Reference Data Overview

Reference data generally refers to an authoratative list of permissible values to be used in other data. It may also refer to standards of collection methods against different lists as often is the case with demographic information.

Reference data, unlike transactional data, will change less frequently and will often have a controlled process for changes; for example, the addition of official addresses is controlled through the permitting process.

These pages are designed to improve discoverability and documentation of some of the most common references used across city data. This should be useful to data users, but also data publishers as they make decisions about how to disseminate data. Additionally, this can be used by those developing new systems.

The following pages are grouped into several related sections:

  1. General Admin. Reference lists used in the administration of City business. For example, in the City financial system.
  2. Demographics. Reference lists used to capture demographic information in systems or on surveys.
  3. Basemap. References generated or used in the production of basemap data including parcel numbers, street names, and address numbers.
  4. Boundaries. References that refer to common boundaries like census areas, neighborhoods and supervisor districts.

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