Smart City API v1.1.2

Andrew Groot
December 14th, 2017

Even before releasing version 1.0.0 of our Smart City API, we were already thinking about what we could include in future versions. Fortunately, we didn't have to look far to find the large amount of data that the Franklin County auditor's website has available for public consumption (via FTP here). We immediately jumped on the data we thought had the most opportunity: Franklin County's parcel data.

The parcel data is a collection of real estate data that track the lots, or parcels, throughout Franklin County. For each parcel, Franklin County tracks a lot of data including acreage, building square footage, number of baths, last sale price and date, and much more. While some of their documentation is a bit out of date, we worked with them via email to get clarification on the meaning of some of the fields, import them, and document what they represent.

With our new update to the Smart City API, developers can start accessing this information today. By making the API and the code we used to build it public, this data is easier than ever to use and easy for developers to integrate into their system, new and old.

As with our original release, we have included a demo that illustrates one way this data can be used. In it, we display the boundaries of all the zip codes that intersect with Franklin County. Each zip code is color-coded by the average of it's Franklin County parcels last sale prices. This allows one to easily see how much the parcel cost varies throughout the county. However, while this view is tangible, it doesn't necessary answer many questions on its own.

Given the how many of fields are available, there is an immense number of possibilities for how this data could be used. For example, it could be used to build a system that helps users find houses that meet their criteria for a future home. It could be used to create heat maps of home prices in a given area, making it easy to visibly determine where in a houses in a certain area fit into a user's range of allowable prices.

The API could also be useful to data scientists and other researchers who could query the API for parcels fitting certain criteria. The same could go for businesses looking for large parcels to build new headquarters. Similarly, the scripts we provide with our code could easily modified to be used to import the historical data on the Franklin County website, enabling visualization of home pricing and modification trends.

This update makes us even more excited about the future possibilities for Columbus and the ability for businesses and citizens alike to augment their daily lives with data and technology. Thank you for reading.


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