What's this then?

A searchable archive of Boston 311 reports with more features than the official City-proved website. It also includes reports that are hidden from view on the City's website but publicly available through the City's API.

Why?

  1. The UI provided by the City of Boston doesn't:
    1. allow you to filter by date
    2. include the zip code for reports (or let you search by zip)
    3. search by neighborhood
    4. search specific fields for specific terms
    5. a bunch of other stuff

    (This site does all this 👆)

  2. The API provided by the City of Boston doesn't allow you filter or search at all, other than by top-level category.
  3. Both the UI and API list pages provided by the City of Boston only return results in certain categories (about 12 out of the 100+ categories which actually exist in the system).

API

This site also provides a read-only Web Services API that follows the JSON:API standard. It's easily discoverable and can be accessed here.

In addition, a PHP HTTP Client also exists for querying the API. You can find the Client on GitHub or add it to your project via Packagist:

composer require 311archive/http-client

Disclaimers

  • All this stuff comes straight from the Boston 311 API. It's unedited here and publicly accessible there.

Contact

  • Bugs and feature requests can be reported on GitHub.
  • General inquiries can be submitted to the @311_archive twitter account. DMs are open.

FAQs

Why are there cities outside of Boston listed as Neighborhoods?
Because the City doesn't geographically limit submissions and these are actual reports in the system. In the interest of disclosing everything that the City's API reports, they have been included here.
Can you pull data about reports including {MY_TOPIC} in {THIS_NEIGHBORHOOD} over {THIS_TIMEFRAME}?
Yes! Contact us on Twitter @311_archive. We're happy to help with different ways to mine the data.
I'm from {PUBLICATION}. Can I contact you to verify the accuracy of the reports on this site and available from this API?
Yes. Twitter is the best way to contact us. But you can also reach us at contactnotPartOfTheAddressAT311DOTreport.

What can I do with it

See our twitter account for some visualizations of the data pulled from this site. For example:

You can also browse your favorite esoteric category ("Notifications" are a favorite), catch up on the latest reports from your neighborhood, or see how many reports have been filed against your specific address. Or you can use the API and its HTTP Client to really dig into the data. It's a real rabbit hole.

Happy digging!

🕳🐇