Go Code Colorado is all about public data


Go Code Colorado organizers use their knowledge of state government operations to make public government data, most commonly known as “public data”, easier to find and easier to use. Quality, fresh, machine-readable data helps participants in the Go Code Colorado competition turn that public data into useful business insights and tools.

Government agencies collect mountains of data in the course of regular operations. That data has tremendous potential beyond the agency’s primary purpose, and the private sector is much better positioned to define that value and use the data accordingly. The Go Code Colorado competition asks data analysts, software developers, designers, business and marketing professionals, entrepreneurs and other big thinkers to the find value in the data we collect and do something awesome with it.

Learn more about Go Code Colorado’s data resources:

Explore COlorado public data on the Colorado Information Marketplace

The Colorado Information Marketplace is provided by the Colorado Governor’s Office of Information Technology to make Colorado public data available to citizens in a centralized and easily discoverable location. It offers a dataset catalog and dataset repository, an application programming interface (API) and several tools for exploring and visualizing data. This snapshot is from 2017 — check out how much the catalog has grown since then!

Colorado open data is available for browsing through the Colorado Information Marketplace. There is lots of data available on CIM for Go Code Colorado participants to use.

Finding Data – The Catalog and The Asset Inventory

There are over 1,000 objects on the portal, and that number is growing every day from a collective effort of folks in the Governor’s Office for OIT, individual state agencies, and of course the Go Code Colorado Data Tech team! Downloads and Views allow users to see the relative popularity of each dataset, but make sure to be critical when using these reference points.

  • The Asset Inventory contains the count of ‘downloads’ and ‘views’ for every item on the portal. Use ‘name’ and dissolve duplicates to improve the accuracy of your results (As of 3/21/2019 there were 2746 items in asset inventory, but only 1940 items actually on CIM). Specifically – use name as the unique id column (you might have to merge duplicates to get a true uid) not the 4×4.

Federated Data

Some localities have their own public data catalogs. Two localities have partnered with CIM to provide access to their data as a “Federated Domain”. These localities are the City of Fort Collins and Douglas County. These federated domains can be found by scrolling down on the CIM catalog, and are in the bottom left corner of CIM underneath Tags.

Official vs Community Datasets

CIM allows users to publish filtered views of a dataset already published to CIM as a community view.The “community views” are great feature of CIM and its ability to create filtered views on tables, save them, and make them publicly available to others. When a user is looking for a known dataset, seeing data interpretations that have been completed by others can be greatly beneficial. While it is nice to see variations others have created, when picking a dataset to use to work with it is best to work with the “Official” version of that data. To filter datasets on CIM by Official or Community, simply click which option is desired in the top left corner of the catalog under “Authority”. By choosing “Official” only data that that is authoritative to the source (listed in the metadata) will be displayed.

Example of Official dataset with known Community views

Business Entities is the Official dataset, with these three Community views:

There is a detriment to the filtered views feature, however, and it comes into play for times when users don’t know which dataset they’re looking for. In this scenario, simply browsing the catalog can seem a bit overwhelming, because users are looking for ONLY the raw data in an effort to see which unique datasets are available to them. A simple solution is to view just “Datasets” or “Maps”. Here’s how that would go for datasets – use the same overall process for maps:


Working with Data on CIM

This section provides an introduction to working with data. The subsequent docs in this series provide greater detail on the ways to maximize use of the data.

Good Metadata

Talk about Primer pages, how do they work, why do some have primer pages and some dont? (a: we are updating all geo datasets to the new way, but its takig time – look at denver for the new way)

Field Descriptions

We publish a list of full field descriptions, there’s also the dataset connections too… we ware working to update the field descriptions into the porta, l but takes time!!

Rollup and Sort Data

Roll-up and Sort can also be implemented as a method to begin exploring the dataset. The type of data will dictate whether either of these actions will reveal any interesting information.


Cim Rollup

Featured Datasets and Map Views on CIM

Socrata recently altered the way in which geospatial datasets are displayed on a data portal. Previously, any geospatial dataset that was uploaded to CIM would automatically display a map. Some of the most recently published data, however, is subject to the new Socrata standards. These new geo-datasets therefore do not display a map automatically – they have “Featured Content Using this Data”, which is set to be a simple map visualization of the same data. See Denver Food Stores as an example.

Filtering Data on CIM

  1. In the View Data screen of any dataset, select the Filter option at the top right. A filter wizard pops up and allows the user to enter filters to sort the dataset.
  2. Box 1 is the first filter and can be selected from one of two dropdowns.
    1. The first being the column to sort by
    2. The second being a condition: is, is not, contains, etc.
  3. The next step is to enter parameters to match the conditional statement.
    1. In this case, filter where principal city is Denver or Colorado Springs.
  4. You may add additional filters (Box 2) by clicking “Add a New Filter Condition.”
  5. The final filtered dataset here shows business entities in Denver or Colorado Springs that are Limited Liability Companies.

Field Descriptions

Field descriptions can be found on the primer page of each dataset. To get to the Primer, first click on “View Data”. Next, click on “About” and click “Take me there!” to go to the Primer page. Field descriptions are located at the bottom of the primer page.

Cim Primer

Explore Extended CIM Documentation

  1. CIM Basics – Describes the basics of working with CIM and highlights important features to be aware of when using CIM.
  2. CIM Tips and Tricks – Describes more tips on how to use CIM effectively.
  3. CIM Quick Viz – Describes how to quickly create visualizations from CIM data using a variety of tools.


If you’re new to the Go Code Competition, be sure to visit the Compete and Rules sections of our website to learn more about the competition.

We want your feedback. The Data Team is always looking for ways to better serve you with access to quality data. Let us know how we’re doing.