Socrata, Inc.

Socrata, Inc.

September 21, 2011 11:05 ET

Cook County Launches Socrata-Powered Open Data Site

County Board President Preckwinkle Inaugurates Innovative Online Initiative

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Sept. 21, 2011) - Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle, today unveiled one of the most comprehensive County Open Data sites in the country. The site, powered by the cloud-based Socrata Open Data Platform™, transforms the government's public data into a universally accessible online resource for residents and communities throughout the County.

The Open Data site is accessible at

"Today's launch marks a milestone in a sustained effort to deploy smart technology, where appropriate, to enable and accelerate government transformation through Open Data," says Greg Wass, Cook County Chief Information Officer. In May, the County Board passed the Open Data ordinance which hard-wired its commitment to promoting transparency, civic engagement and accountability into all aspects of government.

"We're excited to offer our residents an interactive online experience where they can easily discover, explore, visualize and share County data that affects their lives. By promoting universal accessibility, we're making our public data useful to a broad audience for the very first time," adds Greg Wass. Every dataset is also accessible programmatically via the standards-based, Socrata Open Data API (SODA), in order to unlock County's data for the developer community in the most efficient way.

The site provides County residents, the research community and software developers with unprecedented access to 75 data sets from 40 departments, covering pertinent issues such as foreclosure data, vendor contracts, and access to health care. The data is geocoded which allows County residents to use location-aware interactive maps either on their desktop or smartphone to interact with the data in the most contextually relevant way.

Cook County's Open Data site also provides County residents with the opportunity to engage with their government and contribute their own feedback and ideas to the Open Data initiative. The site allows users to comment, rate and request additional datasets. Residents are also empowered to create their own unique maps and charts and share their contributions on social networks, or embed them on their community and personal blogs.

Socrata's founder and CEO Kevin Merritt adds: "Cook County joins a select group of forward-thinking government organizations that are using Open Data as a foundation for more efficient delivery of information and services. The fact that the city of Chicago and State of Illinois have also adopted the Socrata Open Data Platform™ as that foundation, creates unique opportunities for government collaboration and community innovation."

The city of Chicago's Open Data site can be found at while the State of Illinois Open Data site can be found at

About Socrata

Socrata is the leading developer and provider of Open Data Services, a category of cloud-based Web 2.0 solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments to dramatically improve the reach, usability and usefulness of their public information assets.

The Socrata Open Data Platform™ optimizes the management and timely dissemination of relevant information and data-driven services to citizen, professional and internal government audiences, in self-service mode and across multiple channels. Information assets include tabular data, geospatial data, unstructured content and real-time data from government transactional systems of record.

Socrata customers include cities such as Seattle, Edmonton, Chicago and Baltimore, states such as Oregon, Illinois and Oklahoma, and federal agencies such as Medicare, SAMHSA and GSA ( Socrata is a private company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit

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