City of Asheville unveils new Open Data Portal

Our data is your data. Literally.

The City of Asheville collects and houses a lot of data, everything from property records to zoning permits and beyond. Putting that data to use for the public good has been a driving force behind City initiatives such as the SimpliCity search engine, which won a national award, and, a partnership with Code for Asheville that provides a visual tour of the City’s budget.

Earlier this year, we reported that the City of Asheville is working to make data available to anyone who wants it in easy-to-find and downloadable formats.

The outcome of that effort is an updated City open data portal. Go to to find all kinds of information, ranging from local Census data to how many National Register of Historic Places there are in Asheville and where to find them.

The City’s new open data portal has been upgraded with some cool search features. “And it’s redesigned to make the categories easier to follow,” said Christen McNamara, GIS Programmer Analyst who has been working on the site.

The person coming to the City’s open data portal typically is either going to be a developer trying to get information, a web analyst or a citizen interested in big data. Under the City Government tab, for example, the data for vendors, business licenses and permits is updated every night.

“Now people can come here and download data in whatever format they want: spreadsheet, shapefile, API, as well as perform simple spatial analysis directly on the site,” McNamara said.

The hope is that the public will mine this data and make it work for them. We also want City staff to use it to help make their jobs more efficient with search tools.

So go on the City of Asheville Open Data Portal, check it out. Don’t see what you want? Make a data request.

“As people ask us for data, we will share it through the new site whenever possible to make it more widely accessible,” said McNamara.