Is A Big Step Toward Transparency

May 21, 2009

Today the Obama administraion launched, a new website designed to make governmental data easily accessible to normal people (who love looking at data) and in formats that allow software developers to mine the data.

This is an excellent step towards transparency in government. The ultimate utility will matter on how many databases they allow us access to and how often they are updated, but it looks like the new go-to site for government data.

Just at a glance, we’ve got extensive data for:

  • USA Spending Contracts and Purchases (searchable database)
  • Benefits Data from the Benefits and Earning (Social Security Benefits)
  • Patent Application Bibliographic Data (2009)
  • Graphical Database of Tornados (1950-2006)
  • Rain, Hail and Snow Observations
  • Energy Consumption Survey (RECS) Files (1978-2005)
  • Migratory Bird Flyways for the Continental United States

Lots of government gathered scientific data and a couple things that look like they might have some actual “responsible government” implications. I’d love to see more of this.

Very well done.

3 Responses to “ Is A Big Step Toward Transparency”

  1. Zach Says:

    Dude, on the one hand I respect what you are trying to do here, but on the other I got to say: “What is the point?”

    When people don’t know how many millions are in a trillion and when the average person doesn’t understand the first thing about compound interest or the difference between inflation and consumer price increases (hint: one of them actually measures the growth of the money supply), what are you going to do?

    Yeah, you have friends out there that think like you and me. We all have IQs high enough to make us the smartest person on the whole damn subway train. We all “get” it. But the masses won’t vote for a penny pincher for long, and the elite will keep them indebted ’till they’re homeless on the land their fathers conquered.

    Do what I’m doing: Peace out.

    Have a little place in the country with stocked food and ammo and let the indebted burn the world down.

  2. Blaise Says:

    I totally respect what is being done here.

    Don’t stop.

    Thanks for the website tip. I am always looking for raw data.

  3. Joshua Says:

    Thanks for the heads up! Although the site might seem a little “useless” to the average folks we will all be surprised at what software developers will do with the data APIs they have access to now.

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