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: 20 May 2013
New era of social media pushes agencies toward data, away from platforms
- by Jason Miller. Federal News Radio,10 January 2013. "Just as agencies are becoming more and more comfortable in using Twitter, Facebook or other social media platforms to reach citizens and businesses, the real impact of social media is moving beyond the platform itself and on to how to best use the data.
"This trend just initially being discussed in the social media community of practice … that are seeing this need to engage citizens in ways that are beyond what a social media platform does," said Tammi Marcoullier, program manager for Challenge.gov and the team lead for engagement and outreach in the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. "With the third evolution of this, it's being able to do something with that information. Challenge and prize competitions is a huge example of that."..."
The White House says open data is something other agencies do
- By David Perera. Fierce Government IT, January 22, 2013. "Lies, damned lies, and statistics, goes the saying--and here's another one: data, open data, and transparency.
My reason for saying so stems from a recent look FierceGovernmentIT took at the White House visitor logs of Steven VanRoekel, the Office of Management and Budget administrator for e-government and information technology--aka the federal chief information officer..."
Making open data more valuable, one micropayment at a time
- Yo Yoshida's startup, Appallicious, is using San Francisco's government data as a backbone, by Alex Howard. O'Reilly Radar, January 23, 2013. "When it comes to making sense of the open data economy, tracking cents is valuable. In San Francisco, where Mayor Ed Lee’s administration has reinvigorated city efforts to release open data for economic benefits, entrepreneur Yo Yoshida has made the City by the Bay’s government data central to his mobile ecommerce startup, Appallicious.
Appallicious is positioning its Skipitt mobile platform as a way for cities to easily process mobile transactions for their residents. The startup is generating revenue from each transaction the city takes with its platform using micropayments, a strategy that’s novel in the world of open data but has enabled Appallicious to make enough money to hire more employees and look to expand to other municipalities. I spoke to Yoshida last fall about his startup, what it’s like to go through city procurement, and whether he sees a market opportunity in more open government data..."
How much? Publishing the cost of government transactions
- by Francis Maude. Government Digital Service, 17 January 2013. "Francis Maude, Minister for Cabinet Office: 'Governments talk a lot about delivering value for taxpayers. Yet most of the time they aren’t very clear about what they mean. Now taxpayers can judge value for themselves.' Today the Cabinet Office has published an update to the Transactions Explorer tool. This now includes data on the cost per transaction for 44 of the biggest services the Government offers its citizens..."
Open data economy: Eight business models for open data and insight from Deloitte UK
- Two open data items of note from readers, by Alex Howard. O'Reilly Radar, January 28, 2013. "When I asked whether the push to free up government data was resulting in economic activity and startup creation, I started to receive emails from people around the United States and Europe. I'll be publishing more of what I learned in our ongoing series of open data interviews and profiles over the next month, but two responses are worth sharing now.
Open questions about open growth
The first response concerned Deloitte's ongoing research into open data in the United Kingdom [PDF], conducted in collaboration with the Open Data Institute..."
Open growth: Stimulating demand for open data in the UK
- Deloitte, December 2012. "This short briefing note summarises elements of Deloitte's ongoing research into open data, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Open Data Institute.
The research programme has collected broad anecdotal evidence and some discrete statistics about open government data. Collectively these provide an indication of the value that open data can bring to the UK’s economy, and demonstrate that business use of open data is growing. However, the unequivocal quantitative evidence of economic benefit that the programme has sought is not yet available. Deloitte will continue to track and analyse such quantitative measures as the open data marketplace develops over the coming months..."
How GitHub Helps You Hack the Government
- By Robert McMillan. Wired, 9 January 2013. "... Today, a new generation of technology leaders and software developers are coming up in Washington, slowly transforming the government, project by project. And it's a natural fit. The federal government spends nearly $80 billion on technology every year. More money than Apple. More than Google. More than Microsoft. And because it’s the government, every piece of code it creates is by definition copyright-free. Government software just needs a way of reaching the outside world..."
Open Data: A means, not an end to collaboration
- Written by Stephen Karam and Chamika Ailapperuma. Canadian Government Executive, Volume: 19 Issue: 1, Tuesday, 29 January 2013. "We built it. They came. They left. The reason? Open data was treated as a technology project, when it should initially have been conceived and governed as a business project.
Tom Sawyer was an imaginative transformation architect. How else could he get his friends to trade him small treasures for the “privilege” of painting his fence, a chore he was given originally as a punishment? And so was written one of the earliest instances of the crowdsourcing model that is so prevalent in today’s digital social age.
Let's fast forward to the public sector open data movement, which has been in existence for the better part of five years, and do a 'stop and pause' reflection. Many governments around the world are not only participating in open data, they are moving toward their second or even third generation environments..."
