Data.gov was launched May 21, 2009, as a flagship Open Government initiative, designed to facilitate access to Federal data. Data.gov was established by the Federal Chief Information Officers Council and the Office of E-Government and Information Technology at the Office of Management and Budget. The General Services Administration operates Data.gov. Data.gov is a federal government website intended to make government data more accessible and usable than ever before.
The purpose of the Data.gov web site is to provide public access to datasets collected or developed by federal agencies. Through maintaining and enhancing the site, the Data.gov project is making progress toward goals that include increasing public access and use of federal datasets.
The goal of Data.gov is to provide the public with free and easy access to high value, machine-readable data sets generated and hosted by the federal government. It will enable the public to easily find, access, understand, and use data that are generated by the Federal government. For data sets that are already available, Data.gov emphasizes making it easier for the public to find and discover data in more usable formats. For data not widely available to the public in the past, the focus is on providing more data more quickly while still protecting and promoting privacy, confidentiality, and security.
Key principles Edit
Key Data.gov principles include:
- 1. Focus on Access
Data.gov is designed to increase access to authoritative sources of Federal data. The goal is to create a transparent, collaborative, and participatory platform that fosters the development of innovative applications (e.g., visualizations and mash-ups) and analyses by third parties.
Policy analysts, researchers, application developers, non-profit organizations, entrepreneurs, and the general public should have numerous resources for accessing, understanding, and using the vast array of government data sets.
- 2. Open Platform
Data.gov uses a modular architecture with application programming interfaces (API) to facilitate shared services for agencies and enable the development of third party tools. The architecture, APIs, and services will evolve based on public and Federal agency input.
- 3. Disaggregation of Data
Data.gov promotes and facilitates the disaggregation of data from Federal reports, tools, or visualizations, thereby enabling users to directly analyze the underlying information. Agencies should report data at the lowest analytical unit possible; summaries should be avoided. Data catalogs and tools may additionally combine and display data within a meaningful context.
- 4. Grow and Improve Through User Feedback
Data.gov uses feedback from the public to identify and characterize high value data sets, set priorities for integration of new and existing data sets and Agency-provided applications, and drive priorities and plans to improve the usability of disseminated data and applications.
- 5. Program Responsibility
Data.gov is structured to ensure that Federal program executives and data stewards retain responsibility for ensuring information quality, providing context and meaning for data, protecting privacy, and assuring information security. Agencies are also responsible for establishing effective data and information management, dissemination, and sharing policies, processes, and activities consistent with Federal polices and guidelines.
- 6. Rapid Integration
Data.gov provides the vehicle for agencies to achieve the Open Government Directive mandate to rapidly disseminate new data, as well as immediately improve access to and usability of currently available data. Agencies should ensure that both new and currently available data have sufficient documentation to allow the public to determine fitness for use in the targeted context.
- 7. Embrace, Scale, and Drive Best Practices
Data.gov continually implements, enhances, and propagates best practices for data and information management, sharing, and dissemination across agencies, with our international, state, local, and tribal partners.