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Idea#48

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Publicly list the requests for data

You should list the types of data requested by the public and the number of votes for each type.

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Submitted by 4 years ago

Comments (7)

  1. In Geospatial One Stop there was a concept of a "marketplace" where upcoming data acquisitions could be posted and so on. The intent is fantastic - essentially, agencies and other stakeholders could join together to leverage their investments and "buy up" toward gaining additional geographic coverage, toward higher resolution imagery, or additional attributes and so on... Though, I think the idea was never properly communicated and conveyed. I believe that there is still opportunity, though. Between what agencies may already have, and what they may be looking to do in terms of data acquisition, having a collaborative means of posting these interests could provide huge benefit.

    4 years ago
  2. george_vic_bell Idea Submitter

    My thought is that if the requests for datasets are made public, and voted on by the public it introduces more transparency about why certain datasets can and can't be put online. It also gives people an idea of what people should be working towards.

    The goverment will then have to answer why they aren't providing high demand datasets. Rather than all of the requests just going into a black-hole.

    For example, if 1000 people wanted "GPS Locations of All Nuclear Power Plants", that would be a valid request, but it would be likely that the goverment would not be able to provide the data because of National Security Concerns. This could be stated in the description of the request "1000 people have requested this, but due to national security concerns the data will not be released, however following discussions with the community we are able to release the following dataset: Number of Nuclear Power Plants by State"

    This provides the data owners with a feedback mechanism.

    Also, it gives people outside of the federal government information on what they should be working on. For example, if one of the requests is "Live Transit (Bus, Subway) Location Data by City" and there are 100000 votes for that, then cities know that they will eventually be asked to provide that data, and start working to get it.

    4 years ago
  3. Unsubscribed User

    This is such a great idea. I've heard alot of support for this in conversations. Agencies want to know what is very important to the public and the public doesn't want their request to go into a black hole. And sometimes some clarification of the request is needed, for example, the request is for water data- well there at least 16 federal organiztions who collect that. The key to moving this idea to reality is what software is best for data.gov to implement the vision george posted. The conops document includes this idea of enabling the posting and dicussion of and voting on data requests by the public. Anyone have a suggestion?

    4 years ago
  4. george_vic_bell Idea Submitter

    This could be done with the system we are using now with some modifications. It just needs to have a new category - "Data Requests"...and some language to explain that you can add requests to improve the system, or data requests. There would need to be some more fields added perhaps to allow people to filter the requests by government agency or type of data.

    http://www.datato.org is currently doing this for toronto.ca/open (Toronto's version of data.gov).

    4 years ago
  5. I also think this is an excellent idea to post all possible datasets and allow the public to vote on them. It will also provide a way for agencies to explain how, when, and whether they can make those datasets available. And it will help other agencies see what's "in the pipeline" so they can work together to reduce possible duplication of similar datasets.

    Some agencies have raised concerns that it would be difficult to do this since they'd have to get the survey/voting tool approved by OMB, because of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requirements. Can this kind of voluntary request for feedback be exempt from PRA?

    4 years ago
  6. george_vic_bell Idea Submitter

    Sheila, can you give more info about what the PRA requirements are? Why would it need to be approved by OMB? How hard would that be? (as a non-government employee I have no idea what that is)...

    In anycase, I would think that knowing what people want would reduce paperwork since you wouldn't have to worry about the datasets that nobody cares about...

    Thanks,

    4 years ago
  7. I completely agree with this recommendation. What agencies think is valuable is not always of the same value to requesters and too many times, requests for data DO go into black holes or the response is a standard one that doesn't address the requests.

    4 years ago

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