Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Data.gov - a step into the cloud

Data.gov launched last week to mixed reviews. Marshall Kirkpatrick from ReadWriteWeb summarized some thoughts floating in cyberspace -

"There are many, many sets of data available from the federal government but the Data.gov site says it was selective about quality and standards when choosing what to include. It's hard not to compare other sources of government data and feel disappointed, though. The privately built USGovXML.com contains far more data and was built by one independent developer over four months."

Other reviews were more positive and pointed to data.gov as an important first step. However, the site raises questions like - where's the API? (a big issue!) Why's the government using a proprietary data format? Are there going to be location-based data feeds and services?

I'm left thinking about GPS - When it opened for public use a new geospatial industry was born. There's the same potential for federal data services and feeds w/location content on data.gov - and I'm hoping it will evolve beyond an FTP site with a Web 2.0 front-end.

- Jeff


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