Government

County Unveils New Public Data Portal


A map showing opioid overdoses over the past year.

A new portal from Bucks County allows the public to explore data in a visual means.

The Bucks County Commissioners announced the new data portal last week at their meeting. Bucks County Planning Commission Executive Director Evan Stone showed off the new platform.

The data portal is based on the Bucks County Planning Commission’s geographic information system mapping and data software that is powered by ESRI Inc.

The new maps cover preserved farms, county-owned bridges, open space, polling locations, pipelines, and trails among other things. In addition, an extensive section is focused on the opioid epidemic, covering medication collection boxes, overdose locations over the past year, fatal overdoses, naloxone pickup locations, and police naloxone saves. It also includes some key statistics from the epidemic.

Officials said the idea for the public data portal came from the Planning Commission focusing on the idea that their geographic information system software could be used to track the opioid epidemic. They noted that data could be used by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission.

“Planning Commission Executive Director Evan Stone approached me and stated that his department wanted to help us shine a light on all of the resources we have made available to fight against the opioid scourge.  He and his whole team at the Planning Commission were incredible partners with the District Attorney’s Office in the creation of this powerful new public awareness mapping resource,” said District Attorney Matt Weintraub.  “This series of interactive maps show the many ways in which we are helping the public to access available resources in this life and death battle.”

Data showing open space.

The county plans to add more projects that will expand the data portal, which is divided into three main sections of data and maps that include initiatives, interactive maps, and exploring data.

The Commissioners said they anticipate the new data portal will improve “internal efficiencies and the ability to make better-informed, data driven decisions to help solve community problems, while maintaining its environment of accountability.”

“This open data initiative is not the solution to all issues that impact our Bucks County communities. However, we are confident that providing this means of access to government data, it will result in meaningful benefits to both the county and the residents and businesses we serve,” said Commissioner Chairman Robert Loughery.

To access the open data portal, click here.


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001