Feds launch Data.gov today

Site offers federal information in several languages and formats

The Obama administration today launched its Data.gov Web site that offers complete federal datasets to the public in several computer language and text formats.

As of today, 47 federal datasets and 27 data tools were available on Data.gov; they included databases of earthquake activity, ozone trends, mineral resources and patent applications. Featured on the front Web page is the Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey.

The site also offers a link for providing ideas for additional databases to be included and a tutorial on how to use the site.

Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra announced plans for Data.gov in March with the goal of making massive volumes of government data available to the public.

Open government advocates today praised the site but said they were still exploring its features and functionality.

“It is another good first step,” said Sean Moulton, director of federal information policy for OMB Watch, an open government advocacy group. “It is heavy on the machine-readable data and will be helpful to the tech people.”

Moulton said he appreciates the link encouraging the public to submit ideas on additional databases for the site but would like to see more details on plans for what additional data may be added.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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