Frequently Asked Questions

Why are governments implementing open data? 
Open data, especially open government data, is a tremendous resource. Many individuals and organizations collect a broad range of different types of data to perform their tasks. Government is particularly significant in this respect, both because of the quantity and centrality of the data it collects, but also because most government data is public by law, and therefore could be made open and available for others to use. 
Why is Alaska putting its data online?
Leading public sector innovators are leveraging cloud, platform, and social technologies to deliver better public access to information, modernize online service delivery, and improve internal efficiencies. The goal is to transform data assets into productive information resources that people can easily access, share, and reuse. By sharing our data in an open and transparent means, we empower the public, ourselves, and our customers to access information anywhere, anytime.
Who benefits from open data? 
While there are numerous instances of how open data creates social and economic value, new things become possible every day. New combinations of data can create new knowledge and insights, which can lead to whole new fields of application that will benefit both the public and the government. 
What is the definition of "data"?
"Data" means final versions of statistical or factual information that:
  • are in alphanumeric or geospatial form reflected in a list, table, graph, chart, map, or other non-narrative formats that can be digitally transmitted or processed;
  • are regularly created or maintained by or on behalf of a governmental entity; and
  • record a measurement, transaction, or determination or provide information on government services, initiatives, and resources related to the mission of the covered governmental entity.
"Data" does not include draft versions of statistical or factual information that are used for internal analysis by a governmental entity.
What is the definition of "open data"?
"Open data" is data that if made public would NOT:
  • violate another law or regulation that prohibits the data from being made public;
  • endanger public health, safety, or welfare;
  • hinder the operation of government, including criminal and civil investigations;
  • impose an undue financial, operational, or administrative burden on the government entity; or
  • disclose proprietary or confidential information.
How frequently is the data updated? 
Update frequency depends on the data set source location and how often the source is updated. If the data is set to automatically update, you will find the frequency identified under the "About this Dataset" section under "Automation". You can also see when the dataset was created on the Open Data Portal and when it was last updated.
What have other cities, counties, and states done with open data?
Examples of open data use include Texas (data.texas.gov), Maryland (opendata.maryland.gov), New York (data.ny.gov), Utah (data.utah.gov), Austin (data.austintexas.gov), Chicago (data.cityofchicago.org), San Francisco (data.sfgov.org), Fulton County (data.fultoncountyga.gov), and many others.
How do I submit site feedback or request a dataset? 
To provide feedback about the site or to make a request for a dataset to be added to the open data portal, please email us at AlaskaOpenDataPortal@alaska.gov. Please be aware that all requests for datasets will be routed to the data owners to identify if the data can be made available to the public based on the criteria stated above for open data.