White House to mandate machine-readable open data
- By Jason Miller. Federal News Radio, 7 January 2013. "White House technology leaders are close to issuing a new policy that will change the way agencies release data to the public.
Todd Park, the federal chief technology officer, said Friday the new policy is one of several steps to spur the release of more data from agencies.
"We are going to continue to enlist additional federal agencies in the open data initiatives program as fast track liberators of key existing data sets that could create large scale economics benefit while protecting privacy," Park said at the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology meeting in Washington. "We also, as per the recently announced Digital Government Strategy just this past summer, with OMB will be releasing policy soon that makes open and computer readable the default status of new data created by the government going forward."
- Posted by Danny Chapman, Ryan Panchadsaram, and John Paul Farmer. The White House, Office of Science and Technology Policy, January 28, 2013. "When the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced its call for 18 Presidential Innovation Fellows last summer, US Chief Technology Officer Todd Park also asked folks across the country to support these Fellows with great ideas and valuable feedback.
Over the past few months, through video chats, conference calls, and in-person meetings, thousands of Americans have connected with us to learn and share ideas about our work—and this Administration's commitment—to unleash data from the vaults of the government as fuel for innovation. Time and again, we were asked why more people weren't aware of these 'Open Data' efforts, their numerous benefits for Americans, and how to get engaged..."
The Journal News Gun Map: Open vs. Personal Data
- by David Eaves, 7 January 2013. "As many readers are likely aware two weeks ago The Journal News, a newspaper just outside of New York city, published a map showing the addresses and names of handgun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties. The map, which was part of a story responding to the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was constructed with data the paper acquired through Freedom of Information requests. Since their publication the story has generated enormous public interest, including a tremendous amount of anger from gun owners and supporters. The newspaper and its staff have received death threats, had their home addresses published and details of where their kids attend school published. Today the newspapers headquarters are guarded by… armed guards.
While there is a temptation to talk about this even in terms of open data, I don’t think this is a debate about open data. This is a debate about privacy and policy..."
Open Data Culture Change
- By Colin MacDonald, New Zealand Government Web Toolkit, 25 January 2013. "... Globally there is a clear presumption of openness becoming the norm for non-personal, unclassified and non-confidential information held by government and there is much more proactive release. Much of it is in formats that can be manipulated using a standard computer. These changes, which are taking place in many countries, are seen as affirming transparency and the maintenance of democracy.
In New Zealand we are adapting to the idea that data should be actively released without waiting for someone to ask us for it, which is the approach we generally take under the OIA. This goes beyond openness and transparency to enable people to legally re-use government material for their own purposes.
This is a huge culture change..."
Data.gov model going global
- Posted by Paul McCloskey. GCN Blog, January 2, 2013. "The managers of the Data.gov are making available an open-source version of the open data portal that would enable governments around the world to stand up similar information transparency gateways.
The Data.gov team has been working with the National Informatics Centre of the government of India to develop the Open Government Platform (OGPL), an open-source back end that could be adapted by other countries.
In addition to India, the governments of Canada and Ghana have plans to use the software to improve their open government programs in 2013..."
The Dynamics of Opening Government Data: A White Paper - in pdf format (782kb)
- (This document requires the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader). By Natalie Helbig, Anthony M. Cresswell, G. Brian Burke, Luis Luna-Reyes, Center for Technology in Government, December 2012. "There is growing interest at all levels of government to increase access to and use of government data in support of good governance. As a result, public agencies are under pressure to create new capabilities to achieve this goal. A common assumption when opening government data is that simply supplying more data freely and in more formats will lead to more use. That use will lead to value creation and, in turn, will motivate government to make the necessary changes to continue opening more data. But, we know from experience, that supplying more and more data does not necessarily produce the results we anticipated.
This paper presents an approach to analyze and model open data initiatives based on two key ideas: context and dynamics. First, the approach acknowledges the signifi cance of context, particularly in terms of the actors and their interests in the governance of government data and access to it. These aspects of opening government data are largely de-contextualized in common practice, often addressing in a limited sense the many ways context affects how information is acquired, understood, and used to impact government and public life. Second, we highlight the dynamic aspects of open data initiatives that impact value creation, in terms of making data available, making it fi t for reuse, contextualizing information, and working with new stakeholders. These dynamics represent changes over time from new technologies, interests, issues, and patterns of interaction resulting in new practices, governance arrangements, policies, and ways to express the value generated..."
European Commission releases Open Data Portal
- By Sumedha Jalote. FutureGov, 31 December 2012. "The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, launched a beta version of the Open Data Hub of the European Union last week, a month earlier than the scheduled release date in January. The data portal currently contains 5811 datasets from the European Commission, freely available to the public to browse, download and use. The portal also provides access to data from other institutions and agencies of the European Union at their request..."