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Public Data Links

List of links from @opensandiegodata 
Flashlight Project - Sunlight via public data

@opensandiegodata – Delicious
A database of alcohol licensees in the city of San Diego, California. Data includes new or issued applications for licenses as well as modifications to existing licenses establishments.
Searchable database for finding whether animal shelter in your county are keeping to a no-kill policy. This is a far from complete database
Ever wonder what newspapers your representative in the House subscribes to? Or how many staffers your member has hired, and how much they’re paid? How much the House spends on computers, office supplies and travel? Want to know what the House Appropriations Committee—which writes the bills that spend over a trillion dollars—paid for Deer Park bottled water?
"se this tool to search more than 58,000 nursing home inspection reports from the past three years, and encompassing over 262,500 deficiencies." - ProPublica
"Use this map to discover where roads have been paved through the city of San Diego's street repaving project from January through to those planned for October 2012." - UT San Diego
This page contains current information about active Fire and EMS calls dispatched by the San Diego Fire Communications Center. The data is updated in five minute intervals. Users should reload the page frequently, by clicking your browser's refresh button.
Data repository for the San Diego Association of Governments
The list below provides information gathered from press releases and other public notices about certain recalls of FDA-regulated products.
"CPSC is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death from thousands of types of consumer products. You can find information on over 5,000 product recalls and recall alerts using the various searches on this page."
From the LA Times: "This data­base con­tains in­form­a­tion on about 5,000 men and a hand­ful of wo­men who were ex­pelled from the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica between 1947 and Janu­ary 2005 on sus­pi­cion of sexu­al ab­use."
Controller John Chiang has put together this handy little site for research and analyzing salaries of state and local government employees.
provides individuals and organizations involved in online journalism and digital media with access to legal resources, education, tools and representation.
idsdata.org is your gateway to comprehensive data about the health and well being of children across California. The site offers data for every city, county, and school district in the state, making it easy to monitor trends and pinpoint disparities.
An interactive, web-based data tool that provides easy-to-use and up-to-date information on the health and social consequences of alcohol and drug abuse for California county populations. State and county data can be broken out by year, age, gender, race/ethnicity, and underlying cause.
Public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency departments (EDs) and drug-related deaths investigated by medical examiners and coroners (MEs)
View statistical crime reports and publications detailing specific offenses and outlining trends. Surf through annual reports of different categories including "Crime in the U.S." and "Hate Crime Statistics."
Search and compare health statistics by county, region or across California. Shows data from the CHIS, California's largest health survey.
The California Department of Public Health compiled what they called the "most versatile and comprehensive source of California injury data. It includes all types of injuries that result in death, hospitalization, or an emergency department visit." View by the type of injury or specific individual characteristics such as age, race and gender.
Provides arrest reports from many different government sources throughout California, also displays crime statistics and graphs. Payment required in order to view more than 23 arrest reports.
PDF image of the San Diego County Sheriff's command area. It displays jurisdictions and locations of facilities.
Shows an interactive map of the U.S., displaying recent crime activity within a given area. Users have the option to search for a specific neighborhood or address.
The United States Lifesaving Association annually polls its chapters for the number of rescues, drownings, and other statistical information reported by lifeguard agencies. This is not a comprehensive list of all statistics generated by all beach lifeguard agencies, but the statistics of most major agencies are included here.
The Transportation Forecast Information Center (TFIC) gives you quick access to transportation forecasts. You may use this tool to look at the forecasts on screen as well as print maps or tables. Click on a year below to launch an interactive map of traffic volume forecast data. Select between 2008, 2020, 2035 or 2050 to view the traffic forecast for that year.
Compilation of information to show average weekly traffic counts presented as tables showing roadway descriptions and five-year (2006-2010) volumes presented alphabetically by jurisdiction.
Search by either topic or faculty member for a directory pertaining to UC San Diego faculty and their field of expertise.
Provides several different databases, each providing unique aspects and search abilities to receive information surrounding current and prospective U.S. tariffs. Harmonized Tariff Schedule online reference tool: http://hts.usitc.gov/
CROSS is a searchable database of CBP rulings that can be retrieved based on simple or complex search characteristics using keywords and Boolean operators. CROSS has the added functionality of CROSS referencing rulings from the initial search result set with their modified, revoked or referenced counterparts. Rulings collections are separated into Headquarters and New York and span the years 1989 to present. Collections can be searched individually or collectively.
A collection of websites, news coverage, and commentary surrounding the Wikileaks releases. This collection includes documents released from the Afghan war diaries and the Iraq war logs, as well as the more recent release of the US State diplomatic cables. Please note, there are thousands of news articles, blog entries, etc. that are not listed below. To access these, the best way is to perform a search for the content you are interested in. Dates back to July, 2010.
Search the National Science Foundation for information on awardees. See how much they received, what organization within the NSF it came from and the award's intended purpose. Search by name, organization or location.
In their words: "California interest groups have filed nearly 7,000 reports in the first half of 2011 disclosing what bills and issues they have lobbied in state government. We've taken those forms and created a one-of-a-kind database that allows you to search who is lobbying any bill before the Legislature. Simply type a bill number into the system and get a list of all the interests that declared an intent to lobby that bill on their Form 635s [PDF]."
