Democratizing Data

“Today, I’m pleased to announce that the Federal CIO Council is launching Created as part of the President’s commitment to open government and democratizing information, will open up the workings of government by making economic, healthcare, environmental, and other government information available on a single website, allowing the public to access raw data and transform it in innovative ways. Such data are currently fragmented across multiple sites and formats–making them hard to use and even harder to access in the first place. will change this, by creating a one-stop shop for free access to data generated across all federal agencies. The catalog will allow the American people to find, use, and repackage data held and generated by the government, which we hope will result in citizen feedback and new ideas.”


Announcing Apps for America 2: The Challenge

“We’ve been planning this for awhile. Ever since we heard about we have been planning a contest, and if you’re reading this blog post, that means has finally launched. I’m pleased to wave the green flag on Apps for America 2: The Challenge. This is a development and visualization challenge to see who can come up with the best application and visualization for data from”

Keeping an Eye on

“One thing that’s curiously missing from is an RSS feed for new data feeds. Sort of shockingly, and glaringly left out. We were disappointed, and didn’t want to wait. Scraping here is such an easy thing to do that we decided to just build our own. Sunlight Labs’ James Turk did it, and it’s handy. Here’s the feed and here’s the source that makes the feed. This should be useful to anyone who wants to see what new stuff is coming out of”



The Intersect Alert is the excellent newsletter of the Government Relations Committee, San Francisco Bay Region Chapter, Special Libraries Association

1 thought on “

  1. For further re:, see “White House preparing 2” (June 04, 2009) by Wyatt Kash:

    White House officials plan to release Version 2.0 of the new government data portal,, in the next couple of months, federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra said today.

    The federal Web site, which makes government data available for public reuse, will likely feature new tagging capabilities and an expanded array of information tools, Kundra said., which debuted May 21, has 87,000 data feeds from various government agencies. That number is expected to top 100,000 by next week, Kundra said.

    Speaking at a demonstration of at the Office of Management and Budget, Kundra acknowledged that the number of data feeds remains relatively small and that it will be some time before agencies are in a position to adapt or upgrade their aging systems to export data easily to

    “We have 10,000 systems and millions of business processes,” he said. He added that much of the data is presented in its raw form, which means many of the site’s visitors might have trouble making sense of it.

    Still, Kundra was enthusiastic about the number of applications designed to highlight government data that have been already been added to the site. He was surprised in particular by the level of interest and even competition coming from within government agencies to develop such applications.

    He cited an application now available from the FBI that lets users download the Top 10 Most Wanted list to their Web site or even their iPhone. Another application allows users to download a national map showing the spread of the H1N1 flu virus, based on the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. is already generating a significant amount of feedback, with the help of a rating tool that lets users rate the usefulness of agency data feeds and various tools. “In the same way we’re allowing feedback, we want to encourage tagging so we can crowd source” as a way of adding value to the content for users, he said.

    In the long run, Kundra wants to continue to move agencies away from warehousing the data they collect and toward a model in which agencies can publish data in real time, much like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does now with its weather data.

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