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The original item was published from 6/18/2018 12:35:27 PM to 7/3/2018 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: June 18, 2018

[ARCHIVED] New Datasets Expand NorfolkOpenData Portal Again

Trash becomes data treasure; shedding light on streetlights

NORFOLK, VA –  Keep Norfolk Beautiful can tell you exactly how many cigarette butts volunteers collected from city coastlines last year. KNB tallies the number of fast food wrappers, quantities of balloons, even the plethora of plastic 6-pack holders removed from city coastlines – and therefore prevented from entering city waterways.

This trove of information from the annual International Coastal Cleanup has long helped KNB create targeted litter removal and prevention campaigns.

“Maybe we work with businesses on placement of trashcans,” said KNB Director Fleta Jackson. “How do you take what you know and find a solution?”

Now, this information resides in the city’s open data portal, NorfolkOpenData, along with information on the city’s streetlights. The portal is a one-stop-shop for public data that you can download, sort and filter, or use to create customized maps and charts. These additions boost the portal’s dataset total to 10.

The International Coastal Cleanup happens all over the world from September 1 through October 31, and encourages removal of litter from beaches and waterways. Each piece of debris is collected and tracked to help understand where trash in our waterways comes from. It’s an indicator of water quality, Jackson said, with measures used in the city’s state stormwater permit application. It’s also an effective means to assess the city’s quality of life around its many miles of gorgeous Chesapeake Bay beaches and river shorelines.

This data allows Norfolk to compare its efforts to clean the coast with participating cities around the globe. For example, Jackson said, “Cigarette butts are the most littered items in the world.” The worldwide and local data “allows us to target our litter control efforts, and combat specific litter issues.”

The city hopes that providing this data to residents will increase attention to and solutions for litter on our shores.

For more information on Keep Norfolk Beautiful, including information on volunteering for the International Coastal Cleanup, KNB’s Community Cleanup programs and recycling, visit Norfolk.gov/knb or email knb@norfolk.gov.

NorfolkOpenData also contains a dataset that allows residents to locate all the streetlights the City of Norfolk leases from Dominion Virginia Power. The dataset also shows the type of lights used, the light style and color.

These datasets will join data on public safety, neighborhoods, code enforcement, economic development and city employees on NorfolkOpenData. Feel free to view, download and manipulate this data. We provide this data as an affirmation of our commitment to transparency and community collaboration. We hope that you will use this data to improve your community, spark a business idea or just satisfy your curiosity.  Data will be updated and expanded often as we work to build a comprehensive open data portal.

For more information on OpenDataNorfolk, call 664-4007 or email opendata@norfolk.gov.
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