Open Data

2012: The Year We Embrace and Begin Implementation of Open Data in Palo Alto

Throughout the world, governments are making collections of public data more easily available on the Web. The type of data is varied and includes information about how taxpayer money is being spent and statistics on just about every aspect of government. This openness has enabled citizens to have greater visibility to the workings of their local, state, and federal agencies. Open data is also enabling communities to use this data to build useful applications that can benefit everyone. The federal government web site: provides an excellent example of open data in action.
Open data initiatives have been successful at the federal and state level and now cities are beginning to participate. New York, San Francisco, and many others are making available thousands of sets of data and they are challenging their communities to find valuable new ways to use the data.
Beginning this year, Palo Alto will begin to implement an open data initiative for our city. Initially we will look for some early data candidates to display on this page. We’ll make the data accessible in different formats so it is as useful as possible. With your help, we will identify additional sets of data and publish them as they become ready. From time to time, we’ll also issue a challenge: we’ll ask people to build solutions for certain data that will help the city with its goals.

We’re excited by the value of open data to our community. It’s a natural complement to our goal of becoming a leading digital city.

Update: The Palo Alto Open Data platform goes live on August 1, 2012. Come back to this page or


James Keene

Palo Alto City Manager
Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D.
Palo Alto Chief Information Officer

The City of Palo Alto teams with Stanford University to complete the City's first hack-a-thon. The challenge, build an application in twenty-four hours to utilize geographical information system data provided by the City.