Government Information and Data - Topics A-Z
Topics A-Z listing of articles and resources about initiatives relating to making government information widely available to be used in various applications including mashups of various kinds.
This category last updated: 22 August 2013
Big Data Raises Big Questions
- By Merrill Douglas. Government Technology, April 1, 2013. "Cheaper storage and more powerful analytic tools are making big data an increasingly viable concept for the public sector. Some police departments, for example, already mine high-volume, high-variety, high-velocity data sources to support predictive policing. Public officials also hope to deploy big data in public health, education, corrections, infrastructure management, citizen engagement and many other arenas.
Extracting knowledge from data stores has become an essential function, said Rick Davis, CIO at the Virginia Department of Corrections (DOC). 'We started accumulating all this data, and then people started saying, 'We'd like to report from this,' or 'We want to do some trend analysis.''
Still, governments that want to harness the power of big data face some serious obstacles. One such challenge emerges from the fact that governments collect and store data in so many different formats..."
The power of open data is often in serendipity
- eGov AU - Craig Thomler's professional blog - eGovernment and Gov 2.0 thoughts and speculations from an Australian perspective, Wednesday, March 27, 2013. "I often hear talk from government agencies about their wish to release more of their data openly, but their concern over how they allocate resources to ensure the most useful data is released first.
In several conversations I've had in different parts of Australia, the agency view was that they only wanted to release useful data, and were prepared to set up an internal review process to assess how useful data could be, then selectively release what they decided was valuable.
I strongly oppose this approach on the basis that it shouldn't be agencies who decide what data is useful, to whom, when or where..."
Speech: The big data revolution
- Neelie Kroes - Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, Reference: SPEECH/13/261 EIT Foundation Annual Innovation Forum /Brussel, Event Date: 26 March 2013. "There is no doubt that we have entered the era of big data.
Some reckon that, currently, every two days, we create as much information as was created from the dawn of civilisation to 2003. Every two days! And it's growing at 40% per year.
We can't miss out on that kind of growth opportunity.
And this is an opportunity. In terms of economic value alone, this is a market worth tens if not hundreds of billions of euros per year.
At a time when Europe desperately needs growth, this is exactly where we should be looking to create new jobs and new opportunities.
That's why I've called data the new oil. Because it's a fuel for innovation, powering and energising our economy. Unlike oil, of course, this well won't run dry: we've only just started tapping it.
It is ICT that enables this revolution. ICT that gives us, for the first time ever, the tools to share, manipulate and use data, on a scale which once we could only have dreamed of..."
Could a data 'Tsar' deliver billions in Government savings?
- By James Petter, UK&I VP and Managing Director for IT giant EMC. Posted by Andy Price. Public Technology, Tuesday, 26 March 2013. "It's been said that the UK is an 'information economy,' powered by the Internet industry, e-commerce and professional services and you just have to walk along the high street or consider ads for 'all you can eat data' to get a sense of how our society has developed.
In the last decade, we've seen a ten-fold growth in the size of our digital universe – hefty databases, rich video and photography, vibrant discussions on social media and an ever-burgeoning mountain of email.
But what is the value of that growing universe of information – and what is the potential we could derive from it if appropriate data-sets were to be mashed together and the right questions asked?..."
12 Fresh Ideas for Transforming the Places We Live With Open Data
- by Emily Badger. Atlantic Cities, March 25, 2013. "This year, the Knight News Challenge has been soliciting project proposals that would open up and leverage government data anywhere at the national, state and local levels (in the U.S. and abroad). As of last week, 886 projects are vying for a share of the $5 million in funding, all in response to this question: "How can we make the places we live more awesome through data and technology?"
Amid all of the submissions are some familiar innovations we've already encountered at Atlantic Cities, formerly as nascent ideas now competing for a chance to scale up: our favorite guerrilla wayfinding campaign from Raleigh, North Carolina; Code for America's playful StreetMix web app; the San Francisco-based Urban Prototyping Festival; and a community-driven transportation planning project based on the kind of data analytics we wrote about here.
But that's barely scratching the surface of all the proposals that Knight has corralled. We've put together a list of 12 ideas from the competition that are new to us and that we think would be worth developing (and we've included the applicants' description of their programs)..."
The Beginnings of India's Open Data Movement
- by Shreya Singh. iGovernment, 22 March 2013. "The Planning Commission's 'Hackathon' is part of the country's tentative opening of the doors to its public datasets. In a novel initiative, the Indian Planning Commission recently announced that in conjunction with the National Innovation Council, it would be hosting a 32-hour 'Hackathon'. The event, which will be held on April 6 and 7, 2013 invites students and professionals from all walks of life to come and aid the government in visualising India's 12th Five Year Plan. To be held at all major universities across the country, as well as online, the hackathon is the government’s attempt to encourage citizens towards using publically-available data and information and hacking it into visualisations, apps and short films, with the aim of creating awareness on important socio-political issues in the country..."
Big Data Is Opening Doors, but Maybe Too Many
- By Steve Lohr. The New York Times, Published: March 23, 2013. "... Today, many experts predict that the next wave will be driven by technologies that fly under the banner of Big Data — data including Web pages, browsing habits, sensor signals, smartphone location trails and genomic information, combined with clever software to make sense of it all.
