Where Are The APIs For Government Data?

from the open-'em-up dept

It shouldn't be a huge surprise that the government isn't always the fastest to embrace what the internet lets it do (even if it did basically fund the creation of the internet). However, a new report out of Princeton's Center for Information Technology Policy is suggesting that it's about time that the government make its data more widely accessible for a web 2.0 world. Basically, the government has put up websites, but it hasn't done much to make it so that it's easy to access the data available in those websites or (even more important) let other applications and services do something with that data and actually make it useful to the citizens that data is supposed to help. Given the pace of government activity in this arena, maybe we can expect some sort of movement in this direction by about 2016 or so. But wouldn't it be nice if we could actually easily pull government data and make it useful?

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  1. identicon
    nick, 10 Jun 2008 @ 7:34am

    I too do government contract work. And I agree with 'Anonymous Coward'. With all the regulations on the government side and those of the company who is providing the contract work, it is impossible sometimes to know what is government and what is not. FOIA states something about giving out raw data and something about source code, but still that is simply another regulation we have to deal with and typically not something we have time for. Also when a FIOA request comes in, it typically means we have to stop what we are doing and fulfill it, so it takes us aways from other things we are doing (including developing APIs). Also there is big movement in the government to move towards open source, both as users and contributors. So the government is on its way, but it takes time, and time=$$$ so....

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