Re: On April 6, Fairfax County turned off an open data access point for crime data. Historically, Fairfax County has been very open with sharing their crime information, but something has changed.
To: Real Estate Search and Sale, LLC From http://SpotCrime.com
On April 6, Fairfax County turned off an open data access point for crime data. Historically, Fairfax County has been very open with sharing their crime information, but something has changed.
SpotCrime had been mapping from this open crime feed for 3 years. In total, we've been mapping crime at no cost to the county for 7 years.
For the last few months, we have been corresponding with the police department and we understand that they have been in contact with County Government about the issue.
We are still not sure why the system was turned off, and we are not sure why it can't be turned back on. But the end result is that Fairfax County is now one of the least transparent counties in the area. This is sharp contrast to Arlington which just created an open data portal allowing anyone to access, collect, use, and share Arlington crime data.
Unfortunately, we do have experience with other police departments where the public feed never gets restored, therefore we find it imperative that the community (you) let the department know how much you value open and transparent crime data - and to restore an open data feed that the public and the press can utilize. With the rapidly declining price of computing, the long term costs of making this data available for everyone is near zero.
Chief of Police
Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr.
Please ask for the open crime data feed to be turned back on and ask for an open data approach similar to Arlington.
The goal here is to get the data open for everyone - not just a feed for SpotCrime.
Many of our clients rely on this resource, so it's important to have access to crime stats before buying property, whether it be for an a personal property or investment.