Software // Information Management
10:53 AM

White House Unwraps Open Data Community forums invite people to share ideas and best practices about making government data more accessible.

Best Government Websites
(click image for larger view)
Best Government Websites

The White House has launched an online community on its site inviting people to share ideas for how the federal government can provide more open access to data.

The Open Data Community went live on Monday and includes forums on a variety of topics -- including best practices, the balance between openness and security, and how to grow an open data community -- as well as blog posts from U.S. government officials about open data.

Other forums invite people to speak their minds about policies for international data sharing, exploring semantic technologies, and whether governments should adopt existing standards or create new ones for data sharing.

The White House hopes a wide array of people interested in the open data debate -- including policymakers, technologists, data owners, and average citizens -- will use the site to make recommendations for sharing data and creating policies for government transparency, according to the site.

The Obama administration also is inviting technology-savvy participants to create an application or mashup to make data the government shares on more easily accessible or understandable.

Indeed, while there is certainly no shortage of information available on, the administration has been criticized for the site's accessibility and usefulness. At the Gov 2.0 conference in September, Ellen Miller, executive director of open government advocacy group the Sunlight Foundation, called the site a "mediocre" data repository.

The White House launched in May 2009 as part of the Obama administration's Open Government Directive, which mandates that all federal agencies use technology to make their activities more transparent and engage more actively with citizens.

There currently are 305,692 data sets available on, and new ones are being added all the time. In the last 60 days, agencies, including the Department of Justice, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the General Services Administration, added 33 new data sets to the site.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll