The new Data.Oregon.gov website “lets visitors interact with state records, create their own charts, graphs, calendars and maps, and save them online,” the Department of Administrative Services announced Tuesday, March 22. Users can also suggest data sets that should be uploaded to the portal.

“You don’t need to be a technology expert to use Data.Oregon.gov,” said Kris Kautz, the department’s acting director. “The site is easy to use and very flexible. Countless Oregonians have said they want more access to the information that state agencies collect, and this new resource gives them that access.”

Oregon’s open data portal is powered by Socrata, a cloud-based platform that the vendor said is also used by Seattle and Washington state for similar websites. Oregon said its website allows users to post comments in a discussion area tabbed to each data set; visualize the data in charts, graphs and other formats; and download the data in any of eight formats.

Seventy data sets had been posted by Wednesday, including state salaries, economic stimulus award amounts and agency expenditures. Some of the data sets will be available in real time in order to help developers integrate them into smartphone and tablet applications.

Twenty-four states have put open data portals online, according to a map available on Data.gov — the federal government’s open data portal started in 2009. Some major U.S. cities such as San Francisco, Atlanta and New York City have also started their own.