As Data Visualization Map Hits 10,000 Users, City Seeks Public Feedback

Feb 15, 2017

The city of Pittsburgh is looking for feedback on its Burgh’s Eye View application at a series of public meetings this month and next.

The application is an interactive map that shows data related to public safety, 3-1-1 requests, building code violations and city facilities.

The site has had more than 10,000 unique users since being introduced in October 2016, according to lead developer Geoffrey Arnold.

Arnold said the map was originally designed as an inward-facing resource for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police so officers could visualize crime data.

“It kind of grew from there,” he said.

Since then, the Department of Innovation and Performance has not only developed the public-facing portal, but also versions for the city's Department of Public Works and the Department of Finance.

“The Office of Management and Budget came to us about adding capital projects to the (public) map as well, so that’s something we’re in the process of getting ready for folks to be able to see,” Arnold said. “It’s certainly an ‘If you build it, they will come,’ sort of thing.”

Arnold said one of the most popular features of Burgh’s Eye View has been the police blotter layer, which shows all crime reports in the city. Users can choose the time period for which they want to see results and can search for specific types of crimes.

Meetings to solicit feedback on the service will be held through March 15. A list of meeting dates, times and locations is available on the city’s website.