Calling itself "San Diego's premiere mapping system," Mapping San Diego provides a dynamic GIS mapping system with several layers of San Diego accessible through it. Comprehensive information relating to city planning, environmental land use, hydrology, transportation, entertainment, education and government-owned property can be compiled and displayed geographically.
National data for juvenile justice systems, state by state. Easily drill down for California data and stats
The Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) database is used by Federal agencies to continuously manage an average of 1,000 advisory committees government-wide This database is also used by the Congress to perform oversight of related Executive Branch programs and by the public, the media, and others, to stay abreast of important developments resulting from advisory committee activities.
Sunlight Foundation's new service allows you to search for keywords in bills on the Congressional and state legislative levels, plus floor speeches and the federal register.
Use a house number, date of birth and zip code to determine whether a person is registered to vote, and what political designation
Database of members of Congress whose family members have benefited from lobbying, payroll and earmarks
This table shows all independent expenditure-only committees--better known as super PACS--that have raised at least $10,000 since the beginning of 2011. For a complete list of all super PACS that includes the many that have not raised any money see here. Click on the 'FEC filings' links to see the original filings on the Federal Election Commission's web site.
Ethics.Data.gov brings records and data from across the federal government to one central location, making it easier for citizens to hold public officials accountable.
The IncidentNews website provides publicly available information related to oil and hazardous material spills, both current and historical. It is developed and maintained by NOAA's Emergency Response Division (ERD), which is part of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration
Another tool from the San Diego Ethics Commission to track campaign spending. It provdes charts and numbers, as opposed to just a database.
The California Workers' Compensation Coverage Inquiry website is a service of the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB). The purpose of the website is to help you obtain the name of the insurer that wrote a California workers' compensation insurance policy for a specific employer on a specific date within the last 5 years.
"Whether you are looking to eat out or eat in, Real Time Farms allows you to see your food, learn how it was grown and visualize the journey it took to reach your table!" Still very new site
Recall searches for CPSC, FDA, USDA, NHTSA, EPA, USCG. The big negative here is that you have to search each one individually.
Political Data provides these free counts reports to be used as a basic reference or starting point for your campaign. The counts found below will provide a numeric profile of voters in any geographic area in the state of California. Each counts report includes a variety of commonly used demographic variables and statewide election vote history.
Across the nation, 33 members of Congress have helped direct more than $300 million in earmarks to dozens of public projects for work in close proximity to commercial and residential real estate owned by the lawmakers or their family members.
Explore Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions from Large Facilities. The data was reported to EPA by facilities as of 02/10/2012. EPA continues to quality assure data and plans to release updated data periodically.
A list of all kinds of data sources collected for the AT&T; Apps challenge
Contracts whose estimated value is $3,000 or more or that may be $3,000 or more. Every modification to that contract, regardless of dollar value must be reported to FPDS-NG.
The government awards contracts to companies with histories of misconduct such as contract fraud and environmental, ethics, and labor violations. In the absence of a centralized federal database listing instances of misconduct, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is providing such data.
The Vault is the FBI's new electronic reading room, containing more than 3,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office.
This Official Reports Web site is intended to provide public access to California´s precedential appellate decisions. Though any individual can research, review and copy the opinions found here, the information is not intended to replace professional legal consultation or online legal-research services.
"The financial disclosure reports, which are not readily available to the public, were obtained by The National Law Journal through a request made under the Ethics in Government Act to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Judges are required to disclose most travel reimbursements from private sources that aren't family members, as well as information about gifts, outside income and investments." Scroll down for the DocumentCloud search.
Exempt Organizations Select Check is an on-line search tool that allows users to select an exempt organization and check certain information about its federal tax status and filings. It consolidates three former search sites into one, providing expanded search capability and a more efficient way to search for organizations that:
Google chart based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Allows for comparisons with other areas.
To find a retailer near you that welcomes SNAP EBT (food stamps) customers, click the "Select Location" button and enter a starting location. Click a map point to get details and directions.
Database of White House appointments and nominations, sortable by name, agency, date, etc...
This map includes all of the locked facilities in San Diego county including: Police holding facilities, Federal prisons,State prisons, County jails and prisons,Juvenile facilities, Immigrant detention facilities, Conservation camps
The San Diego Health Archive is a digital collection of more than 10,000 documents and reports on San Diego's health, health statistics, and health-related topics.
This is a privately maintained national database. Use the map or simply skip to the Archdiocese of San Diego to view a history of sexual abuse among Catholic priests. The site hosts 1000s of pages of documents and links to articles, but but you may have to click around a little bit.
A database of decisions by the state body in charge of overseeing judges. The site includes a searchable database plus comprehensives lists organized by judge's name and type of discipline. Documents are available as pdfs.
The searchable database on this page contains information about campaign contributions from tobacco interests to Members of the California Legislature. Tobacco interests include Altria Group Inc. Affiliates (Philip Morris), RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, UST Inc. (US Smokeless Tobacco Company), California Distributors Association PAC, Lorillard Tobacco Company, and Brown & Williamson.* All the figures in this database come from reports that the tobacco interests are required to submit to the California Secretary of State.
See how an area would be affected by rising sea levels. Just adjusted the levels and zoom in.
