The upgrades to the site, which will be available in a few months, will feature new ways to find and use data, including the ability to tag data sets.
The federal government's Data.gov site launched last month with a measly 47 data sets, but it's on track to make 100,000 data feeds available to the public in programmable form by the middle of June.
With the site scaling quickly, the government is already working on "Data.gov version 2.0," federal CIO Vivek Kundra said in a meeting with journalists Thursday.
The upgrades to the site, which will be available in a few months, will feature new ways to find and use data, including the ability to tag data sets. The government also will begin to make some data available in more finished forms, especially if data sets are rated poorly by the public.
"Once we've got the raw format, we're going to be going back and seeing data sets that haven't been rated at all, or data that has low ratings. We're going to be saying, what do we need to do to make it more usable?" Kundra said.
Data.gov isn't just transparency for transparency's sake. The goal is to let the public use government-generated data in new ways.
"We don't believe we have a monopoly on best approaches," Kundra said, pointing to moneymaking innovations made possible by government release of genomic and GPS data, as well as to an application development challenge by the Sunlight Foundation, an open government advocacy group.
The site makes "raw" data available in a variety of formats, including XML and text. The data can be searched, extracted, and analyzed using a catalog of tools. Kundra hasn't prescribed specific data formats, but has made it a guiding principle that the government move toward open data standards and make data available in multiple machine-readable formats.
Data.gov, which Kundra has made one of his and the agency CIOs' highest priorities, will require upgrades to serve up more data and improve data quality, but the investment will eliminate duplicate data collection and cut costs over the longer term, Kundra says. For example, the Office of Management and Budget will look at reducing duplicate map data.
A second iteration of Data.gov will be available over the coming months and will include new ways for the public to use and find the data, including the ability to tag data sets. By the end of June, Kundra also will launch an IT dashboard to measure spending and effectiveness of federal IT projects, and make that data available on data.gov.
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