New open data tool provides citizens with incident information

The new tool has several different maps that show information such as the number of police incidents in an area. (Screenshot: Contributed)

Authored By Chloé Morrison

City leaders have released an online open data tool that allows citizens to get information, such as 311 requests and police incidents, about specific areas. 

Officials said that the site, City Insider, will empower citizens with data about their neighborhoods and help improve area residents’ lives. 

“Open data has a tremendous ability to break down barriers and empower communities, which we can encourage by using a format that makes sense for neighborhoods-in the case of City Insider, the data is presented in a searchable map,” Mayor Andy Berke said in a prepared statement. “City Insider is another valuable tool for citizens and neighborhoods as we work together to make Chattanooga a better place for everyone.”

The platform provides citizens with current, map-based info on recent incidents involving city agencies.

The platform is a first-of-its-kind resource for neighborhoods that uses public data sets through the open data portal, along with geographic information system map layers, to provide insights into neighborhood-level activity. It features searchable map views, custom date ranges and filters by neighborhood or council district, according to a news release from the city.

“Every day, Chattanooga is becoming more known as a place for innovation, and in city government, we are looking for innovative ways to deliver services to our citizens,” City Council Chairman Jerry Mitchell said in a prepared statement. “City Insider is an innovative tool that will help the mayor and council continue to provide citizens with the information they need, while making Chattanooga the best place it can be.”

New data sets will be added to the City Insider application in the future. The city’s open data program is dedicated to increasing the transparency, accountability and efficiency of Chattanooga’s operations while providing more responsive services to citizens.

“City Insider will be an asset to individuals and neighborhood associations in Chattanooga who want info about crime, 311 reports, etc.,” Gwenda Gregory of the Lake Hills Neighborhood Association said in a prepared statement. “Questions that are often asked at neighborhood association meetings can be answered quickly and accurately using this web page. Being able to print this data is a plus.”

By taking steps to make its data easily available through City Insider, Chattanooga joins some of the world’s innovative and forward-thinking public-sector organizations, according to a news release.

The application is supported by Socrata, a global provider of open data and government performance management solutions.

The Office of Performance Management and Open Data encourages citizens to use City Insider and share this tool within their communities. Chattanoogans can create a free account, allowing them to save searches, and opt in to receive daily, weekly or monthly email updates about new incidents or activity in their area.

For more information, click here.