"ProPublica analyzed new data from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights along with other federal education data to examine whether states provide students equal access to programs — such as Advanced Placement or higher-level math and sciences classes — that researchers say will help them later in life... This data includes all schools and districts where the district has at least 3,000 students. That covers roughly three-quarters of all public school students. For more information on how we analyzed this data, check out our detailed methodology. Explore below to see whether your state, school and district provide access to those key classes."
FCC has "rebooted" itself, so we're still playing around. This involves charts and data analysis for telecommunications licenses, as well as a license search
A useful site for tracking dialysis clinic in California. (See California Watch's reporting for why this is important)
Find and compare information about the services and quality of care provided at dialysis facilities in any state. You can also find addresses and phone numbers for each facility.
"Due to the complexity of the Board's database system, all owners related to the fictitious name permit (FNP) may not appear. There may be times when the system states 'No Records Returned.'"
Warning: This resource is comprehensive, you really gotta know utilities to understand much of the information. From the site: "The CPUC publishes electronic copies of official CPUC-generated proceeding documents, Advice Letters, and documents that are electronically filed by third parties during a proceeding. Staff reports, press releases, environmental impact reports, and many other documents that are produced outside of a specific proceeding are also available. You can search for documents by time period, document type, or by searching text, among other methods. Decisions, Resolutions, Rulings, and other documents issued after June 2000 are available online."
A useful site for tracking legislation which allows for RSS feeds, key word searches. This is new and we're still testing it out.
The San Diego County Court has now created a second search, this one specifically for Register of Actions. You may want to use this for most court searches--aside from criminal, which is not listed. However, it looks like you can download documents (for a charge) now. We still need to try it. The big fail so far is that it requires the exact name of a party or business.
RadNet is a national network of more than 200 monitoring stations distributed across all 50 states and the American Territories. These stations regularly sample the nation's air, precipitation, drinking water, or pasturized milk for radiation.
Look up zoning information by address or parcel number in the city of Encinitas. This is one of the better zoning maps we've seen.
Document archive for the city of Encinitas. The search function is currently broke, but you can browse.
In case you're still interested in who supporters or opposed the initiative to block LGBT rights to marry
Quick and easy site for comparing various public health statistics for San Diego County and California
Several different ways to search patent and trademark filings in the US Patent Office database. Note: You'll need a Tiff viewer plug-in.
A running database of death row inmates. Search for San Diego in the trial county to narrow it down.
Look up the most recent opinions for the state Sppeals and Supreme courts. Unfortunately, the database is not searchable.
This site has a lot of the same spill events as the National Response Center, but sometimes the entries have a little more detail, or at least different data. The big thing this site has that NRC doesn't is sewage spill data. To search for San Diego events, click "Spill Report View" and then click "Search." =
The California Wildlife Biology, Exposure Factor, and Toxicity Database (Cal/Ecotox) is a compilation of ecological, physiological data, and toxicity data for a number of California mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish. Warning: It's pretty technical. 
Need an expert on a subject for a quote or to just give you some background on an issue? Here's San Diego State University's directory .
Running archive of source material, records and documents for LA Times stories
A resource for understanding what your rights to access are as a citizen for meetings, pensions, salaries and taxes, as well as what to do when you run into problems accessing records.
This system provides case information for California Supreme Court and Court of Appeal cases. Case information is updated once an hour throughout the business day. Searches for Supreme Court and Court of Appeal case information can be initiated by supplying trial court, Court of Appeal, or Supreme Court case number or by supplying case caption, attorney, or party information. Searches for Court of Appeal cases can also be initiated by supplying court calendar date.
The California Energy Commission has created this on-line database for informal reporting purposes using numerous electricity and natural gas consumption data sources. Users can generate reports showing the amount of energy consumed by geographical area, sector (residential, commercial, industrial) classifications. The database also provides easy downloading of energy consumption data into Microsoft Excel (XLS) and comma-separated values (CSV) file formats.
This archive of the California State Legislature includes Assembly and House journals (1849-1997), histories and indexes (1881-2001), and statutes (1850-1995).
Search for a bill number for the latest bill action or search for a person (lobbyist, legislator, staffer) for a brief profile. Especially interesting is their definitive list of legislative Tweeps. The site also has up-to-date campaign finance and district data.
The San Diego Union-Tribune is pretty good at uploading the raw documents for its stories. You can see the running list here. To search them, go to Google, and add "site:http://www.signonsandiego.com/documents/" to your search terms.
Up-to-date records related to nuclear power and an archive that goes back to 1999. There's a lot to dig through and many are highly technical.
CNDDB is a program that inventories the status and locations of rare plants and animals in California . CNDDB staff work with partners to maintain current lists of rare species as well as maintain an ever-growing database of GIS-mapped locations for these species.
Orders and decisions written by the 9th Circuit Chief Judge in response to complaints. They're uploaded quite frequently and there is also a search.
A list and search of all attorney admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court - Southern District of California since 1953
Search for hearings in cases against attorneys using this calendar search on the State bar website.
A useful mapping site primarily designed for health professionals and researchers. It allows you to compare census data against access to health care and other factors. The site requires registration, but you can view it as a public user for free.
You can look access the Congressional record, including daily digests and archives going back to 1994 here. To search them, you'll want to click "Search" the left side bar, then choose advanced search.
A search of federal documents, where you select which collections you want to search. Most importantly for this site: The Congressional Record.
