Data.gov sets up open data communities page

Community members commenting on best practices, security issues

The White House’s Data.gov website has started an online Open Data Community page to encourage public discussions about accessing and sharing data.

The page, which began Nov. 15, has 10 categories of topics that include balancing security and openness; developing policies for global data sharing; and using geospatial data, semantic technologies and best practices.

Visitors to Data.gov are invited to register with the community to participate and comments are posted publicly.

The community's goal is to stimulate global innovation and transparency in government by working to access, share and curate data from government sources, according to statements on the site.


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“This community bridges policy makers, technologists, data owners, and citizens -- each of us wants to get information to people who need to make decisions each day. As a member of this open data community, you can help to make this happen,” the site states.

The page also features a new blog by Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia, deputy associate administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the General Services Administration.

The Obama administration introduced Data.gov in May 2009 to provide government data free in easily accessible formats. It has grown to offer 305,692 datasets and 236 new applications for the data.

Data.gov also recently published a 77-page concept of operations to guide its development. It outlines the site’s history, current architecture and offerings and describes future plans for semantic Web applications, mobile applications and geospatial data integrations.

One tool being considered for Data.gov is a “Data-Pedia” that would allow users to integrate local, state and national datasets into a mashup centralized in one location. Under consideration for Data.gov is a mashup of all geographic property ownership information that would integrate property maps from throughout the United States, the concept of operations states.

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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