Share 311 Data Using FME Connectors

June 26, 2018 7:12 am PST | Data as a Service
Chattanooga City Insider

How does your organization handle incoming requests for service through 311 or other means? Third-party 311 service providers often have an API that will allow you full access to the data for internal and public data sharing. PublicStuff and SeeClickFix are two such third-party providers with APIs that can be accessed to pull down the data and put it into Socrata.

Once you have this data on citizen requests for service available, there are many ways to use it. For instance, the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee, uses it to power its Citizen Connect site City Insider. So does the city of St Petersburg, Florida, whose 311 data powers Stat Map. The dataset is also going to be critical in the development of their performance program, StPeteStat.


City of St Petersburg Stat Map
311 data powers St. Petersburg’s interactive Stat Map tool.


In addition to Socrata, Chattanooga and St. Petersburg are clients of PublicStuff and SeeClickFix respectively and use FME connectors to automate their data publishing. FME, formerly known as Feature Manipulation Engine, is a software package made by Safe Software. FME is an extract, transform, load (ETL) tool that allows users to read data from hundreds of source systems, then transform the data and write it to the same or another format, including Socrata.

Through working with clients, the Socrata team identified 311 datasets as key assets for the cities and the Global Services implementation teams then developed workspaces using the third-party APIs to consume the data with FME and write it directly to Socrata. The Safe FME Hub is now home to workspaces that allow you to access the same data for your organization if you are a client of PublicStuff or SeeClickFix.

In addition to using FME to access the raw data via the APIs, the Date/Time Functions available in FME 2018.0 can derive additional data that can be operationalized around each request:

  • Hours to acknowledge
  • Days since update
  • Days open
  • Day of week created, acknowledged, updated and closed

These workspaces can be customized to meet your needs and write to your Socrata datasets. If you have trouble using these workspaces, reach out to to schedule a coaching session for additional assistance.

Looking to maximize how your city uses 311 data? We'd love to brainstorm idea — get in touch.

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