Thursday, January 23, 2014

How Government Can Make Open Data Work; InformationWeek, 1/22/14

Joel Gurin, InformationWeek; How Government Can Make Open Data Work:
"Will 2014 finally become the year of open data? We're certainly seeing evidence that open data is moving from the margins into the mainstream, with new uses for data that governments and other sources are making freely available to the public.
But if we're going to see open data's promise fulfilled, it will be important for governments, and the federal government in particular, to make it easier for the public to access and use their open data.
I've described open data as "accessible public data that people, companies, and organizations can use to launch new ventures, analyze patterns and trends, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems." As Bethann Pepoli recently wrote in InformationWeek, cities around the US are starting to embrace open data as a tool for good government and civic innovation.
The federal government is doing the same. The Obama administration has begun implementing its Open Data Policy, announced last May, which calls for government agencies to make their data open by default and work with companies and nonprofits to put the data to use. The most recent example occurred last week with the White House hosting two days of "datapaloozas" to encourage entrepreneurs, developers, and nonprofit organizations to apply government safety and education data.
I've participated in and studied the open data movement for the last three years. I've drawn on that experience and dozens of interviews for a new book I've written, Open Data Now. The book is meant to reach beyond a tech audience by illustrating how open data is impacting government policies and practices, innovation, consumer advocacy, and more. And as I learned in my research, open data's broadest impact may be as a kind of natural resource for business."

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