Baltimore Decoded

Accessible Law for All People

About

Introduction

Baltimore Decoded is a non-profit, non-governmental, non-partisan implementation of The State Decoded brought to you by the folks at the OpenGov Foundation. It’s a collaborative software project that costs Baltimore citizens $0 tax dollars, and that provides a platform to display city-level legal information in a friendly, accessible, modern fashion. Baltimore City is the first municipality to deploy the software, with more coming soon.

Beta Testing

Baltimore Decoded is currently in public beta, which is to say that the site is under active development, with known shortcomings, but it has reached a point where it would benefit from being used by the general public (who one hopes will likewise benefit from it). While every effort is made to ensure that the data provided on Baltimore Decoded is accurate and up-to-date, it would be gravely unwise to rely on it for any matter of importance while it is in this beta testing phase.

Many more features are under development, including calculations of the importance of given laws, inclusion of attorney generals’ opinions, court rulings, extensive explanatory text, social media integration, significant navigation enhancements, a vastly expanded built-in glossary of legal terms, scholarly article citations, and much more.

Data Sources

Data Sources The information that makes up Baltimore Decoded comes entirely from public sources. All of the sections of the code are straight from the Baltimore City Department of Legislative Reference, who provided XML of the Code. Any further included legislative data is scraped from the Baltimore City Council website. Term definitions, where included, are from within the Baltimore City code itself. Throughout the site, links are provided to original data sources, whenever possible. Click here to visit the Baltimore City Department of Legislative Reference, and click here to visit its production of the Baltimore City laws.

API

The site has a RESTful, JSON-based API. Register for an API key and read the documentation for details.

Thanks

Baltimore Decoded wouldn’t be possible without the contributions and years of work by Waldo Jaquith, and the many dozens of people who participated in private alpha and beta testing of Virginia Decoded, the first State Decoded site, over the course of a year and a half, beginning in 2010. Specific thanks must be extended the good people of the Baltimore City Department of Legislative Reference. This platform on which this site is based, The State Decoded, was expanded to function beyond Virginia thanks to a generous grant by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Colophon

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Disclaimer

This is not an official copy of the Code of Baltimore. It is in no way authorized by the City of Baltimore. No information that is found on Baltimore Decoded constitutes legal advice on any subject matter. Do not take action (or fail to take action) on a legal matter without consulting proper legal counsel. The contents of this website are provided as-is, with no warranty of any kind, including merchantability, non-infringement, or fitness for a particular purpose. This website is not your lawyer, and neither is the OpenGov Foundation.