This site features detailed reports, powerful maps and charts and our new interactive mapping platform where you can
create your own maps, charts with an incredible array of data for Alameda County and its communities.
We're now live! Hit the yellow below and explore, map and even download our data!
If you're not sure where to start or just
what you can do with our platform
try this to start!
The Eden Area Community Profile 2013 was commissioned by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley to provide both a new baseline for understanding the five diverse communities in the Eden Area and to evaluate the changes since the initial profile was prepared. It is intended to support the work of Phase II of the Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI) which commenced in 2012.
This profile gives a detailed overview of the area as a whole as well as the five communities contained within the area: Ashland, Castro Valley, Cherryland, Fairview and San Lorenzo.
Three key themes thread through each section of this profile: growth, diversity, and disparity. These themes provide an important framework for understanding the changes over the past two decades in the Eden Area and indicate the direction that the Area is moving towards in the future.
Our Eden Area Livability Initiative Community Profile for 2013 provides essential community context for the planning and decision making of the EALI Phase II work and paints a broad picture of this area as well as providing detailed data on smaller communities within the larger area. Community planning processes should always be based in a firm understanding of a community’s complex reality. The support of data-driven decision making was the key driver to the structure and content of this report. Rather than long tables and dense statistics, we chose to focus on the questions that residents had been asking and portrayed the results in a way that will support a community planning process.
Urban Strategies Council gathered data from numerous state, county, and private sources, and wherever possible broke the data down to allow readers to understand how each indicator varies across the Eden Area. While we have provided many area-level statistics, we remind readers that no small neighborhood is unique and will not match the average experience of the entire area.
We'll be publishing some new data for this weekend's International Open Data Day and wanted to give people a look at what it contains. We obtained Oakland Fire Department calls for service data under a public Records Act request a year ago for a Healthy Homes project, but the data unfortunately did not contain enough granular information to inform that research. But it's still incredibly valuable and useful data, so we'll be releasing it this week. The file contains call information, response times and our geocoded locations based upon the addresses provided, in all about 47,920 records. When you strip down the medical calls (about 83% of Oakland Fire Department calls are for medical emergencies not fires) you get about 920 unique incidents- each call can involve multiple units/trucks.
We've mapped the fire incidents to Zillow's version of Oakland's neighborhoods to show the rough distribution in 2012 to give you some idea of the pattern of structure fires in Oakland. Data coming soon.
A well-established body of academic, clinical, and community-level research has demonstrated that conditions within housing units can deeply impact the physical and mental health of individuals in those units, for better or worse. In many areas, the literature is conclusive: just as a dilapidated apartment with a cockroach problem can trigger asthma in a vulnerable child, so too can a well-maintained and properly managed apartment contribute to the positive well-being of its tenant.
The data presented in our new report show that Oakland is a city of disparities, many of which are reproduced in the City's topography. Oakland—as a whole—is incredibly diverse; the same cannot be said for many parts of the City. There is an incredible amount of overlap between Oakland's communities of color, the renter populations in the City, the areas with high enrollment in social safety net programs, and neighborhoods with poor health outcomes. More often than not, these neighborhoods also have the highest counts of residential code enforcement complaints, indicating problems with the housing stock. These discrete data pieces, when viewed in concert, begin to paint a high level picture of resident experiences and vulnerabilities in Oakland, neighborhood by neighborhood.
An underlying premise behind open data is that you, the creator of a dataset, may not know the best use of your data and therefore need to leave the data open and let the future decide. It is a hard decision for a data analyst who believes that data needs to be properly handled by the ‘professional.’ Even worse, the creator of the dataset rarely sees how the data is being used by others, so they never validate this ‘best use’ principle. Last weekend, it was exciting for me to see the principle of open data in practice, especially on a dataset that I helped to create.
Three years ago, a researcher at the Urban Strategies Council collected information about all of the reentry service providers in Alameda County. We plugged the data into a cumbersome relational database and built a web-based resource directory using the data. About the same time, two groups: Ramsell and Open211, approached us and asked us for the data in order to build their own versions of a resource directory. We had no objection and passed them comma-separated values spreadsheets. Open211 took the data; converted it to a web-friendly json format; built a cool app; and opened the [couch] database with the improved data.
Fast forward 3 years to this last week’s start up hackathon at the Impact Hub. I received a call asking me to provide the service directory data to a team building an app for formerly incarcerated people to find employment. Instead of giving flat files that would have taken considerable work to adapt to ‘good’ web formats, I pointed them to the improved data created by Open211. The end result was that the team did not waste precious time formatting the data and instead focused on building the best app to address the critical issue of employment for formerly incarcerated people. Additionally, this team shared this data with two other teams who also incorporated the data into their apps!
Why Open Data Worked for this situation:
+ Three teams used relevant snippets of the service directory for their projects
+ Service provider info has been vetted by three teams
+ Three new channels have been created to access the information by our community We've been working to democratize data for two decades at Urban Strategies Council, and now we're really starting to see this effort come into it's own and realize the benefits of public data being accessible to the public!