Data geeks are stoked. That’s because the city of San Diego just launched its new open data portal. The site provides access to 44 different data sets that people can play with, including information about solar panel permits, street sweeping schedules, water-quality testing results, parking meter stats and more.

“And this is just the beginning,” said Almis Udrys, the director of performance and analytics for the city of San Diego.

Udrys joined hosts Scott Lewis and Andrew Keatts this week to talk about the new portal and the opportunities it affords residents, software developers who might use the data to create useful apps and city staff, which now has a more efficient way to access information and put it to use.

Udrys said the site is more accessible than similar municipal portals across the country.

“What we want to do that’s a little bit different than some other portals you might see out there is we want to actually understand all the data we’re publishing,” he said. “We don’t just want to take a dump from every department, put it out there and [make it] a free-for-all that could be wrong.”

He said his team understands the data and is ready to answer any questions that come up.

Also on this week’s podcast, the story behind McKinley Elementary‘s turnaround and the role money and parents have played, what voters seem to want when it comes to cash for the Chargers’ convadium, some thoughts on the revived Balboa Park plan and its relationship to parking and more.

Hero of the Week

Rep. Scott Peters took the shortest path to our heart by letting his wonk flag fly, and made a recommendation of “The High Cost of Free Parking” by Donald Shoup. It’s always refreshing to see elected officials who are boned up on the latest and greatest in urban planning theory.

Goat of the Week

VOSD has been doing some work on sea-level rise. The latest story is on Coronado, a city whose leadership acknowledges that rising waters could be a big problem but admits that it’s yet to address the issue.

Subscribe to the VOSD Podcast on iTunes or get the RSS feed here. Stream it here.

Kinsee Morlan was formerly the Engagement Editor at Voice of San Diego and author of the Culture Report. She also managed VOSD’s podcasts and covered...

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