Data.gov launches developer community

Data.gov has launched a new community for software developers to share ideas, collaborate or compete on projects and request new datasets.

Developer.data.gov joins a growing list of communities and portals tapping into Data.gov’s datasets, including those for health, energy, education, law, oceans and the Semantic Web.

The developer site is set up to offer access to federal agency datasets, source code, applications and ongoing developer challenges, along with blogs and forums where developers can discuss projects and share ideas.

Data.gov was launched in May 2009 as part of an effort to make government more transparent by making its datasets available to the public. Since then, the Obama administration has been working on ways to make that data accessible and useful, such as making data available in machine-readable formats. The targeted communities are another step in that direction.

In late March, the administration and India’s National Informatics Centre in India launched the Open Government Platform, a site to promote the development and sharing of open-source applications for cities, larger government entities and other organizations.

Future communities will include Cities.data.gov and communities focusing on public safety and research, Data.gov Director Jeanne Holm told NextGov.

The Developer.data.gov site was launched April 28 to coincide with the Sunlight Foundation’s TransparencyCamp last weekend in Washington, which was billed as an “unconference" for developers, technologists, policy-makers, students, academics and journalists to share ideas on improving government

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