted a reliable, regularly-updated source of crime report information. This is great news: it means that the website is back up and running with current information, e-mail alerts and RSS feeds work again, and we at Stamen Design can explore new ways of presenting and publishing this important information.
Here are a few things you can do, now:
We are also interested in what additions to the site you would find useful or interesting. So far, we’ve had a number of suggestions that we’re actively looking into: spreadsheet-friendly downloads, details on individual police beats, a search function, and more than one month’s worth of data. If you have any thoughts on these or other ideas, send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our return would not have been possible without the help of a few key people. Ahsan Baig, Ken Gordon, and Bob Glaze at Oakland City IT built and published a source of information for us. Ted Shelton, Charles Waltner, and others helped us navigate the difficult waters of City Hall communications. Jason Schultz, Ryan Wong, Karla Ruiz, and Jeremy Brown at U.C. Berkeley Law School helped us understand how to best approach city governments for information. Kathleen Kirkwood and Pete Wevurski at The Oakland Tribune helped us understand the journalistic context of the project. Dan O’Neil and Adrian Holovaty at EveryBlock.com were a valuable sounding boards for ideas.
As for me, I’m delighted to see it back online, and especially pleased that the City has given us access to the data. In particular, this notion that cities have an obligation to provide access to data about themselves over the internet is one that I think (and hope) we’re going to see catching on more and more, and it’s great that Oakland has decided to take a progressive stance on this issue. If you’re reading this, and you’re a city with a need to learn more about your data and how it flows, do give us a call, won’t you?