Open Data Policy


Arlington Data is the County’s formal open data program that provides direct access to and easy use of County government data.  The County uses Application Programming Interfaces (API) that allow for users to access and consume data in a convenient, consistent, secure and orderly fashion. The County is constantly expanding its publication of datasets to further its goals of transparency and accountability.  These open data sets will create opportunities to visualize the data from many perspectives and for various innovative purposes.


Arlington County Government strives to make its data available online using open standards. Adhering to open standards will ensure that County data is easily available and consumable; and thus further increases the transparency of County operations, holds the County more accountable to the public, and builds greater confidence in government. This effort will also streamline intra-governmental and inter-governmental communication and interoperability; allow individuals to assist in identifying efficient solutions for government; promote innovative strategies for social progress; and create economic opportunities.

Open Data Definition

Datasets refer to final versions of information that are:

  1. Created or maintained by or on behalf of Arlington County Government (excluding constitutional offices and Arlington Public Schools) during the ordinary course of County business; and
  2. Alphanumeric in form – reflected in a list, table, graph, chart or other non-narrative format – that can be digitally transmitted or processed.

Open Data Principles

The following are overarching principles for ensuring the County’s data is open and accessible to the public:

  • Accurate: Datasets are as accurate as possible.
  • Complete: Datasets are as complete as possible.  Datasets shall be updated as often as necessary to preserve their integrity and usefulness.
  • Secure: Datasets do not include sensitive information and comply with applicable laws.
  • Timely: Datasets are released in a reasonable timeframe, and are maintained ongoing.
  • Prioritized: Datasets are prioritized by the Arlington Data Governance Group and approved by the County Attorney or designee. For purposes of prioritizing public datasets, the County shall consider whether the information:
    • Increases County accountability, transparency, and responsiveness;
    • Improves public knowledge of County business and operations;
    • Furthers the mission of the County;
    • Creates economic opportunities;
    • Responds to a need or demand identified by the public;
    • Aligns with resource availability
  • Customer-Centric: Datasets are tagged, aggregated, presented, and delivered in a way that allows consumers to utilize the information.

Dataset Exclusions

Arlington County may make available public datasets, with the exception of the following:

  • Data whose release would not be in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws;
  • Datasets whose release would impose an undue financial or administrative burden to the County;
  • Data that contains internal deliberative processes, including but not limited to negotiating positions, future procurements, or pending or reasonably anticipated legal or administrative proceedings;
  • Data subject to copyright, patent, trademark, confidentiality agreements or trade secret protection;
  • Proprietary applications, computer code, software, operating systems or similar materials;
  • Employment records, internal employee-related directories or lists, and facilities data, information technology, internal service-desk and other data related to internal administration.
  • Data that contains sensitive or confidential information that would infringe on privacy rights;