This major finance web site is probably one of the best for researching publicly traded companies. Especially useful is the top institution holders section of each company's profile.
Search below by size, recipient, agency, member of Congress or even zip code to see how the money is being spent so far.
A partisan database based on Department of Labor Data that is sometimes easier to use than the official site.
From Georgia State, this table of data (html/excel) includes historical statistics on labor union membership. Scroll down to "Metropolitan Area" for San Diego data.
This is the official federal judiciary's case-access system. Warning: This is a pay site ($.08 per page) and the bills do add up fairly quickly. However, we're including it because you won't be charged if you don't exceed $10 in charges per quarter.
If scientists are testing something on human beings, or testing for something, you can find it here.
Locate immigration detainees through the Department of Homeland Security website. Warning: You'll need to know very specific information about the person: either an A number, or the first and last name and country of birth.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have claimed the lives of 5,896 U.S. service members through Feb. 1, 2011, including 723 locally based troops and residents. The North County Times has compiled profiles of all the local troops who have perished in the two conflicts the Pentagon calls Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The North County Times has compiled house and condominium transaction data to help our readers understand one of the area's most important industries.Each record represents a sale of a house or condo going back to 1978 in San Diego County and 1983 for Riverside County.
From time to time, San Diego politicians and their staff get in trouble in the capital. Here's where you'll find their traffic tickets and arrests or if they're getting sued.
The San Diego Seismic Safety Study is a series of maps that indicate the likely geologic hazards throughout the city. These maps may be used to evaluate the relative risk within a region or to determine if a geotechnical report is required for development or building permits.
Similar to Regulations.gov, this search allows you to sort through federal registrations and the federal register. Also generates a useful RSS feed
Department of Planning & Land Use's weekly Building Permits Issued report (posted each Tuesday for the previous calendar week) is available in Microsoft Excel and Word formats separately.
An enormous archive of federal government data from the 1950s forward. Just searching for "San Diego" turns up more than half a million records
A staggering amount of historical public data from the federal government, including military data, corporations, businesses, unions, securities and government contracts
A variety of historical military databases regarding casualties, medals, awards and combat operations
In the 2008 calendar year, the U.C. system had more than 21,000 employees with total pay over $100,000. In addition, 537 employees made over $25,000 just in overtime pay. Find out who they were, what campuses they worked for and how much they made by searching the database.
A site similar to Flashlight, but focused on specifically social-sciences data.
This website provides access to detailed data on undergraduate admissions, enrollment, persistence and graduation at the University of California. Summary data on financial aid is also available.
Look up lawsuits against the state of California, but also... just in case you want to look up whether our local officials have gotten into trouble while in the capital.
Use this database to see how the students at your favorite school did, and to compare different schools.
AP exams give bright high school students the chance to earn college credit. They tests are scored from 1 (worst) to 5 (best). A minimum score of 3 is generally required to earn college credit.
Use this database to see every infraction reported by law enforcement during 2008.
Wondering how often your legislator broke party ranks, abstained or switched sides? Enter the last and first name of the lawmaker you're researching to see how he or she voted, or enter a bill number to see how every legislator voted on it.
This database lets you see the number of high school graduates at each school between 2005 and 2009, and how many of those graduates wound up at public or private colleges in California.
Open San Diego's GeoNode is an open source platform for sharing geospatial data and maps. GeoNode lets you upload, manage, and browse data. Search for data that is valuable to you, or upload your own data.
The Statewide Property Inventory (SPI) is a detailed inventory of the State's real property assets including land, structures/improvements, leased space and State-owned space leased to others. This website provides summary-level information from the SPI. You view all the properties, search for them (or their leases) and browse surplus properties for sale.
You can check a seller's license, verify if they have a license to cell tobacco, check whether a vendor is registered to collect ewaste...but you need the license number.
This site allows any consumer or business in the US to determine local tax jurisdictions and tax rates based on address inputs. There is a 50 request limit per 24 hour period.
California's integrated accountability system that reports both the state Academic Performance Index (API), and the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Program Improvement (PI).
Recipients of grants, contracts, and apportionments. Search funding results by fiscal year, type, topic, keyword(s), or any combination.
Search California Department of Education (CDE) funding by fiscal year, type, status, topic, keyword(s), or any combination.
A hub for viewing meeting, policy and library documents related to the San Diego Board of Education
A document archive for the SDUSD board of education, including meeting agendas, minutes, video and mp3s.
Public records and other projects driven by community activists (particularly Ray Lutz) in the San Diego Region, particularly East County.
The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors is responsible for maintaining the official records of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. The Clerk has established an online database of official Board records back to 1877. Documents that are searchable include Board agenda indexes, Minute Orders, Statements of Proceedings/Minutes, Board Letters (a report to the Board from staff or another elected official seeking Board direction), supporting documents, and archived microfilm. Please note that the search results are limited to the first 400 records.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers this Freedom of Information Act request generator
A list of salaries and benefits for every employee in the San Diego County system, broken down into a detailed spreadsheet. You can also filter by department.
Search for University of California retirees collecting more than $100,000/year pensions
Search for former state employees who are collecting more than $100,000 in pensions
Several searches related to the Federal Communications Commission, including station information, ownership reports and antenna information
Search, U.S. government regulations from nearly 300 federal agencies including proposed new rules, public comments and Federal register notices
Tracking where taxpayer money has gone in the ongoing bailout of the financial system. Our database accounts for both the broader $700 billion bill and the separate bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (go here for the Federal Reserve’s emergency loans to banks).
