There’s a lot of data available on cities that you might not have realized. Want to know how much a window washer makes in the city of Chicago? It’s in the Chicago Data Portal (it’s $43,068). Want to find a list of all the street names in Chicago? Check the Chicago Data Portal. Interested in the crimes committed in the city since 2001? I’m confident you know where to look by now.
The Chicago Data Portal is part of a recent movement to make government more transparent, and it lists all things data and statistics including city budgets, 311 service calls (that’s the non-emergency number for help in Chicago), FOIA requests, building permits and many other things. If you’re interested in seeing how Chicago runs and the things that being part of local government entails, head over and sift through some of the data sets for a while.
Chicago’s not the only place working to make it’s data more accessible. New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC each have their own similar data sites. And if you’re looking for other places, check out DataCatalogs.org to additional places, including international cities.