Open Data Policy Collection

Jersey City, NJ

Administrative Policy (Jul 1, 2017)

View original policy (PDF)

The City of Jersey City is committed to providing public access to data and other information on our resources, operations, and activities in an effort to:

  • Increase transparency
  • Improve public knowledge and awareness of government activities
  • Expand data-driven decision making
  • Strengthen citizen engagement
  • Foster greater public trust

The City has created an Open Data Portal to serve as a single, primary mechanism for dissemination of all available public data and information. While the Portal platform and database system(s) may change over time, it will always be publicly accessible at:

Below is an overview of the policies and procedures governing the dissemination and publication of data through the Jersey City Open Data Portal.

If anyone should have any questions, please contact the Jersey City Office of Innovation at (201) 547-6587 or email the Director, Brian Platt, at


The Jersey City Office of Innovation

Last Revision: July 1 2017

Jersey City Open Data Policy

Data Collection Process

All Jersey City government agencies, departments, divisions, offices, and other related entities shall, make a good faith effort to build robust data recording and management systems and processes. These systems may vary from manual collection processes to automated feeds transmitting data directly from the point of capture to the Data Portal.

The Office of Innovation is committed to working with all parties to ensure any data collection processes do not substantially inhibit workflow or other daily operations.

Data Included, Exemptions and Restrictions

All data (see below definitions) capturing relevant information about government operations and activities shall be included, with the following exceptions:

  1. The City shall be exempt from publishing any data that would be exempt from disclosure based on any exemption set forth in the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. or any other exemptions required by law.

  2. The Data Portal shall never include:

    a. Personally identifiable information of government employees or any other people

    b. Information that reflects the internal deliberative process of a department or departments, including but not limited to negotiating positions, future procurements, or pending or reasonably anticipated legal or administrative proceedings

    c. Proprietary applications, computer code, software, operating systems or similar materials

    d. Attorney-client work product or internal discussions in anticipation of litigation.

Data shall never be deleted from the Data Portal unless it is incorrect or incomplete.

A list of all published data sets shall be readily available at all times on the Data Portal.

Data Structure, Format, and Quality

Data shall be produced and published in non-proprietary, searchable, sortable, platformindependent, machine readable format(s) consistent with applicable open data standards and practices.

Data shall be able to be viewed directly on the portal and available for export through the Portal in .pdf, .xml, .csv and/or tabular formats.

Application Programming Interface (API) documentation (see below definitions) for automated downloads shall be made available on the Data Portal.

All available metadata and metadata documentation (see below definitions) shall be made public on the Data Portal.

Data shall be searchable through the Data Portal either by keyword search, browsing by type of operation, or by scrolling through lists or carousels of data sets and analyses.

Maintenance and Management

The City responsible shall develop and manage appropriate Exchange, Transfer, and Loading (ETL) processes that allow for any edits to the data to make it suitable to publication on the Data Portal. The City shall also ensure published data remains accurate and aligns with the policy set forth here.

Publishing and Updates

Data shall be refreshed and updated at reasonable intervals when new data becomes available.

Data sets may be updated weekly, daily, or in real time as is reasonable given the type of data, technology capacity, and amount of data produced. The preferred maximum update interval is one month. Regardless of data update intervals, each data set shall be reviewed for accuracy at least once annually by the Office of Innovation.

Public Use of Data

The City shall not place any restrictions on third-party reuse of data. The City shall not provide to third parties any copies, records or logs of the identities or IP addresses of individuals accessing the data or the Portal, with the exception of a valid law enforcement purpose.

Definitions (based on the White House Project Open Data):

APPLICATION PROGRAMMING INTERFACE (API): Software and/or other code/programming elements and specifications that describe how programs and software communicate and share data and other relevant information.

CSV: A comma separated values (CSV) file is a computer data file used for implementing the tried and true organizational tool, the Comma Separated List. The CSV file is used for the digital storage of data structured in a table of lists form. Each line in the CSV file corresponds to a row in the table. Within a line, fields are separated by commas, and each field belongs to one table column. CSV files are often used for moving tabular data between two different computer programs (like moving between a database program and a spreadsheet program).

DATA: A value or set of values representing a specific concept or concepts. Data become “information” when analyzed and possibly combined with other data in order to extract meaning, and to provide context. The meaning of data can vary depending on its context. Data includes all data. It includes, but is not limited to, 1) geospatial data 2) unstructured data, 3) structured data, etc.

DATASET: named collection of related, digitally-stored data with the collection containing individual Data units organized or formatted in a specific and prescribed way, often in tabular form, and accessed by a specific access method that is based on the Dataset organization, but not including any Data that is protected from disclosure under applicable Federal or State law.

DEPARTMENT: any subdivision within the municipal government, and any bureau or office under it, which performs a function of municipal government.

JSON: JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a lightweight data-interchange format. It is easy for humans to read and write. It is easy for machines to parse and generate. It is based on a subset of the JavaScript Programming Language, Standard ECMA-262 3rd Edition - December 1999. JSON is a text format that is completely language independent but uses conventions that are familiar to programmers of the C-family of languages, including C, C++, C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl, Python, and many others. These properties make JSON an ideal data-interchange language.

MACHINE-READABLE FILE: Refers to information or data that is in a format that can be easily processed by a computer without human intervention while ensuring no semantic meaning is lost.

METADATA: To facilitate common understanding, a number of characteristics, or attributes, of data are defined. These characteristics of data are known as “metadata”, that is, “data that describes data.” For any particular datum, the metadata may describe how the datum is represented, ranges of acceptable values, its relationship to other data, and how it should be labeled. Metadata also may provide other relevant information, such as the responsible steward, associated laws and regulations, and access management policy. Each of the types of data described above has a corresponding set of metadata. Two of the many metadata standards are the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI) and Department of Defense Discovery Metadata Standard (DDMS). The metadata for structured data objects describes the structure, data elements, interrelationships, and other characteristics of information, including its creation, disposition, access and handling controls, formats, content, and context, as well as related audit trails. Metadata includes data element names (such as Organization Name, Address, etc.), their definition, and their format (numeric, date, text, etc.). In contrast, data is the actual data values such as the “US Patent and Trade Office” or the “Social Security Administration” for the metadata called “Organization Name”. Metadata may include metrics about an organization’s data including its data quality (accuracy, completeness, etc.).

OPEN DATA PORTAL/DATA PORTAL: the electronic software platform where Datasets are hosted and made available to the public.

OPEN DATA STANDARD: the generally accepted technical standards developed to provide consistency of data presentation in Open Data Portals.

XML: Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a flexible language for creating common information formats and sharing both the format and content of data over the Internet and elsewhere. XML is a formatting language recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

To see a full list of definitions, please visit this site:

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