Open Data

The Open Data Program makes the data generated by the City of Seattle openly available to the public for the purpose of increasing the quality of life for our residents; increasing transparency, accountability and comparability; promoting economic development and research; and improving internal performance management.

Specifically, the Open Data program seeks to:

  • Improve public understanding of City operations and other information concerning their communities.
  • Generate economic opportunity for individuals and companies that benefit from the knowledge created by Open Data.
  • Empower City employees to be more effective, better coordinated internally, and able to identify opportunities to better serve the public.
  • Encourage the development of innovative technology solutions that improve quality of life.

Open by Preference

Seattle data is now "Open by Preference". Learn how to access and use City data, and get involved in the City's civic technology community.

Seattle is home to an engaged, innovative public that strives to make the city a better place to live. As a City, we strive to make our data open to the public, enabling those outside of government to find solutions to our most pressing civic challenges.

Since the launch of the City’s open data program in 2010, more than 400 datasets have been made open, including several that are used by private companies, journalists, and community members. Open data also powers tools hosted on the City’s website such as Open BudgetPerformance Seattle, the Police Department’s Neighborhood Crime Map, and the Department of Transportation’s Capital Projects Explorer.

In recent years, the City has expanded our Open Data Program to encourage more partnerships with the public, including initiatives such as 2015's Hack the Commute, through which more than 140 developers and community advocates prototyped 14 new data-driven technology solutions for improving transportation in Seattle.

In February 2016, Mayor Murray signed an Executive Order directing all City data to be "open by preference," meaning City departments should make their data accessible to the public after screening for privacy, security, and quality considerations. This policy is the result of a collaboration between the City of Seattle, the University of Washington, and the Sunlight Foundation through Bloomberg Philanthropies' national What Works Cities initiative.  Learn more about the Open Data Policy and Program.

Supporting documentation:

Read the City's Open Data Policy.

Read the City's Open Data Playbook.

Read the City's 2016 Open Data Annual Report.

Read the City's 2017 Open Data Plan.

Visit our Open Data portal: data.seattle.gov.

Data Camp 2016

In June 2016, the Seattle Open Data Program presented Data Camp, three days of in-depth training for department Open Data Champions. The Champions, as well as guests from the State of Washington, King County, Bellevue, Tacoma and the University of Washington, heard talks and panel discussions with open data experts and technology community leaders, and participated in group exercises and workshops.  Stream selected Data Camp sessions:

Session 1 (Intro, Keynote, Panel: "What's Worked Here?)

Session 2 (Open Data & Performance; Open Data, Demographics & Equity)

Session 3 (Metadata, Open Dataset Submission Form, ETL)

Session 4 (Panel: "The Open Data User Experience," Open Data & Privacy, Open Data & The Public Records Act, Data Quality)