San Francisco building permits inaccuracy fixed

May302008

We’ve fixed an error that caused consistent inaccuracies in our San Francisco building permit data.

Due to a mistake on our part, we have been publishing inaccurate block numbers for San Francisco building permits. Specifically, in our data source (spreadsheets from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection), we were determining addresses incorrectly, by using the “BLOCK” column instead of the “STREET_NUMBER” column. “BLOCK,” in this case, refers to the city block, not the street address.

As a result, we were publishing incorrect addresses for San Francisco building permits. For example, a permit at 200 Putnam St. would have been erroneously identified as being at 5730 Putnam St., because 200 Putnam St. is block number 5730 in San Francisco.

We regret the error and will be implementing a safeguard to avoid this type of problem in the future.

This was just brought to our attention this evening, and we were able to both fix our data-importing mechanisms and correct the existing data within a few hours. The addresses in our San Francisco building permits section are now correct.

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