Throughout the world, governments are making collections of public data more easily available and consumable on the Web. Although critical of the government dumping loads of raw data in the public domain, accessible and relevant data can be very useful in improving public services. According to Gartner, “The same applies to the other technology fashion in government, the mythical and yet elusive “smart city”. In theory the better use of information coming from zillions of sensors could make a city far more efficient and save governments a lot of money.”
The Open Government Movement, which has emphasized transparency, collaboration, and innovation at all levels of government — is finding increasing application on the international and diplomatic stage, as evidenced most recently with the flurry of news articles, which aim to promote everything from API for census data to new cities deploying Open Data initiatives, and making data accessible and relevant.
Open Goverment News
US government releases API for census data - The Census Bureau hopes that the API will make its data more useful for the wider public and that it will inspire the creation of new applications. Making government data more widely accessible to researchers, scientists and other government offices has been a focus of President Obama’s Open Data Initiatives.
City of Palo Alto Opens Its Arms to Open Data – Palo Alto is already well known as a global center of technology innovation, with companies from Google to Facebook having once called it home. However, the city itself hasn’t fully embraced technology’s potential to disrupt local government — until now.
Government data must be “accessible and relevant” – Poor or incomplete data hinders the ability of users to exercise effective choice, for example on care providers. It also undermines the ability of service deliverers and policy makers to focus on improving quality.
4 Big Cities Launch Shared Data Platform – Standardized formats are not required to post data to the Cities.data.gov, but when jurisdictions start to collaborate on shared issues, some standardization will occur in order to maximize the usefulness of the data.
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John C. Tran