Friday, January 10, 2014

Heat Map of Every Building Permit in D.C.

The DC Data Catalogue does an awesome job releasing interesting data about our fair city. Above is a heat map of every active building permit, as of January 10, 2014. They have the kml shapefile, and you just have to transform the data into a raster.

The dataset contains locations and attributes of building construction and alteration permits applied for and approved by the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. There's plenty of activity downtown along the K Street corridor. No surprises around Shaw and H St NE as well. I was a little surprised at the activity around Ft. Totten and Benning Rd near Marshall Heights, but I haven't been in those areas in a little while.

 Of course, not every building permit is created the same. This dataset captures large construction projects like the O Street Market development in Shaw, as well as someone renovating their bathroom in Georgetown.

 Next steps: Maybe I'll add a layer of metro lines and proposed street car to see if there are any associations there.


  1. So if it is all kinds of permits mixed together the map is kind of worthless.

  2. A much clearer picture would be had if one simply filtered out all but the "New Building" permits. Other permits for substantial work are "addition", "addition, alteration, repair", "alteration and repair". Those would also be a useful map.
    Open data may be valuable, but needs to be understood.

    1. That's a good idea! Thanks for the constructive criticism. Excuse the pun.

      You may have noticed PERMIT_TYPE_NAME which refers to the record's permit type. The variables there are construction, supplemental, and post card.

      The PERMIT_SUBTYPE_NAME refers to the permit subtype, which looks like the type of work being done, which you may be referring to. THose variables are "Alteration and Repair" "Electrical" "Gas Fitting," "Plumbing and Gas" etc. There are only three records of "New Building." But that can't be the case right? There are a lot more than three active new construction permits in D.C. right now.

  3. Why is it that very little activity is shown for NoMa. Last I checked there was a lot of action going on in this neighborhood?

  4. Just I got a new taste and experience visiting this post. Have a great desire to know about building permit Scarborough area and perhaps I find some light on attributes of building construction and alteration permits applied for and approved issue. I simply agreed it was helpful to me. Thanks for sharing.