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Data.gov Entering Phase Two of Worldwide Launch

Steven VanRoekel

Data.gov was created as away to make datasets generated by the executive branch of the federal government more accessible to the public.

In an effort to encourage other countries to build their own data.gov websites, the U.S. has formed a partnership with the government of India with hopes of launching similar data.gov sites worldwide.

Recently, the U.S. completed phase one of the plan by developing and releasing a new data management tool, which allows governments to upload, fact check, and manage the data.

However, this only half the battle because the data management tool does not have a visual component.

According to Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, in an interview with Federal News Radio, the next stage is for the Indian government to build the visual layer.

“In the next six months, you’re going to see the government of India drop another set of code that’s really the presentation aspects of this,” said VanRoekel.

Although the U.S. developed the code for the data management tool, it did so using open source and under the umbrella of its international partnership, which means the U.S. will not own the final product but rather the foreign partner that develops it will, according to VanRoekel.

Once completed, governments will have an easy way to share information, improving both transparency and access to the general public. The final product is expected to launch sometime in 2012.

“There’s an amazing realm of possibilities we could drive worldwide if we start opening up this data in a way that’s accessible in these much broader senses,” said VanRoekel.

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