Get Ready for Data.gov

This Administration will certainly leave its mark when it comes to the use of technology in the public sector. Already we see a President who leverages web based videos, blogs, and online town forums. These are interesting uses of technology for an Administration but certainly not the end of the innovation that we can expect to see.

This Administration realizes that innovation is not just about using technologies, but can also be about approaching technology-related challenges in a new and interesting way. In May, the Administration will launch Data.gov, the first of many new .gov initiatives aimed at making government more efficient and effective. Data.gov will be a game changer for approaching the challenge of building web based applications for citizens.

The express intent of Data.gov is to make available Federal data sets in machine readable formats so that the public can leverage the data sets drive innovation. What might the public do? The expectation is that the public will develop websites, perform analysis, begin or further research, and develop web based applications that might one day be used within the .gov environment.

A federal wide data call was conducted to gather potential data sets for the launch of Data.gov. The intention is to promote data sets from across the federal government that relate to areas such as the economy, health care, transportation, natural resources, energy, and so forth. Many of the data sets might be available today but the data sets are scattered around the .gov community. Data.gov will provide a single catalog to access data sets that might be in CSV, XML, or shape file formats.

Look for Data.gov in May!