Licenses & Inspections app: use this app to search city property records - Technical.ly Philly

Dec. 3, 2012 11:00 am

Licenses & Inspections app: use this app to search city property records

Data nerd or not, get excited: you now have loads of Philly property data at your fingertips. The city just launched a new feature on its Philly 311 app  that allows users to search by property address and find permits, licenses and violations attached to that property.  The app is a continuation of the Department of Licenses […]

Data nerd or not, get excited: you now have loads of Philly property data at your fingertips.

The city just launched a new feature on its Philly 311 app  that allows users to search by property address and find permits, licenses and violations attached to that property.  The app is a continuation of the Department of Licenses & Inspections (L&I)’s open data efforts [see our previous coverage here].

Get the 311 app HERE.

Here’s a few ideas if you’re wondering how or when to use the app:

  • Check to see if a property owner has the right building permits for the construction he’s getting done. If he doesn’t, report him with the app.
  • Find out if the city has been issuing violations to that vacant, blighted warehouse. If it’s not on the city’s radar, use the app to get it there. You get the idea, but the possibilities are endless.

The new functionality is yet another example of the city using its 311 app as a platform to reach citizens.

The city also released the source code for the app [Updated, see below], though the terms of service aren’t fully ironed out, in hopes that local developers will come up with new uses for the data. In fact, a team using the L&I API won second place at this weekend’s Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon. Stacey Mosely, from L&I, led the team with Tim Wisniewsi from the managing director’s office.

Below, watch Mosely, Wisniewski and city Chief Data Officer Mark Headd discuss the app. (Forgive some of the pauses for the interview taking place in the wilds of a weekend hackathon)

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Updated 12/5/12 2:05 p.m. to reflect that the city released the source code, not the API for the app.

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