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Links 1 through 10 of 137 by Joe Germuska tagged opengovernment

"Rue said the so-called “Sunshine Portal” will be more than a Web site for centralized, convenient and freely accessible information about government finances. He said it will allow citizens the access they need to do their civic duty of overseeing government."

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"The OGD addresses nearly all of the open government data principles that have been put forward, and even adds two of its own: being pro-active about data release and creating accountability by designating an official responsible for data quality (more on these at the end). So from this perspective, the OGD is pretty spot-on. It is very strong in public input, public review, and interagency coordination, which are normally the weakest spots of government data (but, on the other hand, this isn’t data, this is a goal, so the proof will be in the pudding). It could have been stronger in the areas of machine processability & promoting analysis, and explaining what is appropriate for data licensing (ideally, none)."

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"While this may well be the largest release of public data to date by a U.S. city, it still represents a limited opening of the tap--one that doesn't illuminate governmental budget processes or many negative aspects of city life, such as crime or inferior city services."

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"That's right: In 2009, judicial records in the U.S. are essentially unsearchable. Digital records—with confidential personal information (theoretically) redacted by attorneys—must be downloaded in unwieldy, badly labeled chunks. This is incomprehensible to anyone under 30. But it's a sad fact of life for those who pay lawyers hundreds of dollars an hour to dig up what would could be Googled in any other field."

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"O'Reilly is talking to people, but he's helping people talk to eachother as well. He's introducing officials like Vivek Kundra, the new CIO of the Federal government, and Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra to ground-breaking hackers like geek rennaisance man Chris Messina and YCombinator founder Paul Graham. He's bringing together geospatial visionaries and the government officials that provide them the GPS data they work with."

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"The new web site will provide a clearinghouse of structured, raw and machine-readable government data to the public in an easily downloadable format. For example, there will be updated crime incident data from the police department and restaurant inspection data from the Department of Public Health. The initial phase of the web site includes more than 100 datasets, from a range of city departments, including Police, Public Works, and the Municipal Transportation Agency."

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'Here's a shocking fact for you: if you walk into a medium-sized city in, say, Michigan, and ask them for all documents relating to a public works project and real estate development, they may ask you to fill out a form; possibly ask for an ID; and then they will hand everything over to you.

'If you've ever tried to get information from a local government in Illinois particularly about a public works program or private development, you know that the presumption is to not give you anything.'

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"A map of hidden ties in the pharmaceutical industry is displayed below. The data is from the list of pharmaceutical companies and their lobbyists from OpenSecrets.org. Just like common board members spread similar messages and ideas throughout the corporate and non-profit worlds, do common lobbyists have a similar affect? What does the choice of a lobbyist reveal about the intentions of a corporation?"

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"The new Sunlight Labs transparency corps invites users to log in and join the effort to analyze this information collaboratively. Users are presented with the PDFs and prompted to read them carefully and then enter the pertinent information--the date and dollar amount of a request, name of the requester, description of the project, and so on--into fields on the screen. These then become part of a searchable database."

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'Well, along with a lot of open source people, I got interested in the Obama campaign and in helping President Obama get elected. And part of why he was so compelling was that the vision of how Washington needed to change is pretty close to the way that we think about working collaboratively in open source. The night that he was elected, there was a great little clip on CNET of a Republican commentator actually explaining open source as exactly what I just said. It was a really brilliant little two-minute clip. He pointed at The Cathedral and the Bazaar, that canonical document about how open source works. And he said, "Microsoft is the cathedral. It's their way or the highway. And the bazaar is a bunch of people working together grassroots to collaboratively build the things that they need. And so Obama's basically asking for the government to become open source, and the problem is Washington isn't really like that right now."'

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