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Interested citizens can now discover, explore and download county data through a new online portal, the San Miguel County Open Data website. Over 80 spatial datasets, maps, applications and links to outside resources can be accessed through a simple, intuitive interface. It includes data previews and the ability to filter just the desired characteristics, opening the door for complex analysis. It is simple to download a spreadsheet or a spatial dataset as used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software or Google Earth. The most popular datasets are property related, but there are also trail maps and links to interactive mapping applications. The Open Data site can be accessed at https://www.sanmiguelcountyco.gov/opendata, where a short video introducing the site’s features is available.
“The county has always offered free and open spatial data”, says Heather Widlund, County GIS Coordinator and developer of the site. “Now we’re taking it to the next level of accessibility and transparency.”
“This is a major step in empowering our employees and the public to gather and use local data to assist themselves”, said County Manager Mike Bordogna.
Many local and state governments are making actionable data available for citizens to better understand their communities. For example, Douglas County, Colorado’s GIS Open Data site includes health and crime dashboards, and the county also publishes financial and budget data. The State of California recently launched an extensive portal, including environmental, economic and demographic data.
Widlund encourages the public to suggest other datasets and information that they’d like to see. “This is your community, and data can help make it a better place to live.” Contact her at email@example.com.