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Why do number field datatypes change to text/string in downloads from Open Data Portal?

Question asked by alexfriant on Sep 15, 2016
Latest reply on Sep 27, 2016 by mcmullenh

I've noticed that all number field datatypes (except for ObjectID) are converted to string datatypes in the Shapefile downloads from Open Data Portal.

For example, in the Open Data Portal for Washinton DC Parks, you can see there is a field named "Benches" with a Number datatype:

Open Data Number Datatype


However, once you download the Shapefile, the datatype is converted to String:

Downloaded from Open Data now String Datatype


This creates a hassle for people consuming this data if they want to symbolize based on numeric fields, because they have to convert the data in their GIS before they can symbolize using numeric data.

Is this by design (if so, why?) or a oversite/bug?