MoreNotesToSelf

Technology, Finance, and Life

Data.gov

Posted by DK on May 22, 2009

Well, the site has finally launched with 50 inaugural data sources — Migratory Bird Flyways here I come! On a more serious note, a number of my friends in government have noted the practice of hoarding information within agencies, departments, etc. One might think government work would be more open, since you are working as a public servant. Unfortunately the opposite is often true. Many view information as power in the public sector, which promotes the segregation of information. It makes intuitive sense with a second of thought: if a limited number of people have access to the data, you have to go to them whenever you need it. Data.gov should help disseminate quantitative information, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the process is like pulling teeth.

UPDATEWired published a piece on data.gov that highlights another site, USGovXML, the brainchild of a private citizen who was frustrated with the decentralized nature of government data.

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