Less than a month after Governor Tom Wolf announced steps to make Pennsylvania’s data more transparent and accessible to the public, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has launched an Open Data portal housing data ranging from roadway pavement conditions to rail facility locations.
The portal, http://data.pennshare.opendata.arcgis.com/, leverages a GIS platform used in several states and helps local government, planning and business partners as well as the public. The data, grouped by roadways, bridges, rail, facilities, boundaries and projects, can be used for mapping, sharing, charting and more.
“At PennDOT we’ve taken the governor’s mission of transparency and customer service to heart and this is one more way we’re demonstrating principles of a government that works,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “Transportation is vital to our way of life and the more people can use our data, the better our overall services will be for Pennsylvanians.”
The data also offers an opportunity for application developers, students and others in private industry to analyze or pursue infrastructure issues and opportunities, Richards said.
The majority of the available data is updated daily, with some more static data such as boundaries, facilities and railway receiving periodic updates. The site is compatible with any device or platform.
“State agencies have a wealth of data that can be made open and available for others to use,” said Secretary of Administration Sharon Minnich, whose office is leading the Governor’s open data initiative. “The data sets being published by PennDOT and others will also become part of a centralized open data portal to make it easy for the public to find all the open data available from state government.”
Data available for PennDOT’s construction projects is also used through the department’s projects website, www.projects.penndot.gov, which was launched last year to increase public information and transparency on active projects and those in the department’s Four and Twelve Year Plans.
In addition, the public can request access to PennDOT’s real-time, streaming video from its more than 700 traffic cameras as well as its Road Condition Reporting System Data, which provides real-time traffic incident, roadwork and other data. Information on these feeds is available at www.penndot.gov under “Doing Business” by selecting “Online Services” and “Developer Resources.”
The site follows the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources announcement this month of the availability of their data through the same GIS platform, http://data.dcnr.opendata.arcgis.com.
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