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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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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Solution Architecture

Merge Geospatial One Stop and Data.gov

Geographic referencing adds critical context to data. It helps users quickly and easily determine whether a dataset pertains to their specific area of interest, and in the event that it does, empowers users by immediately allowing them to visualize that data, perhaps coupled with addtional datasets for informing context. Both Geospatial One Stop and Data.gov are citizen centric initiatives. Migrating and consolidating ...more »

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Strategic Intent

Post Links to All Agency ICRs Together

ICR = Information Collection Request. Example: http://edicsweb.ed.gov/. Each agency has a site like this, but it is sometimes hard to find. If they were posted together, data.gov users could more easily discover interconnections among data sets. The files at each link on the page explain: (1) WHAT data a department wants to collect from the public, and the form that will be used to collect it; (2) WHO must fill out ...more »

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Developer's Corner

Semantic.data.gov use cases needed.

As discussed in the CONOPS, semantic.data.gov will be an adjunct, experimental site to assist in the evolution of data.gov towards greater semantics. This site will also learn from lessons learned via data.gov.uk which is also exploiting semantic technologies. What would be the most important initial use cases the semantic web community would like to see semantic.data.gov tackle? Ontology development? Rule based alerts? ...more »

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Solution Architecture

Make Data easier to find using tagging or metadata

This entry is a consensus recommendation of seven organizations that work on government transparency of which OpenTheGovernment.org is one.

Use tagging or metadata to enable the public to bring together information on a topic. The thesaurus that USA.gov uses provides a useful example of the needed vocabulary.

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Solution Architecture

Let Collaborative Tools Drive Future Contributions

The "Collaboration" section that starts on page 9 of the draft is a great start. Over at http://groups.csail.mit.edu/haystack/blog/2009/11/23/building-a-social-data-commons/ I've listed a few more. Summarized here: 1) For each data set, provide a set of developer-generated recipes for data manipulation so that future developers can stand on the shoulders of previous users of this data set by sharing tools and techniques. ...more »

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Solution Architecture

Data Hosting for National Datasets

Have Data.gov serve as a platform for serving national data. In addition to serving as a catalog, provide actual data hosting capability, e.g. hosting national framework data layers to support a wide variety of mapping (ala The National Map). Additionally, this may be of particular value to support collaborative and cross-agency efforts such as Imagery For The Nation – Imagery For The Nation (IFTN) is an attempt to ...more »

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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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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.

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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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Solution Architecture

Add collaborative/social aspects to data.gov

In addition to the search options currently on data.gov and the spatial search capabilities discussed in other ideas, I suggest considering a third alternative: ask-a-friend. Like any forum, I post a question (for a specific dataset/service) and other users of the site may help me by pointing me to it. I could share my favorite (bookmarked) datasets with others or browse through their bookmarks to find data someone found ...more »

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Strategic Intent

Measuring success of Data.gov - a suggested (simple) framework

The OMB Open Government Directive published on December 8, 2009 includes what are (in my opinion) some undefined terms and very unrealistic expectations and deadlines for federal agency compliance with the directive. It also did not include any method for assessing progress towards the spirit and intent of the stated objectives. I would like to offer a simple framework that the Data.gov effort can use to work (collaboratively) ...more »

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Agency Next Steps

Quality controls/checklist

The agency posting the data should assert that it has performed certain quality gates/checks on the datasets it is publishing. I just downloaded one dataset provided as a spreadsheet and one of the columns is: "Contructor" Either that is a weird term or it is an error and meant to say "Contractor". Looking at the data (which is a bunch of acronyms) it is probably the latter. Did whoever published the dataset check ...more »

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Strategic Intent

Require agencies to explain why the data is "high value"

This entry is a consensus recommendation of seven organizations that work on government transparency of which OpenTheGovernment.org is one. Require agencies to explain why the data is high value by having them designate which of the “high value criteria” the data meets: information that can be used to increase agency accountability and responsiveness; improve public knowledge of the agency and its operations; further ...more »

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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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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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Developer's Corner

Realtime Data

Allow to sort by realtime vs. static or batched data. Include more realtime feeds from science departments (satellite, geographic sensors, camera's, location data of assets, monitoring equipment). This allows the public to for instance write realtime monitoring applications for earthquakes, volcanic erruptions. Or process other data in realtime (like raw feeds from satelites, power stations, water quality, weather, ...more »

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