In its seventh year as home to the U.S. Government’s open data, Data.gov continues to serve millions of people worldwide, from researchers and civic hackers, to businesses and citizens. These users have created apps, launched new products and services, and have improved transparency and openness, making the U.S. Government more accountable and responsive to the American people.
Data USA, an online application developed by a team of data scientists at MIT Media Lab and Datawheel, backed by Deloitte is helping Americans visualize demographic and economic data using an open source platform. Where are the Jobs, another online application developed by SymSoft Solutions provides insights on employment trends and salary information by geographic data. The application won first place at the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2011 Occupational Employment Statistics Challenge. Data.gov was the subject of researchers Rashmi Krishnamurthy and Yukika Awazu in their paper, “Liberating data for public value: The case of Data.gov,” International Journal of Information Management (2016). FarmPlenty, recipient of the USDA-Microsoft Innovation Challenge Grand Prize award, uses open government data to helps farmers better analyze U.S. Department of Agriculture data on crops grown within a five mile radius of their farms.
Data.gov’s influence reaches across borders. The Data.gov Help Desk receives numerous requests from U.S. and foreign residents seeking open data insights, technical information, and advice on how to encourage their governments (national, state, local, and tribal) to introduce and improve their open data platforms.
The future of open data is promising because of the collaborative efforts of partners in the private and public sectors. This year, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Center for Open Data Enterprise launched the Open Data Roundtables to identify open data case studies, learned lessons, and best practices across the Federal government; strengthen a community of technical, legal, and policy experts in support of open data; and support continuity and accelerate the progress of open data work.
Open government data is a team effort, so we ask you to join us and help improve the next year of Data.gov!