Land of the Free; Home of the Data

November 11, 2019 by Melissa Crowe

Land of the Free; Home of the Data

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

As we spend today saying "thanks" to veterans, local governments are finding new ways to support the thousands of active duty and civilian employees with technology.

These organizations use Socrata to share data about benefits, vouchers, and even memorials, which helps empower members of the military with impactful stories.

Take Pierce County, Washington, for example.

The Military is Pierce County's largest employer and a major economic driver, with an impact valued as high as $11.4 billion.

The county uses its open data portal to share employment data as well as assistance information, which is crucial to the nearly 30,000 veterans living there with a disability.

data for vetrans

Across the country though, the U.S. is home to about 18.2 million veterans, and nearly half, 9.2 million, are of retirement age. With more tools for genealogy than ever before, governments can play a role in providing records to assist in research, particularly around the military.

Ramsey County, Minnesota, took a special effort to honor and recognize its residents who were members of the military with the launch of a searchable index of the names of fallen veterans engraved at Memorial Hall in Saint Paul City Hall.

The index includes the names of 1,584 veterans. What's especially impressive is the ease to access first-person resources, such as this World War I Gold Star Roll that includes biographical and service information all linked directly to the index.

Another example is how the State of Iowa shares data about the Iowa Veterans Home, which opened its doors to Iowa veterans and their spouses in 1887. Visitors to the site can look up current and former residents using a unique ID and see the war or conflict they fought in as well as other information.

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