ProPublica and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune compiled a list of around 6,900 addresses with tainted drywall.
Dialysis Facility Tracker allows patients to compare clinics on such measures as patient survival, infection control, hospitalization rates and transplant rates.
The RECAP add-on for Firefox allows users to upload costly court filings downloaded from PACER (the federal court system) to a public archive as they surf. This link allows you to search this public repository.
Pull-down menus on each level provide a wealth of financial, demographic, and performance data for California's public K-12 school system. Narrow down by state, county district and school.
A useful map of schools, using a color scale to rank their performance. Click on the icon for links to California Department of Ed data and Ed-data.org
If you're a patient, this the most popular search tool for finding medical marijuana dispensaries in your neighborhood. You can search by location or by particular marijuana product (say, the stra"Bubba Kush). Dispensaries typically have menus posted and reviews from customers.
The California Department of Social Services' database of licenses for care facilities, including adoption agencies, child care and group homes.
A live map of traffic situations in the San Diego region, including links to incidents and live cameras.
Scandiego.net streams three different agencies' police scanners: City of San Diego, San Diego Regional Aircraft, County of San Diego
A crude, but functional interface for viewing live details of incidents (mostly traffic) recorded and being dealt with by the California Highway Patrol, including closures and accdients. Much of the information is coded. You will want to selected "San Diego" under Area on the left and "Filed Incidents" under Resources on the right. You can also customize the region under "Search."
A variety of tools for researching real time and historical water-related data (especially rainfall) collected by the state of California.
Kind of like the poor man's Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest allows you to search newspaper archives, most importantly the San Diego Union-Tribune, San Diego Business Journal and La Prensa San Diego. It's free, but the only catch is you need a library card number
CABLESEARCH is an attempt for an user friendly search engine of already published documents from Wikileaks.
A handy dashboard for searching cancer rates within the state of California. This site maintained by the Kentucky Cancer Registry at the University of Kentucky
A useful alternative to Guidestar that does not require a login. May sometimes be faster for downloading PDFs.
CrocTail provides an interface for browsing information parsed from SEC filings about several hundred thousand U.S. publicly traded corporations and their foreign subsidiaries.
The Bed Bug Registry is a free, public database of user-submitted bed bug reports from across the United States and Canada. Note that this website is not sanctioned or maintained by a government entity and reports have not been verified.
An interface that generates PDFs and Excel files of regional crime statistics--property and violent--from the Automated Regional Justice Information System
A database of "cease & desist" Digital Millennium Copyright Act letters, voluntarily submitted by people who receive them
"The Port State Information eXchange (PSIX) system contains vessel specific information derived from the United States Coast Guard's Marine Information Safety and Law Enforcement System (MISLE)."
NOAA provides this searchable version of the US Coast Guard's vessel database. Includes documentation and ownership data and is updated on a monthly basis. Only includes craft that are 5 net tons or larger and are documented by the USCG.
A free and non-partisan public resource for government transparency---It's a new version of OpenCongress.org for the California legislature.
When state elected officials ask lobbyists and corporations to donate to their favorite charities, it's called a "behested payment." This page contains spreadsheets disclosing these donations
Use this to search for licenses and histories for securities brokers and brokerages. The "Detailed Report" button is especially useful; It generates a PDF. This search is often more useful than the SEC adviser search
San Diego County District Attorney's office now offers an alternative to the county court's search system. It is still beta testing and it only includes criminal cases
In the two years before the meltdown Wall Street bankers perpetrated one of the greatest episodes of self-dealing in financial history. As part of our story, ProPublic wrote of 85 instances during 2006 and 2007 in which two CDOs bought pieces of each other. This interactive chart allows you to see the connections between the CDOS
Drug companies have long kept secret details of the payments they make to doctors for promoting their drugs. But seven companies have begun posting names and compensation on the Web, some as the result of legal settlements. ProPublica compiled these disclosures, totaling $282 million, into a single database that allows patients to search for their doctor.
Public safety bulletins for the San Diego region, typically fire and police. The Nixle service is best used through email or text message, but you can view the items here.
"Moodle is an open source learning management system (LMS) used by San Diego Unified School District for more than three years to deliver online courses and to supplement traditional face-to-face courses." Use this to find webpages for individual classes within the school district
Use this to find earlier versions of websites. It doesn't have everything since sites can opt out.
The Federal Register is the official journal of the Federal Government of the United States that contains most routine publications and public notices of government agencies. It is published daily
As of March 2011, this site is Archive-only. The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates of the United States Congress. It is published daily when Congress is in session. GPO Access contains Congressional Record volumes from 140 (1994) to the present
The City’s e-zoning map provides zoning and other information about parcels in the city. The web user can search for a parcel by address or assessor parcel number, or by navigating through an interactive map to a specific location.
CleanTECH San Diego maintains a database of the region's cluster of clean technology companies.
A useful site for looking up basic information about federal civil lawsuits. This site produces great RSS feeds, and it also provides direct click-through links to the official paid PACER site.
