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US Federal Government Launches Data.gov 109

Posted by timothy
from the selective-reporting dept.
Elastic Vapor writes "I'm happy to announce that the US Federal Government earlier today launched the new Data.Gov website. The primary goal of Data.Gov is to improve access to Federal data and expand creative use of those data beyond the walls of government by encouraging innovative ideas (e.g., web applications). Data.gov strives to make government more transparent and is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. The openness derived from Data.gov will strengthen the Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government." I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate. Perhaps they could start with inspiration from the Concord Coalition's National Debt Counter.
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US Federal Government Launches Data.gov

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  • by gammygator (820041) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:00PM (#28042865)
    "I hope the data reported will be impartially selected, honestly gathered, clearly explained, and perfectly accurate."

    Good luck with that, this is the government we're talking about...
  • by timeOday (582209) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:15PM (#28043095)

    Good luck with that, this is the government we're talking about...

    Yeah, I think sarcasm was his point. Personally I don't get it. Nobody's perfect, but I trust .gov data more than from private companies almost any day.

  • Unbiased opinion? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kmac06 (608921) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:24PM (#28043281)

    ...committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. The openness derived from Data.gov will strengthen the Nation's democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

    That sounds like it was written by the Ministry of Truth. No one should ever read something like that without huge warning bells going off.

  • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:26PM (#28043327) Journal

    He misses the point with his naivety, but you miss it with your cynicism. The data will still be incredibly useful, even if they're trying to game it, or sloppily collecting it, or if they're putting it up in an obscure, unorganized format.

    A broad enough dataset can be used to determine things well beyond it's intended scope.

  • by really_irish_man (1559155) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @02:29PM (#28043367)
    The government is an easy target to pick on, but they do have some really useful sites such as thomas.loc.gov and census.gov. Data.gov is a great concept, my only concern is will it change every time a new president takes office? Just as the various executive orders are issued and rescinded based on who's in power, will they also tinker with what data, data.gov will own?
  • by locallyunscene (1000523) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:13PM (#28044193)
    It would be the Ministry of Truth if this organization made sure it was the only supplier and analyzer of this information, rather than allowing it to escape on "the internet".

    The data itself could be heavily biased, but since the current data sets seem to be census data and similar sets(taxes, marriage/divorce rates), it doesn't seem to have the aim of a propaganda tool currently.

    It could be turned to one to be sure, but if it does provide moderately raw data sets then I'd say it would promote democracy.
  • Re:IIS, once again (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Alinabi (464689) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @03:54PM (#28044851)
    Forget about IIS. Most of the data is in DBF format. DBF!!! How about using some non-proprietary format from this century like, say, XML.
  • by skarphace (812333) on Thursday May 21, 2009 @05:36PM (#28046123) Homepage

    Openness or Control? I see it as a fail... You can probably get everything you need on google anyways... Unless it can tell me how to make millions and not pay taxes like the crooks in washington then its of no value

    There's a couple problems with your 'thoughts.' First, you assume everything's already on the Web. That's totally false. Second, you neglect to realize what you can do with machine readable data. Instead of trying to build hackish page scrapers, you can now use various APIs and get bulk data dumps(depending on what the agency offers). Data.gov is freaking huge. Anyone that plays around with governmental data knows the power that this site will bring.

    The only problem I see with it so far is that it's just a portal for the most part. It's a nice way to get at all the agencies' data in one spot but so far, as of this writing, it's nothing to rave about.

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