Public Data Ferret entries take several forms: originally reported articles drawn from public documents or data; our own or repurposed data visualizations; and tutorials on using government databases. Links to original sources are always included.

There are several ways to engage the system, from the Ferret main page.

a) Search the database by choosing an option in the left hand column of search criteria (jurisdictions) and/or one option in the right hand column (policy topics). For instance, “Seattle,” and then “transportation.” Then click the “Dig It Up” button near the bottom (left) of the Ferret main page. This will return only the Ferret entries published to date, based on public documents or other sources from the City of Seattle, which include some coverage of the topic of transportation.

b) A wider set of items would be returned if you selected only “Seattle” or “transportation.” Some combinations of jurisdiction and topic may yield no returns at present. In that case, de-select one of the criteria and run a more basic search – either the jurisdiction or the topic – which will return at least one result.

c) Some combinations of two topics in the right-hand column of search terms (such as “ethics” and “education” or “transportation” and “finance and budget”) will return a number of articles.

Dig away.


ADD CONTENT AND COMMENTS TO THE ARTICLES: We seek your value-add comments on the documents and policy issues raised in them. Our aim is to advance the policy discussion, not sling political arrows. However, respectful disagreements are welcome.

SEND US TIPS: The “comment ” section isn’t the only way to share material. Send public document, data set, and database links to us at the address found under the “Contact” tab at the top of the Ferret main page masthead.

RESEARCHERS-WRITERS NEEDED: The project is also seeking additional researcher-writers, including local correspondents who will monitor the public document and data streams of local and regional governments within King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, or covered topic areas within Washington State or federal government.

AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA VISUALIZATIONS: If you’ve produced or are working on audio, video or data visualizations related to at least one of the jurisdictions and one of the topics we cover, we’re interested. Get in touch, and we’ll talk. Our hope is to integrate this kind of material with our Public Data Ferret articles to add new dimensions. Personal narratives and opinion pieces are welcome, and will be appropriately labeled.