The full text of bills, resolutions, and constitutional amendments, and their status, history, votes, analyses, and veto messages are available from 1993 to the present. You can also search by author or bill number.
On this page you can download data regarding federal earmarks, including spreadsheets. The site goes back 2008, but you can email for earlier data.
The Recovery tab of FedSpending.org allows searching of over 88,000 reports from prime recipients of more than $218 billion in contracts, grants, and loans awarded under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (Recovery Act) between Feb. 17 and June 30, 2010, as well as additional information on sub-recipients and vendors.
The Assistance tab of FedSpending.org allows searching of federal assistance spending from FY 2000 through FY 2007 and includes data from the first two quarters of FY 2008. Federal assistance includes spending such as grants, loans, insurance, and direct payments (e.g. Social Security).
Contracts tab of FedSpending.org allows searching of federal contract spending from FY 2000 through FY 2008 with partial data available for FY 2009.
This is the special research project on which recipients of ARRA-related contracts donated to state-level political campaigns in 2008 and 2009.
Congrelate lets you view, sort, filter and share information about members of Congress and their districts. The project has brought data from Congress, the Census, OpenSecrets, GovTrack and more into a single place, to show how the data and how it relates.
MAPLight.org's special California hub reveals campaign contributions to Assembly members and Senators in the California State Legislature. The "Find Contributions" tab is a handy search, while the legislature tab gives quick and useful profiles of California's individual state lawmakers. The bill search is in many ways easier to manage than the official legislative sites.
Metavid is a community driven archive of legislative video from both houses of the U.S. Congress, spanning from early 2006 to the present. This archive is searchable by speaker name, spoken text, date, metadata that have been scraped from outside sources and user contributions. Metavid fuses video with wiki, enabling users improve its accuracy by fixing transcripts and annotating speeches.
Foreign Lobbyist Influence Tracker, a joint project of ProPublica and the Sunlight Foundation, digitizes information that representatives of foreign governments, political parties and government-controlled entities must disclose to the U.S. Justice Department when they seek to influence U.S. policy.
Transparency Data is a central source for federal lobbying disclosure, federal grants and contracts, earmarks and federal and state campaign contributions. A Sunlight Foundation project. Full data sets can be downloaded from here.
Feed in a news article, blog post, or press release, and Poligraft will present you with an enhanced view of the people, organizations, and relationships described in the piece.
These are arrests and citations involving NFL players since 2000 that were more serious than speeding tickets.
***This database only shows you what's available in the catalog; you have to pay to order copies.*** Containing over 2.0 million bibliographic records, the NTIS Database is a resource for accessing research sponsored by the United States and select foreign governments. Contents include research reports, computer products, software, video cassettes, audio cassettes and more. The complete electronic file dates back to 1964. On average, NTIS adds over 30,000 new records per year to the Database.
Currently in its fifth generation, Science.gov provides a search of over 42 scientific databases and 200 million pages of science information with just one query, and is a gateway to over 2000 scientific Websites. You can select from a mix of 14 different categories, including regulations, or search by year, author, title or just a full text search.
This system contains the full text of 7,407 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions issued between 1937 and 1975. Search by party name or text. Managed by the National Technical Information Service.
Search.USA.Gov is like Google for the Federal Government. In this case, we're linking directly to the advanced search, since it allows a lot of useful functions, including excluding certain sites, limiting searches by jurisdiction and specifying file type.
A database of arrest warrants filed with Interpol, usually including mugshots. The "free text" search is especially useful. As of 12/2/2010 there were 16 different fugitives listed.
A San Diego organization uses federal funds to maintain this comprehensive database of "detailed capabilities profiles of US industrial and technology companies across all industries at every level of the supply chainindustrial and technology companies across all industries at every level of the supply chain." Really, though, it's primary function is linking defense contractors. Especially useful are the California Aerospace Portal and the San Diego portal.
Search for basic information about corporations using the name or the names of the officers. The useful bit is finding all the names of officers with compensation.
Search more than 80,000 San Diego Fire-Rescue engine responses to emergencies in San Diego from the years 2004-2010
A list of green energy grants in lieu of tax credits to companies and people in California as of June 17, 2010. The U.S. Department of the Treasury administers the program under The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
An increasing number of parents in California have signed personal belief exemption waivers that allow their children to enter kindergarten without being vaccinated. Click the column headings to sort the table below to see schools that have 25 or more kindergartners and a personal belief exemption percentage of 5 percent or more.
This table lists cases in the San Diego Police Department’s DNA backlog. It is a snapshot taken on March 19, 2010 of all requests for DNA testing that have not been completed.
Search compensation records for more than 18,000 San Diego County employees by department, job code or name for calendar year 2009.
The official website for tracking federal spending. There are a lot of different options for searching, so many it can seem overwhelming. Be warned: Recently the Sunlight Foundation found the site's data to be alarmingly incomplete.
Type in the name of a company, your lawmaker or a prominent individual, and see how they're influencing the political system--from the Sunlight Foundation and OpenSecrets
Old school database for looking up information about properties by address or parcel. A bit unwieldy to use, but it turn up a lot of raw data about land, document numbers. At the very least, it's good for checking how a particular chunk of land has been divided up.
Six different GIS mapping applications from the county of San Diego: GIS emergency services, Zoning & property information, wildfire information and mapping, EmpowerSD, General Plan update, Multiple species conservation programs. This Zoning & Property information map is similar to KIVA.
