Data.gov highlights radiation monitoring and earthquake data

Federal data website also adds new legal data section

The federal government’s data repository Data.gov has been expanded with a new section that highlights the availability of near real-time earthquake and nuclear radiation data in the wake of the Japan disaster, along with another new section on federal legal decisions.

The most popular new featured dataset is “Worldwide M1+ Earthquakes 7 days,” which contains continuously updated global earthquake data from the last seven days, compiled by the Interior Department’s National Geological Survey. That dataset has been downloaded more than 136,000 times as of today.

Data.gov, in an update in March, said the RadNet database of data is uploaded approximately hourly from a national network of radiation monitoring stations in each of the 50 states. The stations regularly collect air, water, precipitation and milk samples to test for nuclear radioactivity in the environment.


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Also featured are the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s database of inspection reports of nuclear facilities in the United States, last updated in December 2010. It has been downloaded 206 times.

Another new section, created in mid-March, is Data.gov’s Law Data Community that brings together federal legal decisions in a single location.

It includes 93 new datasets from the Defense, Commerce, Justice, Interior and Treasury departments and other agencies highlighting decisions by agency heads, boards and administrative law judges, as well as legal advisory opinions and interpretations.

The datasets include tax law interpretations, government contract claims, public transportation safety and handling hazardous materials.

The datasets include the Defense and Interior departments' Office of Hearings and Appeals Decisions, Justice’s Antitrust Division Appellate briefs, and the Federal Aviation Administration’s legal interpretations.

The Data.gov legal data section is similar to a legal data transparency effort by open government advocate Carl Malamud and Public.Resource.org, which has been organizing scholars, judges and attorneys to make court and legal documents freely available to the public in the Law.gov initiative.





 

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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