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The Best Open Data Releases of 2012

The Best Open Data Releases of 2012.

The year 2012 is over. But it’s important to occasionally look back and see what we did well, and not so well, as a society over the last 12 months. One particular item that has become increasingly more significant in planning our cities is open data. From tracking crime in Philadelphia, bikeshare activity in Boston, transit usage in Atlanta, green roofs in Chicago, to rat sightings in New York City…open data has gone viral. More from The Atlantic on the top 10 open data releases of 2012:

Last year, Atlantic Cities named ten of its favorite metro datasets of 2011 from cities across North America, illustrating the breadth of what we might learn (regarding mosquito traps! misplaced vehicles! energy consumption!) in the still relatively young field of urban open data. For this year’s installment, we’re going one step further. Sure, raw data is great. But useful tools, maps and data visualizations built with said data are even better.

In this story, you’ll find our picks for 2012’s best open data releases from municipal vaults, with an emphasis on tools that can be used by anyone, not just developers and data geeks.

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The people want the parks, and lots of ’em

The people want the parks, and lots of ’em.

In no surprise to anyone, it turns out that people like to live near parks and that they want lots of parks from which to choose. Well then, which cities invest the most and have the best park options for their current and potential residents? Not Cincinnati, technically, but the Queen City does invest more in its park system than most. More from City Parks Blog:

Large amounts of parkland in cities is important, but equally vital is to have parks which are nearby and easily accessible to residents, according to the latest report by The Trust for Public Land. In seven of the nation’s largest cities — New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. — nine out of 10 residents live within a one-half mile walk to a park, according to the report.

The absolute amount of urban parkland is also significant, and among the cities with the largest park acreage are Jacksonville, Houston, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. But some cities, even those with a lot of parkland, are not laid out so that the land is well-located for residents’ easy access. These places include Charlotte, Jacksonville, Louisville, and Indianapolis.

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Metropolitan areas at the heart of America’s emerging majority-minority population

Metropolitan areas at the heart of America’s emerging majority-minority population.

New Census data shows that the United States is well on its way to becoming a majority-minority population in the near future. In Ohio, only the Cleveland metropolitan region has more than half of those five-years-old or younger coming from a minority background, but Cincinnati and Columbus are also hoovering around the 50 percent mark. More from Atlantic Cities:

“Most of the largest metropolitan areas have already passed the minority-majority population threshold for their young populations. Indeed, 36 of the top 50 metros are in this group. Only one of the top 10, Boston, is below that threshold, with just about 34 percent of its under 5 population representing at least one minority…Many metros are far beyond the 50 percent mark, and eight metros are above 75 percent.”

Business News

Samuel Adams Brewing Company’s surprising Cincinnati roots

While many of Cincinnati’s beer connoisseurs are aware of Samuel Adams‘ Cincinnati roots, most around the world believe that the beer is uniquely Boston. History and current events tell us that quite simply is not true. WCPO reports on the full story about America’s largest beer company’s roots in the Queen City and its current presence in the West End.

Cincinnati beer lovers and historians have seen a resurgance of Cincinnati beer brands like Little Kings, Christian Moerlein, Hudephol and Bürger. These beers have joined a growing collection of craft beer brewers like Listermann, Mt. Carmel, Rivertown and more. On top of all that, the Moerlein Lager House will add another impressive brewhouse to Cincinnati’s collection along with the Bavarian-style brewhouse Hofbräuhaus in Newport and Rock Bottom on Fountain Square, and Christian Moerlein has recently opened a new brewery in historic Over-the-Rhine.

Also, be sure not to forget about the world’s second largest Oktoberfest celebration, the nation’s largest Bockfest celebration and the slew of beer tasting festivals held all throughout the region. There have also been some rumors that Samuel Adams may open a brewhouse in Cincinnati as well. Stay thirsty, and enjoy Cincinnati’s rich beer history and its bright future.