Hack Jersey

Coders and journalists, together

We're gearing up for our second hackathon!

Public data

Posted on 26 Dec 2012 | 3 comments

In preparing for our inaugural Hack Jersey weekend, we pulled together a list of places where someone hunting for public data in the Garden State might start. This is hardly comprehensive, but we thought it might help provide some inspiration as contestants begin mulling over their hackathon projects. Keep in mind that some of this “data” is in pretty rough shape and will require heavy processing and parsing to make it usable. If you have other good sources of state or federal data, please share it in the comments below. Happy hacking!

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APIs /// Budget and Spending /// Business and Finance /// Campaign Finance /// Census and Demographics /// Crime and Corrections /// City Open Data Repositories /// Education /// Elections /// Disaster Relief /// Environment, Pollution and Wildlife /// Health /// Housing and Real Estate /// Human Services /// Infrastructure /// Labor /// Legislature /// Mapping and Shapefiles /// Miscellaneous /// Non-profits and Charities /// Pensions /// Transportation and Safety /// Taxes /// Veterans /// Weather


— Sunlight Foundation has seven APIs, including campaign finances and voting records [editor’s note: Sunlight’s APIs power these apps, so don’t replicate anything already here, http://sunlightfoundation.com/projects/ ]
New Jersey Boundary Service API
U.S. Census API
Facebook API
Foursquare API
— Twitter API,
Untappd API
Yelp API
Parse.ly API
Bizyhood API

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Budget and spending

— The latest Budget Data released in the state Data Portal.
— NJ State Transparency Center has online query tools and PDF-based reports
— The latest Port Authority payrolls (in 2014)

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Business and Finance

NJ Business Records Service has a form-based query that may require some scraping to access data
List of New Jersey banks, from the NJ Division of Banking and Insurance
— Financial Institution Statistics, from the Treasury Department, state-level data
— Insurance and Licensing, from NJ Division of Banking and Insurance

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Campaign finance

NJ ELEC’s campaign finance databases, with downloads of reports for some races and PDF filings for local elections
Federal Election Commission data
FEC-Scraper, Python library for handling FEC data
Fech, Ruby library for doing the same

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Census and Demographics

— American Fact Finder, the main search tool for digging into the Census’ data sets.
Census Reporter, easy-to-use tool for journalists to find and visualize Census data
— Rutgers’ New Jersey Data Book, online source for many New Jersey demographic datasets, goes down to the municipality-level

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Crime and corrections

NJ State Police statistics on crime, gang activity and accidents. Data is mostly in PDF formats and would require some OCR and massaging to unlock
FBI Uniform Crime Reports
NJ Registered sex offender database, with query-based data retrieval
NJ Department of Corrections inmate finder, with form-based queries
Arrest-related deaths 2004-2014, from NJ Advance Media “Kenwin Garcia” project
Juvenile Justice Commission data, weekly statistics since 2011 in PDFs

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City Open Data Repositories

Hoboken’s Open Data site
Jersey City’s Official Data site
Jersey City Open Data portal, a searchable repository of Jersey City data
Newark Open Data portal

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NJ Department of Education data, one stop shop for everything data in New Jersey
— NJDOE’s Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System, contains school weapons, fights, assault, bomb threats, bullying incidents, etc.
College Campus Safety and Security Data, from U.S. Department of Education, has data on alleged criminal offenses reported to campus security authorities and/or local law enforcement agencies.

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NJ Election Information and Results Archive, with historical returns mostly in PDF

Disaster relief

Federal Emergency Management data feeds and APIs
FEMA flood maps
Federal Procurement Data System
Sandy Programs and Disbursement data on the state’s Data Portal

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Environment, pollution and wildlife

NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Data Miner, with form-based data retrieval
Contaminated brownfield remediation
Air Quality data
Wildlife, fishing and hunting information
NJ Bear Hunt Data
Farmland preservation
Drought data
— Profile of New Jersey’s energy emissions, consumptions and alternative fuel use, from US Energy Information Administration
Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program data, from the Environmental Protection Agency

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State inspection report cards for hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities, may require some scraping.
CMS Open Payments database & ProPublica’s Dollars for Docs project, both contain data on money received by doctors from pharmaceutical companies.
Data.Medicare.gov, has quality measure comparisons for nursing homes, hospitals, home health and physicians.
New Jersey Prescription Drug Price Registry
Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) plan premium prices, down to the county-level
— FDA API, contains adverse reactions and recalls for drugs, devices and foods
Patient data breaches in medical facilities

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Housing and Real Estate

Building Permit data, monthly, also going back since 2000
— Foreclosure Statistics, from the State Division of Banking
— Zillow Real Estate Data
Property Assessment records

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Human Services

— Family Development, food stamp, child services data, along with WorkFirst New Jersey Program.
— FamilyCare Enrollment, enrollment data on the state’s FamilyCare Program.
— New Jersey Division of Addiction Services, Substance Abuse Statistics
— Substance Abuse Treatment Reports, the state’s annual performance reports from substance abuse treatment centers
— Intoxicated Driving Program Reports, from the state’s Intoxicated Driving Program
— Epidemiological Reports,  issued annually by NJ Dept. of Human Services

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National Bridges inventory
National Dams Directory

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NJ Department of Labor’s State Data Center
State labor force estimates and unemployment data
OSHA enforcement inspections

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State legislature FTP, has bills, laws, votes and bill tracking information from the current and past sessions

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Mapping & Shapefiles

— The NJ Geographic Information Network (NJGIN)
NJ Office of GIS
— State Department of Environmental Protection GIS data
— State Department of Transportation GIS data, includes roads and highways
— NJ Transit rail GIS data and bus GIS data

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Professional licensing data, with form-based data retrieval queries
Asbury Park Press’ Data Universe
Society of Professional Journalists tool box with links to public records
NJ DataBank, a repository of policy reports and data on various topics
— NJ Child Care licensing data

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Nonprofits & charities

Directory of registered New Jersey charities
IRS master file of tax exempt organizations

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Active and Retired State Pension Data

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Transportation and Safety

— State Department of Transportation data, includes tons of transportation data, including downloads of raw accident databases, GIS data and roadway usage
— All of Hudson County Public Transportation GIS data, courtesy of @FakeGreenDress
511 Traffic info with form-based data query that could be scraped
NJ Transit Developer site (need to sign up with a free account) contains GTFS schedule data and rail advisory feeds
— Five months of PATH ridership Turnstile data
Federal Rail Administration data, includes railroad accident data, among other things

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— State Department of Community Affairs’ Property Tax data
— State Department of Treasury tax data
Property ownership records

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— Veterans Data, federal repository with state-level data
— Veterans Affairs Publications, publications and data issued by the state Department of Veteran’s Affairs

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— Office of the NJ State Climatologist
— Daily temperature and precipitation records in New Jersey towns
CoCoRahs, Daily rain/snow reports from more than 200 locations around New Jersey
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data products
National Climatic Data Center
METAR observation station data
U.S. Geological Survey water resources, with links to drought and flood data

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