Sources Data Dictionary
Chicago Cityscape has documented most of the data, map, and policy sources it uses.
Can't find something we've shown elsewhere on the site? Contact us.
Data that we don't have
Chicago Cityscape doesn't show or have data about reported crimes: it is very biased as many communities are overpoliced, often represents alleged and unconfirmed crimes, poorly represents actual threats or danger, has sometimes been published with errors or is amended later; and, when mapped, crime data can imply "hotspots" that are based on temporary, community, social, and contextual situations rather than geographical (place-based) factors.
Additional resources about crime data
- Crime data and bias
- Injustice Watch and Invisible Institute are local resources to learn about overpolicing, police misconduct, and the use of data and person-tracking databases.
- Read this Vice News article about crime on the NYC subway highlights issues with crime data.
Other data we don't have
A typical reason for why we don't have a given dataset is because it's not available in an easy-to-obtain format that can be automated.
- Certain lending and investment: We don't have CDFI, mission lending, Illinois treasury small business lending risk backstop.
- Appraisal information
- Where gentrification and displacement is happening.
- We don't have the Cook County annual tax sale or the scavenger sale lists or maps of PINs. In 2021, the Center for Municipal Finance at the University of Chicago published the first independent analysis of the scavenger sale. Some key findings were that "only 6% of all Scavenger- involved properties have successfully returned to the private market through the issuance of a tax deed" and "On average, only 130 individual bidders participated in each auction, and most of the successful bids have come from one of two sources [the CCLBA being one of them]."
- Evictions data. However, the Lawyers' Committee for Better Housing provides aggregate evictions data for Chicago.
- Vacant Building Registry. The City of Chicago does not provide this on its data portal, nor as a downloadable file.
- Deeds and recordings. The Cook County Clerk's office (formerly the Recorder of Deeds) does not provide a data portal and charges a high amount for data.
- Corporation/LLC database. The Illinois Secretary of State charges for the data.
- Public way use permits and Grants of Privilege. The City of Chicago does not provide this on its data portal.
We are always gathering feedback on what data people want and need, even if it's already been investigated and placed in the lists above. Community and industry needs change, and we want to create data partnerships even where it's difficult to obtain and integrate data into our system. Please contact us to request that we add data or to explain how you use data.
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