Beyond the country-level often the availability and format of 'civic' data is different for various geographic/governmental areas. For example, property appraisals, crime incidence, business registrations etc. are easily found data sets in some cities/counties etc. and not in others.

I know that making questions relevant and helpful to a larger audience is very much at the heart of SE. At the same time, this type of data can be crucial to community and policy-making decisions and evaluations.

How (if at all) can these varying datasets fit in. At the very least, I think these more geographically limited sources can be informative models for those seeking to liberate their local civic data.

1 Answer 1


I definitely wouldn't block them. While I think the data-hunt questions are kind've dumb, for datasets that are hard to find (maybe it's an offline process or it's just buried somewhere online but ungoogleable), this community could potentially make them much more discoverable and accessible (StackExchange sites usually rank highly in organic search).

StackOverflow doesn't block people asking questions about obscure programming languages, so I don't think we should block people asking about obscure geographic locations.

  • I understand the distaste for and am experiencing a certain amount of self-loathing re. data-hunt questions. At the same time, I have found valuable datasets through public sources I never would have imagined (often times serendipitously)- though, perhaps, this isn't the best way of addressing issues of open data navigability. May 10, 2013 at 18:56

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