We’re excited to release the Toronto Budget Data REST API and example data visualizations designed around it. The API provides easier access to the city’s current budget data, made available through the Toronto Open Data initiative.
A hot topic of debate in Toronto is our mayor’s proposed budget (among other recent decisions his administration has made). As engaged citizens, we wanted to crack into the numbers ourselves to get a better understanding of how this and prior year’s budgets have been allocated.
The city’s budget data is freely available as part of the Toronto Open Data initiative, but only through a proprietary and un-friendly format (over 30+ Excel spreadsheets). Knowing this data could be put to greater use through a standard, application-friendly feed, we first set out to translate it all into a datastore accessible via a REST API.
The second part of the project was to build a visualization on top of this data that would allow visitors to simply view the expenditure and revenue breakdowns in the operation budget and the ward-by-ward expenditures in the capital budget.
We hope that this data will be put toward much more ambitious applications to give citizens more insight and encourage more informed discourse about our city council’s budget decisions.
Toronto Budget Data is an Uproot Greenhouse project. Greenhouse is our labs initiative where team members collaborate to work on non-client projects that leverage open and emerging technology. The goal is to give team members an arena to flex some creative and technical muscle while making a positive social contribution.