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Burgh's Eye View app tracks Pittsburgh's potholes, arrests, graffiti

Tony Raap
| Monday, Oct. 31, 2016, 6:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh officials launched Burgh's Eye View, an app that includes a range of public records such as crime statistics, building code violations and excessive noise complaints.
Pittsburgh officials launched Burgh's Eye View, an app that includes a range of public records such as crime statistics, building code violations and excessive noise complaints.

Pittsburgh officials Monday launched Burgh's Eye View , an app that includes a range of public records such as crime statistics, building code violations and excessive noise complaints.

The city Department of Innovation & Performance's Analytics and Strategy team built the app, which also is available as a website, as part of an effort to increase openness and accessibility.

“Burgh's Eye View brings that transparency directly to the citizens of Pittsburgh, and more importantly transforms the experience of open government — by making it truly accessible to everyone,” Mayor Bill Peduto said.

The app contains data the city supplies each night to the Western Pennsylvania Regional Data Center, a website that contains public information, much of which was previously accessible only through Right-to-Know requests.

Burgh's Eye View includes information about arrests, non-traffic citations, building permits and 311 service requests about broken sidewalks, graffiti and potholes.

Over time, city officials will increase the amount and variety of data it publishes on the app, said Laura Meixell, the city's analytics and strategy manager.

“Burgh's Eye View is built on the city's solid open data foundation,” Meixell said. “I'm proud of our team's ongoing work with residents and community groups to gauge how publicly available information can be of best use, and respond to neighborhood needs.”

The app is part of a larger database of maps city departments have used for about a year. It will be an open source application, meaning other cities will be able to use and modify the app's computer code to provide a similar tool for their residents.

“Burgh's Eye View is proof of the city's commitment to open data,” said Debra Lam, chief of Innovation and Performance. “We hope that making this information available and widely accessible not only increases government accountability but enables residents and community groups to contribute to effecting change at the neighborhood level.”

Tony Raap is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7827 or traap@tribweb.com.

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