This topic area is an Open Forum. All ideas for Data.gov’s future are welcomed here.

General

Create standards that are needed to spur open data-

As the Dublin Core proved - a little bit of standardization can go a long way. In the open gov data arena, a short list of the areas it would make sense to have global standards on would help all governments and citizens get clear on what needs to be developed for voluntary adoption and where we develop the standards. This idea is to openly develop that short list so we can accelerate this transformation.

Submitted by Unsubscribed User

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39 votes

General

Relate Datasets

In browsing the current Data.gov holdings, one sees data which has in some instances been chunked (for example large datasets which would contain too many records as CSV) - perhaps these may be broken out by state, et cetera. Similarly, there are cases where there are datasets which are part of a time series (e.g. 2005->2006->2007 annual data releases) - it would be useful toward usability to have ways to relate these ...more »

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27 votes

General

Top 5 metadata elements?

What would the community feel is the top 5 metadata elements that should be mandatory for a dataset catalog record AND of those 5 which do you think is most important to developers and citizens wanting to discover and use datasets that are relevant to them? Here is a recommendation: 1. Subject Coverage (aka topic or "WHAT", for a hierarchical tree display/browsing) 2. Schema Location (for structured datasets) 3. Geospatial ...more »

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13 votes

General

Notify the public if data is removed

Comparing the list of agency participation on data.gov, it appears that the number of raw data sets and tools posted by certain agencies has gone down at certain times. If an agency removes access to raw data or a tool on data.gov, it should be noted on the site, and a reason for the removal should be given.

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29 votes

General

Clarify Data.gov Feedback Loop

I applaud the visionaries behind Data.gov for understanding the importance of feedback. It is great that there are feedback input mechanisms for datasets and also this feedback input site (ideascale) for feedback on the solution governance, architecture, and technologies. But in an ideal world feedback is an ongoing conversation, with comments or suggestions going into the system, responses and requests for use cases ...more »

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24 votes

General

Change to Paperwork Reduction Act

In light of the new Open Government Directive that was released by the White House on Dec. 8th 2009 can the Paperwork Reduction Act be updated (or at least and emergency exception be made) to allow government agencies to request feedback from the public to make better decisions as to what data sets these government agencies should make available.

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22 votes

General

Transparency of the Process behind the Data

A citizen should be able to request a description of how a data element is derived. For example, the very controversial - "saved or created jobs" data element should have an explanation of the formula or the derived fields used to calculate the number. Another example, would be the all important unemployment data - how is that percentage calculated? This would give the public more confidence in using the data. In ...more »

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22 votes

General

Integrate Taxonomies, Ontologies, Thesauri

Toward more effective means of data discovery, particularly as more and more datasets are published and registered in data.gov, one thing that might provide value, particularly to, for example, the science community, might be integration and use of existing taxonomies, ontologies and thesauri as developed by various agencies. Models for integration exist, such as CUAHSI in the water community, or GBIF for biodiversity. ...more »

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18 votes

General

File size

It is useful to show the filesize as many agencies do. This helps some users decide (a) whether the size is too small to contain the data envisioned in the description (often the case) or (2) to prepare for an especially large load of data.

Submitted by

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18 votes

General

Improve data quality

Hi, one of the greatest problems I find right now is data quality. First, there are no way to validate the data. Second some data (for example dataset 401 about budgets) contains negative values (check Dept. of Defense). This not only is not useful, but makes people and developers distrust data.gov as a source of information and valid data.

Submitted by

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15 votes

General

Support and coordinate US Gov web services for tabular data

Many of the goals of data.gov will only be realized when many govt data shops serve web services using common standards so they can be accessed by other web services and synthesizing portals. Like a common 'what data exists in your database in this ___ geographic area [lat long box, county, zipcode, LL/zip centroid plus distance]?' web service standard. Work with teams in the major gov data centers to develop standards ...more »

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15 votes

General

Define and Develop a Meta Information Repository

The federal government is an information-intensive organization and it is imperative that data within and across the federal government be well managed. A central repository of data about data—also referred to as meta data—can be an effective data-management tool. However, a repository, as proposed here, is not to be confused with a data dictionary that merely gives definitions of data. A repository can be used to manage ...more »

Submitted by

Stage: Active

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10 votes

General

If you build it, let them come. Simplified Finds.

On the main data.gov website, there is the Agency Participation tab. It does what you expect. It shows agencies and related statistics. What it doesn't do is simplify search. If you present this information, the statistics entice you to click on the participant to see what and why. If you can generate the numbers, you can populate a hyperlinked search to the datasets, tools, and more. Having to go back and then filter ...more »

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11 votes

General

Disclosure of Nursing Homes Problems

We need the disclosure of the names of nursing homes and rehabilitation centers that have either low ratings, high incidences of abuse, neglect or high rates of death. We, the public, are unaware of the ratings of these institutions when we place our loved ones there. They are recommended to us by hospitals upon discharge of elderly relatives, so we naturally believe they are safe. In 1999, my 76 year old mother died ...more »

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13 votes

General

Keeping language and instructions/links easy to follow

I suppose this isn't a terribly common problem, but not all of us grew up with this technology, or have been able to afford or access it too long between the place of residence not having acess to the web or the costs of equipment being too high for limited budgets. I can't speak for all, but sometimes the maze can be overwhelmingly confusing, trying to find what it is you're looking for, and then understand what it ...more »

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Stage: Active

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9 votes

General

Previously Published Data is Corrected - How Are Users Notified?

Lets say you publish the number of cases cleared each month in 2009 but later learn that the numbers for some months were understated due to a server problem. If someone has already downloaded and is using the defective dataset, how are they notified that they need to download the dataset once more in order to have accurate data?

Submitted by

Stage: Active

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11 votes

General

penalty for becoming less open

Government institutions may try to briefly surface their data on Data.gov to earn points on the "open data dashboard", only to later take them down. I believe this is disingenuous, and clearly goes against the spirit of the Open Government Directive. The case I'm specifically referring to is the data tracking Broadband Stimulus funding via the BIP/BTOP programs. The data available at the following link has not been ...more »

Submitted by

Stage: Active

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10 votes

General

Make it easy to see the data

My colleague and I have made examples of how we would like to see and interact with tabular data online. Check out our initial provisional versions of searchable catalogs of data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS): BEA: www.entabular.com/bea BJS: www.entabular.com/bjs The sites have a fair amount of data, high-quality metadata, and a pretty good search feature, ...more »

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Stage: Active

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6 votes

General

Quarterly Distribution via Bit Torrent

Many developers would like to mine the data at a large scale which may include a majority or all of the available data. It is technically possible to make a web scraper or mirror the site but this would be a long, slow process that would consume a great deal of bandwidth both for the client and for the servers housing the data. What would be an optimal way to pull down all the data would be to distribute it via Bit Torrent. ...more »

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Stage: Active

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10 votes

General

Data.gov Accountability Dashboard on Front Page

The open government directive has specific requirements like the following: Within 45 days, each agency shall identify and publish online in an open format at least three high-value data sets ... and register those data sets via data.gov... These must be data sets not previously available online or in a downloadable format. Tracking those specific requirements on data.gov (separate from the open government dashboard ...more »

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Stage: Active

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12 votes

General

Increase the hieght of the search interface

The main search interface (under the "Catalog" tab) is a bit difficult to use, if only because the window containing the select list of categories and agencies is too narrow. My screen only displays two or three rows at a time. This makes it tedious to browse through the options. Easy fix: expand the height of the search interface.

Submitted by

Stage: Active

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5 votes

Displaying 1 - 25 of 51 Ideas