Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know how to use the portal. Where can I find video tutorials and how-to guides to navigate the Open Data Buffalo portal? 
Click here for a series of video tutorials designed to teach you the basics about engaging with Open Data Buffalo, click here for site support from our partners at Socrata, or click here for additional resources.
I am on the Data Catalog. How do I find a specific dataset?
You have several options: you can type a keyword in the search bar, or you can use the left-side menu to delimit your search results by category. If you are looking for a City dataset, scroll all the way to the bottom of the page and select "This Site Only" under the "Federated Domain" header. Then, under the "Type" header in that same left-side menu, click on "Dataset" or the applicable category to find your target data. For more information on sifting through the Data Catalog, check out the Catalog Search FAQ or this resource on navigating the dataset catalog.
I'm in a dataset. What do I do from here? 
Check out this step-by-step guide to understand how to navigate a dataset.
What is a "View"?
A "View" means any filter, chart, map, etc. that is saved from a dataset. If you sign up for an account here, you can save any filtered views to your account and return to it at anytime.
How do I sign up for a Socrata account on Open Data Buffalo?
Click here to sign up for an account with Open Data Buffalo, and check out this troubleshooting guide if you are experiencing any issues.
How can I view and interact with data through social media?
When you are looking at a dataset such as 311 Service Requests on our portal, you will see these 4 icons above the taskbar. By clicking on the icons, you can subscribe to updates on the 311 Service Requests dataset via RSS or email, or you can share the dataset on Facebook, Twitter, or email
How can I change the presentation and layout of a dataset or view?
When you are looking at a dataset on our portal, you will see these 3 icons above the taskbar. The first view option is the Detail Row, a view that displays each column and row in a tabular format. The second option is the Fat Row, which displays the details for each row grouped together. The third option is the Single Row, which displays all the details for one row at a time with arrows to scroll through next and previous rows. If you are viewing a chart or map, a button for the chart or map view will appear.

Where can I find a list of all of the datasets that are publicly available?
You can refer to our Data Catalog which lists all data on Open Data Buffalo and filter your search by the list of parameters in the left-side menu. You can also exclusively view City data, state data, maps, data lenses, or stories.
How do I point out an error that I found in a dataset?
Data quality is very important to us. If you find an error, please contact the dataset owner with the blue "Contact Dataset Owner" button on the dataset's metadata page, or email us at opendatabuffalo@city-buffalo.comYou can also comment on the dataset directly by clicking the orange "Discuss" button in the task bar while viewing a dataset. 
Are there restrictions on how I can use Open Data Buffalo?
Open Data Buffalo belongs to everyone. All data available on the portal is licensed in the public domain, and there are no restrictions on the use of our published data. Refer to our Open Data Policy for more information.
I am a City of Buffalo employee. How do I publish my data to Open Data?
Send us an email at or reach out to us internally and we'd be happy to schedule a data review to start taking steps toward publishing the data.
I am not a City of Buffalo employee. Can I have my external data published to the Open Data Buffalo portal?
Send us an email at and someone from the Open Data Buffalo team will reach out with assistance.
I have an idea on how to improve Open Data. How can I share my idea or product?
We’re always willing to take a look at a new idea or product! If the suggestion pertains to a particular dataset, you can use the "Comment" functionality to write your feedback directly to the data. If your recommendation is more broad, please email us at
How do I request a dataset that I cannot find?  
If the data you are looking for is not on the Data Catalog and is not scheduled for future publication in our Dataset Release Timeline, please nominate the dataset to be published.
What’s the best way to stay up-to-date on Open Data Buffalo?
Check out our News Feed to see what's happening in the world of Open Data Buffalo.
I spun up something awesome with City data. How do I get recognized?
We would love to highlight your work! Head over to our Community Showcase and follow the directions there, or email us your project at
How can I learn more about City Departments and City data?
Check out our CitiStat Buffalo dashboard to view city data that is analyzed, visualized, and presented with a narrative to get to know more about the City of Buffalo. 
I can’t log in to my account on Open Data Buffalo, and I’ve forgotten my password.
Open Data Buffalo partners with the cloud-based portal provider Socrata to store and maintain City data online. If you are creating an account for the first time, refer to "Signing up for an Account." If you are having trouble accessing your account, try resetting your password or filing a ticket with Socrata Support: 
I am a developer. Where can I go for resources to tap into the Open Data Buffalo portal?
To learn more about programmatically accessing the wealth of available open data resources through our platform, check out this Socrata Open Data API resource page. 
How often is the data updated?
Dataset update frequency is determined on a case-by-case basis. Many of our datasets are automated daily,e.g., Crime IncidentsPermits311 Service RequestsParking Summonses, and Tows. Each dataset's metadata page will tell you how often a dataset is refreshed and the date of its last update.