"Palo Alto, Calif., launched the first open data set of city GIS data on April 19 by leveraging Google Fusion Tables. Data sets currently available on the Open GIS platform include location data, road centerlines, land use, tree data, public projects and trench plate data. In the future, the new open data platform Open GIS will provide hundreds more accessible data layers. According to the city, using Google’s fusion tables will allow the data to be queried, mapped, charted and mashed together.
“Experimenting with the power of Google Fusion Tables provides us with a free platform to try new ways to extend the data back to those it belongs: our community,” said Palo Alto’s CIO Jonathan Reichental in a statement. The fusion tables provide tools for analyzing the data, but can also adjust the maps into a larger version. Web developers can also utilize the fusion tables and data sets using the Fusion Tables application programming interface (API) and the FusionTablesLayers in the Google Maps API.
In previous months, Palo Alto has developed a series of open data platforms to promote transparency: Last August, it launched an open data portal of city data, and that following September, it launched an open budget platform to make the city’s financial data more accessible to the public."