Did you check the forecast this morning to see if you should grab an umbrella before you headed out the door? If so, did you know that information collected and distributed by the government helped you to stay dry? Many familiar technologies are built using government data sets, including the National Digital Forecast Database and the Global Positioning System. It’s easy to take these technologies for granted, but they improve our lives every day.
On May 9, 2013 the White House released an Executive Order titled Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information. With this Order, the White House points to the immense social good (not to mention innovation and job growth) that can be created by innovators who use government data sets. As strong proponents of open government, we heartily agree!
As a first step in this process, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, in consultation with the Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs will issue an Open Data Policy. This will give us a “forecast” of the government’s plans for making more data sets open and machine readable. Watch the skies soon after that for the release of tools and best practices to help agencies fulfill this mandate.
We can hardly wait to see what new technologies emerge from these data sets. We’ll keep you updated on the Open Data Policy as it develops.