A variety of ways (party name, attorney, number) to search cases that have come before the California Supreme Court.
The FCC provides a variety of searches for documents related to broadcast radio stations, including ownership, applications and antennas.
C-SPAN has indexed and archived its videos on this separate website. The people function is especially useful for finding Congressional speeches from local lawmakers. It will also search transcripts. Searching for "San Diego" will produce many results, including Prop 8 hearings and the 2010 Republican Governors Association conference.
As the ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Darrell Issa coordinated this constituent-sourced map of photos of taxpayer-funded signs advertising federal stimulus projects.
Look basic information about corporations and LLCs through this California Secretary of State database. You may use this information to file records requests for documents such as articles of incorporation
A collection of federal judges financial disclosures. Search by name or court, download as PDF. San Diego Judges are listed under California's Southern District. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals also covers San Diego.
Cult expert Rick Ross' database of articles about cults and other "controversial groups." You can browse through the alphabetical search or search the text
Scroll down to "Union Reports" and use one of the four links (Union Search, Payer/Payee, Office Employee, Yearly Data) for exhaustive data on the inner working of labor unions in the United States. It also provides access to the unions' annual reports. Warning: The searches can take a while and often generate immense amounts of information.
This is the advanced search page for Congress. Use this to search for bills as they move through Congress. The "Search Multiple Congress" features are useful for searching the evolution of bills, earmarks and lawmaker activities over several years.
The Washington Posts's topsecretamerica.com depicts" the scope and complexity of the government's national security program through interactive maps and other graphics. Every data point on the Web site is substantiated by at least two public records."
Similar to MarineTraffic.com, this prototype applications uses Automatic Identification System data to produce live maps of ships. Zoom in on San Diego for live results
A database of PDFs regarding investigations, citations, orders, letters of reprimand and other determinations regarding physicians in California
An easy search from the CA Department of Corrections to find out who is currently in prison and where individual inmates are located. That's pretty much all the database provides.
The Chula Vista City Clerk maintains this library of documents, which includes agendas and minutes for most of the city's boards and commissions. Be warned: It can be a pain to navigate. The documents are shown as images and can be downloaded as pdfs
The City of Chula Vista allows the public to submit record requests via email. It's a fairly easy form and, depending on the record, the clerk can send it to you by email quickly.
A handy dashboard for running queries that journalists need on a regular basis, including searches for statistics, stock quotes, currency conversion, percent change calculation, maps, legislation, corporate filings and more
First and foremost this director is useful for tracking down contact details for attorneys. You can also use it to find out whether the attorney has been disciplined.
The Federal Aviation Administration provides many different ways to search for plane registration. For San Diego, try searching by state and county. The results can be downloaded as a spreadsheet.
The Obama administration came up with this mapping software to show people how stimulus money is being spent. There are a variety of ways to search, but zip code may be the most useful when researching San Diego.
This is a list of salaries and benefits for every local government employee in the state. It doesn't provide names--only the positions. Use this to search for a particular local government. We've also directly linked the city and county.
Click "Public Access Portal." This is the central repository of campaign disclosures for City of San Diego municipal elections. Use "Search By Name" to find pdfs of a specific candidate's reports or use the advanced search to find individual contributions or payments.
This site is the County Registrar's first attempt at making campaign filings available to the public. The documents are available as PDFs, but are not searchable. You might first try the North County Times' similar database of county-level campaign finance and statements of interests forms.
A useful page for searching for inmates, as long as you know the detainee's name (you can get around that by trying two letter combinations). The page provides physical descriptions, DOB, housing locations, charge, bail and other status information. You can also use this site to email inmates.
This page provides download links to all city of San Diego ordinances and allows you to search for specific words or phrases.
This quick search will tell you if someone is operating a business under another name other than one on their business license--or if you have the name of a business, this may tell you who is running it. Like all county sites, you may need to play around with the spelling in order to be exhaustive.
If it requires a license in California, you'll be able to search for it here: accountancy, acupuncture, architects, athletic commission, automotive, barbering, cosmetology, behavioral sciences, cemetery and funeral, chiropractic, contractors, court reporters, dental, electronic and appliance repair, engineers and land surveyors, geology, hearing aid dispensers, home furnishings, landscape architects, medical, midwives, naturopathic medicine, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathic physicians, pharmacy, physical therapy, physician assistants, podiatric medicine, professional fiduciaries, psychiatric technicians, psychology, opticians, nursing, respiratory care, security and investigative, speech-language pathology & audiology, guide dogs, structural pest, veterinary medicine, and more!
The SEC's site is the central hub for corporate data and filings. There are several searches on this page, each relatively technical. If in doubt, use "Full Text." There is a guide for investors linked at the bottom of the page.
Are you thinking about digging through someone's garbage for stories? You may want to first look up the day their garbage is picked up using this page.
Search by name or organization to find whether there's money or property owed. You may need to try different permutations of business or government agency names in order to be comprehensive.