Proponents of this new technology say it is allowing us to see and measure things as never before — much as the microscope allowed scientists to examine the mysteries of life at the cellular level. Big Data, they say, will open the door to making smarter decisions in every field from business and biology to public health and energy conservation..."
Unlocking the Value of Personal Data: From Collection to Usage - in pdf format (7558kb)
- (This document requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader). World Economic Forum, Prepared in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group, February 2013. "... As part of the multiyear initiative Rethinking Personal Data, the World Economic Forum hosted an ongoing multistakeholder dialogue on personal data throughout 2012 ... This dialogue invited perspectives from the US, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and involved representatives of various social, commercial, governmental and technical sectors, who shared their views on the changes occurring within the personal data ecosystem and how these changes affect the collective ability to uphold core principles. The dialogue also addressed key regional legislative and policy approaches, particularly the proposed European Commission Data Protection Regulation and the US Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
The global dialogue centred on a set of foundational principles that are familiar across a broad range of cultures and jurisdictions. The dialogue was based primarily on three clusters building on the 1980 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Privacy Principles:
- Protection and security
- Rights and responsibilities for using personal data
This document captures some of the key outcomes of the dialogue. It highlights areas that need to be resolved in order to achieve a sustainable balance of growth and protection in the use of personal data..."
NYC BigApps Developer Contest Allows Government Data Sets
- by Elena Malykhina. Information Week, 21 March 2013. "The NYC BigApps competition has something new to offer this year. For the first time, participating developers can include data sets from federal and state government, as well as the private sector.
The fourth-annual mobile app development contest, which kicked off this week, features more than 350 new data sets made available to developers by New York City agencies, commissions and business improvement districts. Companies in the private sector that are providing data include Bit.ly, CareerBuilder, eBay, Etsy, Foursquare and Yelp, among others. That brings the total to approximately 1,000 data sets, including those from previous years..."
What is the ROI of open government?
- by Alex Howard. Gov20.GovFresh, March 14, 2013. "Putting a dollar value on clean water, stable markets, the quality of schooling or access to the judiciary is no easy task. Each of these elements of society, however, are to some extent related to and enabled by open government.
If we think about how the fundamental democratic principles established centuries ago extend today purely in terms of the abstraction of transparency, the 'business value' of open government isn't always immediately clear, at least with respect to investment or outcomes..."
Thailand optimises investigations with big data analytics
- By Thanya Kunakornpaiboonsiri. FutureGov, 20 March 2013. "Big Data solution has played a key role in helping Thailand's Department of Special Investigation (DSI), Ministry of Justice to gather and analyse massive amount of data to optimise its crime investigations. The DSI implemented a Microsoft Big Data solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 and Apache Hadoop software to improve investigation processes and reduce manual procedures..."
The City of Chicago wants you to fork its data on GitHub
- Chicago CIO Brett Goldstein is experimenting with social coding for a different kind of civic engagement, by Alex Howard. O'Reilly Radar, March 19, 2013. "GitHub has been gaining new prominence as the use of open source software in government grows.
Earlier this month, I included a few thoughts from Chicago’s chief information officer, Brett Goldstein, about the city’s use of GitHub, in a piece exploring GitHub's role in government.
While Goldstein says that Chicago's open data portal will remain the primary means through which Chicago releases public sector data, publishing open data on GitHub is an experiment that will be interesting to watch, in terms of whether it affects reuse or collaboration around it.
In a followup email, Goldstein, who also serves as Chicago's chief data officer, shared more about why the city is on GitHub and what they’re learning. Our discussion follows..."
Of policy and petabytes: Shaping the use of big data
- By Frank Konkel. Federal Computer Week, March 15, 2013. "No one knows for certain where big data is headed, but its future will be inextricably tied to the policies that govern the ways in which government agencies and corporations use ever-increasing amounts of information about individuals and the world we live in.
Existing federal policies like the Privacy Act of 1974 and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act have little to say about how a corporation collects petabytes of customer data to drive sales, or how the government uses social networking analytics to predict the flu or respond to emergencies..."
Big Data Is the New Cloud Computing
- By Tim Beyers. The Motley Fool, March 15, 2013. "Big data used to have a specific meaning. Meant to describe cast-offs such as log files, this information was "big" because of the amount of electronic refuse created when processing, say, an e-commerce transaction. Big data used to be an exercise in digital dumpster diving..."
Cloud and Big Data, Together: A Huge Springboard to Innovation
- by Joe McKendrick. Forbes, 17 March 2013. "'Big data is the new cloud computing.' This sentiment was recently expressed in an interview with Motley Fool analyst Tim Byers, who analyzed the zeitgeist coming out of the South-by-Southwest (SXSW) conference and observed that cloud computing and big data were now one in the same phenomena, converging on enterprises of all shapes and sizes...
Steven VanRoekel, U.S. chief information officer, says the combined initiatives to open up federal data, along with cloud computing, have the potential to create entire new industries. As an example, he cites the opening up of geographic positioning systems data in the mid 1980s, which now is embedded in a range of commercial applications..."