Every day, http://gismaps.oaklandnet.com/crimewatch/ uploads a .CSV file containing the last 90 days of Oakland crime reports. This means that for every new day of crime reports, we lose the old day of crime reports. So while we may be able to talk about crime trends on a month-by-month basis, we aren’t easily able to discuss it on a year-by-year. And for researchers or developers that are looking for a more structured format for the data, you’re out of luck.
This is why I decided to build an ongoing database of crime reports and a RESTful API to access them. The data is in JSON, which ought to make it easy for developers and researchers to parse. The impetus for this work was my own research for this site, motivated by how clean analytical data is stored at Facebook. While there are other Oakland crime API, as of this writing they have stopped function.
There’s still a bunch of work to do, some clean-up and bug fixes. Look out for future posts on the API, its implementaiton, and, of course, crime analysis.