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

Crime data

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

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 permits & licenses

  • Building permit applications (i.e. permits not yet issued). The City of Chicago has a website for looking up permits-in-progress, but it requires that you know the address and you must type in one address at a time.
  • Public way use permits and Grants of Privilege (GOP). The City of Chicago does not provide this on its data portal.
  • Business license applications. The City of Chicago does not have a public-facing database of people applying for business licenses.
  • Occupancy inspections/certificate of occupancy. These occur when a renovation project or new construction project is completed and requires a final inspection and sign-off from the Chicago Dept. of Buildings that it's ready for occupancy.


  • Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and Chicago Rehab Network are collecting stories from people who've experienced low appraisals. (added 2/6/22)
  • Appraisal information. Read about Cook County Assessor Kaegi's efforts to have the Government Sponsored Enterprises (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) to publish these reports.

All other categories

  • Timely information about liens, unpaid water bills, and the like. The Cook County Clerk's Office (which assumed the role of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds in 2019) does not provide this information in a format that our system can connect to. We provide limited information about some liens in a PIN-based Address Snapshot report in the Property Ownership section (look for the "Recordings" heading), but it isn't timely.
  • Certain lending and investment: We don't have CDFI, mission lending, Illinois treasury small business lending risk backstop.
  • Water records - In Chicago, this information is stored in old books at City Hall and can be requested via FOIA.
  • Where gentrification and displacement is happening. We recommend looking at the Displacement Pressure map that the Institute of Housing Studies keeps updated.
  • 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.

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.

This page is part of a collection about website service & status information.

Other pages in this collection:

Community Area, Chicago neighborhood, Chicago Ward, Chicago Ward (2022), Chicago Ward (historical), Chicago Primary Boulevard, Illinois community college district, Illinois State Police district, Special Service Area (SSA), Special Service Area (SSA) (past boundary), Special Service Area (SSA) (Evanston), Chicago Cannabis District, Chicago Landmark District, Evanston Historic District, National Register of Historic Places, Custom Place, CTA rail station, CTA rail station (isochrone), CTA line, Metra rail station, Metra rail station (isochrone), Metra line, South Shore Line rail station, South Shore Line route, TIF District, Personal Place, Industrial Corridor, Enterprise Zone, River Edge Redevelopment Zone (RERZ), Planned Manufacturing District (PMD), Planned Manufacturing District (PMD) - Subarea, ZIP Code, Township, Chicago township neighborhood, River, Chicago Police Beat, Chicago Police District, Cook County Commissioner District, McCormick Place-Navy Pier taxing district, Neighborhood organization, Business organization, Congressional District, Congressional District (2021), Illinois State House Rep. (2011), Illinois State House Rep. (2021), Illinois State Senate (2011), Illinois State Senate (2021), Chicago school attendance boundary, Industrial Growth Zone, Transit TIF, Municipal Annex, Municipality, Election Precinct, Chicago Planned Development (PD), Chicago Landmark, Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP) (inactive, pre-2017), Micro Market Recovery Program (MMRP), Ward (Evanston), Ward (Rockford), DuPage County Board, Designated Pedestrian Street (Chicago), Census Block Group, Census Block, Census Block (2010), Census Tract, Census Tract (2010), Planning Region (Chicago), Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMA), Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) pilot area, Affordable Requirements Ordinance (ARO) areas (2021), Expanded Mental Health Services District, Former Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) developments, Chicago Zoning Overlay District, Illinois Medical Cannabis District, Illinois Adult Use Cannabis Region, Intermodal yard, MWRD Watershed, Chicago TOD Bus Corridor, Illinois port district, Illinois EMS Region, INVEST South/West, INVEST South/West priority corridor, Chicago ADU pilot area, Incentive area, Illinois Appellate Court (2011), Illinois Appellate Court (2021), Cook County Board of Review (2011), Cook County Board of Review (2021), Chicago home equity assurance districts, Cook County Judicial Subcircuits (2024), Cook County Judicial Subcircuits (current), Community plans, Green View Index, TOD Area Parcels (Evanston), Cook County annual tax sale, LIHTC project locations, Intermodal yards, Nearby Transit Stops, Qualified Census Tracts and Difficult Development Areas, Federally-qualified health centers (FQHC), Building footprints, Schools of all categories, Difficult Development Areas, Home day cares, Distressed/underserved areas, Small business loans, Cook County property data, Amenities and social infrastructure map, Illinois property sales, Journey to work, HUD Revitalization Areas by Census block group, Chicago ride hail trip data, Racially or Ethnically-Concentrated Areas of Poverty (R/ECAP), Cook County TIF revenues, Cook County Land Bank Authority properties, Underserved areas in Illinois, Historical Chicago ward maps, Disproportionately Impacted Areas (DIAs), for the purpose of COVID-19 relief, Building Permits in Chicago, Chicago Building Violations, Chicago Business Licenses, Chicago TIF Projects, Business Owners, Chicago food inspections, Chicago Building Violations Hearings, Buildings Reported Vacant or Abandoned in Chicago, Basement Flooding Reports in Chicago, Fly Dumping Complaints in Chicago, Energy Benchmark Buildings in Chicago, Energy Benchmark Data in Chicago, Storage Tanks in Chicago, Chicago-Owned Land Inventory, Violations at Bank-Owned Buildings in Chicago, Affordable Housing Developments in Chicago, Environmental Inspections in Chicago, Environmental Permits in Chicago, Neighborhood Opportunity Fund projects in Chicago, Neighborhood Opportunity Fund projects in Chicago, Small Business Improvement Fund projects in Chicago, Cook County Assessor sales data, TIF investment committee review of projects, Information about traffic crashes in Chicago