We can't vouch for the accuracy of this privately run site, but it's not a bad resource if you're researching the sex trade or neighborhood development. This site maps where the club is, tells you whether it's all nude or topless, whether they have lap dances or private rooms, but nothing particularly explicit
The Automatic Regional Justice Information System's mapping system is crude, but it works. Select an address, a list of crimes, and a period of up to 90 days and you can generate a map of all incidents in the area. Tips: Click Identify before clicking on the individual icons to find out what they are. Click report to find out everything within the area. You can also generate a PDF
This database contains a list of every active restraining order and protective order in the county. It only provides the name of the restrained (not who filed it) and after that only the basic information. You will need to go down to the court house to find out more.
This is an email service that allows you to choose to be notified whenever crime occurs in an area around a particular address or cross streets.
This site will tell you what kind of recorded documents are available for an individual or business, but you will need to go to the county building to actually view them. Use this to find out whether its worth the trip. Try different combinations of a person's name, including their last name and the word trust, because often times individuals own property through a living trust. This site also includes business as well. Tip: "Deed" and "Notice of Default" are usually the most fruitful
It's a bit unwieldy and doesn't provide a whole lot of information, but it's all San Diego's got right now when it comes to searching for local court data for free. Click "Party Name" then select the type of case (Civil, Criminal and Domestic are the most useful). We recommend you set the other two fields to "Unknown-All." You can search easily using only the last name, but if the surname is common, also use one or more letters of the first name. With business, try various combos. If the case is current, you can click "Register of Actions" for a case history as well as important upcoming dates. This site is very useful for running background checks.
A list of current detainees in the Chula Vista Jail. There are usually no more than a couple dozen. If you click on a name, you can find out the status, date of birth, date of arrest, bail and physical description. One of the most useful features is the ability to email the inmate.
This site aggregates fundraisers thrown for members of Congress and their PACs. But not only does it tell you where and when, it also provides a copy of the invitation as a pdf. Although not comprehensive, the site serves an important function: Campaign finance reports tell you who's donating, but this site tells you when and where and in what context.
A neat way to see how oil, gas and energy companies influence Congress members through campaign donations. It's as simple as typing in a Congress member's name or your zipcode--the search produces a list of donors as well as a nifty interactive visualization. The data goes back to 1999.
This is probably the best website for researching non-profits and downloading their IRS disclosures. You will need to know how to make sense of a 990 to get anything out of this. This site requires registration and provides the 990 pdfs for free. Other features are available through a paid membership.
Government agencies must report all oil and chemical spills and leaks, anything thought to be a terrorist attack, and train-related accidents to the National Response Center. This database goes back to the 1990s and can be searched using a number of different elements, including city, county and zipcode. The site is a bit clunky, but effective. The reports are pretty bare bones and read like police reports. The results also can be exported as a spreadsheet. Most of the local results are sheens found on the coast or in the harbor by the US Coast Guard. Be mindful that many submissions are not really incidents but tests and marked as such.
The California Department of Justice maintains a registry of charities, charity fundraising professionals, and raffle registrants. You can search by name, location, type and other queries. The database does not provide much information aside from registration status, but you can use this information for basic verification.
President Barack Obama provides this list of more than 800,000 records relating to visitors to the White House. The site has good intentions, but may not be all that useful. You can search by name and then find out the basic data about when they visited and in what context. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the search widget.
One of the best sites for reviewing personal finance disclosures filed by members of Congress and their top staffers. A variety of different searches are available and the forms are available as pdfs. The site is free, but requires registration.
The United States' Foreign Agents Registration Act t requires all agents representing the interests of foreign powers to declare themselves. This page offers a database of documents as well as data that can be exported as a spreadsheet. The site is a bit technical and obscure, so prior knowledge of the issues are advised.
The United States' Foreign Agents Registration Act t requires all agents representing the interests of foreign powers to declare themselves. This page offers a large variety of ways to search the data, though it requires a bit of knowledge first.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper maintains this database of gifts given to state leaders (legislative and state agencies) between January 2008 and June 2009. The data is searchable by office, official, location or type of gift.
A database of California teachers and education workers who collect pensions greater than $100,000 per year through CALSTRS. The content of the site is political, but the records are derived from a legitimate public records request. The site includes the top earners as well as database that can be searched by name or district
The Sacramento Bee newspaper has an easy-to-use database of every state worker's salary since 2007. Search by name, department or pay level.
San Diego Association of Governments maintains a list and searchable database of RFPs, bids and contracts. Click current bids to see what's open or recently closed. Use "search bids" for more detailed queries. Once you've selected a specific RFP, you should scroll to the bottom to see who's bidding on it and who received it.
The CA Secretary of State's Cal-Access site for tracking lobbying activist on a state level. The database is mostly lists--alphabetical and in chronological order. The daily filings are especially useful--IF you check them daily.
The CA Secretary of State's Cal-Access site is the central hub for all things related to campaign finance for statewide, legislative and proposition races. In addition to text-based results, users can also look at PDFs of the individual filings or generate spreadsheets of the data.
Complete listing of financial, gift and conflict of interest disclosures (Form 700) for constitutional officers, members of the legislature and county boards of supervisors. Documents are pdf format.
A searchable database of California companies that export food, crops and other products. You may search by location, product or country where it will arrive.
Amazing website that lets you track ocean vessels live on a map. zoom into San Diego and then click on ships to find out details--or see a photo.
Allows you to search for health-inspection rating and history for restaurants, schools, hotels and other facilities. Not much detail provided, so you'll probably need to follow up with CPRA.

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