Make your open data useful

Local government needs to do more with less. So let's do more with what we have never had more of: data. Code for America's recommended formats make open data easier to access, use, and move to the applications people already use to make decisions.

What can open data formats do for you?

Local Government

Open data formats make the public data governments already collect more valuable. Standardized data can travel to citizens where and when they need it most. Adopting standards also gives governments access to the world of open-source civic apps–often available a little to no cost–that enable their public agencies to improve service delivery and do more with less.


When cities across the country format their data in the same way, technologists can build tools that scale across cities at a fraction of the effort and cost. Open data formats streamline the process of finding and using data across city agencies. That means that civic apps can come from technologists with talent and drive, not just big companies with cash on hand.


Data standards help citizens get the information they need to make the best decisions possible for their families, businesses, and communities. Every day countless citizens make hard decisions about where to live, how to commute, and where to spend their money. With standardized public data, citizens anywhere can receive unprecedented guidance on the decisions they face, helping our cities become fair, efficient, and sustainable.

Open Referral

A standard format for community resource directory information (i.e. what services are provided by which organizations at what sites, and how to access them).

Open Trail System Specification

Parks and trails are a cornerstone of public health and quality of life. The Open Trail System Specification (OpenTrails) helps citizens get outdoors to enjoy them.

Local Inspector Value Entry Specification (LIVES)

Food safety plays a critical role in any public health program. The Local Inspector Value Entry Specification lets more citizens use inspection results to inform their eating choices.

Housefacts Specification

Local governments inspect residential buildings and enforce health and safety codes. The Housefacts Specification helps government put the facts about housing into the hands of citizens.