Public Finance Release Notes for 4/25/2017: Subcategories and Biennial Budgeting

Project Subcategories

Have hundreds of projects you want to track through the Capital Projects Explorer? Bring them on!

Categorization is one of the key ways to help your citizens find the project their looking for, or even to simply explore projects they are interested in. Previously, there was one level of categories to organize projects by, which is helpful as long as the list of projects within a category doesn’t become too overwhelming.

Now, with the introduction of subcategories, you can break down that long list of projects into more meaningful buckets to help users navigate around. For example, the “Public Transit” category might break down into Bus System, Streetcar, and Metro.


As you add more projects over time, this breakdown will help ensure your users can explore and find what they are looking for with ease.


More Administrative Control for Capital Projects

Through your Capital Project Explorer, your citizens can more quickly and easily discover information about each project, from the location, to the status, to the financial details. To help ensure that your users are able to find that information easily, no matter what your data looks like, we’ve added a couple new administrative controls.

First, based on the geographic area of your jurisdiction as well as the number of projects on your map, it may or may not make sense to “cluster” (or group) the points on your map at different zoom levels. For example, a large area with only a few projects doesn’t need clustering until a much lower zoom level (ex: the whole state or country), whereas a smaller area with many projects might benefit from clustering at a much higher zoom level (ex: city or neighborhood). In order to make the project easier for your users to search, you can now set the zoom level for when clustering appears.


And second, for those with non-$ currencies, you can now change the default currency, $, to the currency of your choice.


Biennial Budgeting Visualized

Biennial, triennial, and other-ennials rejoice! If your budget is adopted for more than one year, you can now reflect this cadence in the “over time” charts on your Open Budget site. Through the Data Settings section, you can set the default fiscal year difference, and this difference will be reflected in the years marked on the x-axis on the chart, making it easier for your citizens to understand trends in the budget over time.

Read the Knowledge Base for more details on how Open Budget works.


Small Updates & Bug Fixes

  • Open Expenditures:
    • Towards the beginning of the month spending totals will be much lower relative to past months total spending. To reduce confusion when comparing month over month spending, only completed months data will appear in the historical spending chart on the homepage.
    • If there are no spending values for a particular month or year, the historical spending chart will now display those as “breaks” in the chart, rather than displaying them as 0.
  • Open Budget:
    • When setting up annotations, you can now specify the Display name and API field for that annotation. If you have duplicate Display names, for example two cities called Evergreen, this will now allow for two different annotations.


Check out our other Product News, and give us a shout at with questions or ideas.

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