Archive for May, 2009

Remixing government data

May 4, 2009

This GCN article by Joab Jackson reviews how developers are repackaging government data to make it more useful for public use.  It should be required reading for any taxpayer funded entity that collects public data.

As Tim Berners-Lee said in his Feb 2009 TED talk, the next big thing will be open, linked data, but we have to demand it from our public institutions… or as he puts it: Raw Data Now!

It’s not just big governments that have data that should be shared openly.  Local government entities should, too.  Consider the useful, free applications that some A2B3 folks put together in a few days to help their fellow citizens… one that put some AATA bus schedule data in a user-accessible format and another one that notified a driver about available DDA parking structure spaces via a cell phone.  Unfortunately, the public funded entities that controlled the data did not like othersiders putting their public data to such good use and soon shut down the data feeds, as described in this Ann Arbor News article.

So there’s a lot of work to do to educate our public organizations of the benefits of open, raw data.

Here are some additional links related to this issue from A2B3ers Kevin and Tyler:

Data is the Public Good.  Data is the Infrastructure.  Data is the Stimulus

Data is a Long Lived Investment

Schuyler’s Lightning Talk on Vimeo