Developer's Corner

Data Standardization

All government agencies that provide data to the public should offer the data in standardized forms. This would include both the format (CSV, XML, SQL Server, Access, Oracle, etc.) and structure. For example, the State Energy Data System at EIA provides its annual data update in CSV, with columns for the variable name, location, date, and value. This would likely need to be modified for various applications, but if the columns are predictable it would make using the data far easier.

 

This could be taken one step further, to provide the data online to qualified users. For example, the data could be offered in a government-maintained SQL Server for webmasters and programmers to use directly without having to download and insert the data into their own or their host's server.

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Idea No. 203