Publisher argues free access to research violates administration's transparency initiative, By Aliya Sternstein, NextGov (07/30/2010).
...But a mother of two children diagnosed with a rare disease, who also testified at the hearing, said access to such articles has been critical to treating their illness....
Bringing government up to data. by Abby Phillip and Kim Hart. Politico (7/20/10)
Their goal: Create government websites that are more like an Apple app store than the Department of Motor Vehicles. And for Vivek Kundra, Jeffrey Zients and Aneesh Chopra, that means trying to turn Obama’s vision of data-driven and digital government into reality.
ARL reports that House of Representatives Bill 5704 "would amend title 10 of the US Code (Armed Forces) to allow faculty members at Department of Defense service academies and schools of professional military education to secure copyrights for certain scholarly works that they produce as part of their official duties.... Currently, there is no copyright protection for government works (with a few exceptions) including those prepared by an officer or employee of the US Government as part of that person's official duties."
It is not clear why this is necessary or useful, but even more surprising is this provision of the bill that the author shall (not "may") transfer the copyright to the publisher:
Upon acceptance for publication of a work for which copyright protection exists by reason of subsection (a), the person holding the copyright shall transfer the copyright to the owner or publisher of the medium in which the work will be published.
If you haven't looked at data.gov lately, you should. It was launched one year ago and has had a bit of a makeover recently and has added lots of new data.
OMB Watch has a quick overview and comment about the current state of data.gov (Data.gov Celebrates First Birthday with a Makeover, by Roger Strother, OMB Watch. 05/24/10).
Check out these highlights:
- Apps where developers are creating a wide variety of applications, mashups, and visualizations. From crime statistics by neighborhood to the best towns to find a job to seeing the environmental health of your community...
- Semantic Web where they highlight a set of data.gov resources reformatted into Resource Description Framework (RDF) format. These allow new kinds of rich interaction with the data. See, for example, the White House Visitor Search. Also see the Thetherless World Weblog from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where some of this work is being done.
And don't forget, at Data.gov, "data" can mean just about anything, even the Foreign Relations of the U.S.
Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups, April 13, 2010.
This report evaluates states' progress toward "Transparency 2.0" - a new standard of comprehensive, one-stop, one-click budget accountability and accessibility. At least 7 states have become leaders in the drive toward Transparency 2.0, launching easy-to-use, searchable Web sites with a wide range of spending transparency information. Twenty-five additional states have made initial steps toward online spending transparency by launching Web sites with checkbook-level detail on state spending that nonetheless have much room for improvement.
The news about the World Bank opening up its data just gets better and better. I talked with Jose de Buerba at the World Bank yesterday. Jose confirmed the open access and also said that the site also includes a link to the World Bank Data API and that they encourage developers to create new applications with the data. It also has a link to DataFinder, the new World Bank iphone application. They're now in phase I of their data plan, the launch. Phase II will focus on improvements to the API. Very cool indeed! If anyone builds mashups with World Bank data, please leave a comment here and/or email Jose (firstname.lastname@example.org). They're very keen on understanding how researchers, developers, students and the public are using their data.
World Bank Posts 2000 Data Sets Online, By Elizabeth Montalbano, InformationWeek (April 21, 2010).
In an effort to make its data more widely available, the World Bank this week released online more than 2,000 data sets documenting human development worldwide.
The data -- available online at the World Bank's Open Data Web site -- includes worldwide information about health, business, finance, environment, and social welfare statistics that were previously available only to paying customers.
...In conjunction with the site, the World Bank released an iPhone application called DataFinder, which allows search of the Open Data site and the creation of charts or data visualizations from iPhones.
Data Catalog "The Data Catalog provides download access to over 2,000 indicators from World Bank data sources."
The World Bank's Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data.... These resources include databases, pre-formatted tables and reports. Each of the listings includes a description of the data source and a direct link to that source. Where possible, the databases are linked directly to a selection screen to allow users to select the countries, indicators, and years they would like to search. Those search results can be exported in different formats. Users can also choose to download the entire database directly from the catalog.
Are citizens who seek government information "busybodies on fishing expeditions"? Are they "persons seeking to embarrass government agencies"? Should each agency set its own fee for copying pages of public documents? Here is an account of one citizen in Oregon who calls attention to bad policies.
- An Oregon Story, By Darrell Flood, Sunlight Foundation Blog (04/08/10)
Across the country people are going to government meetings asking for better government. In Oregon the Attorney General is asking people for their input and Darrell Flood answered the call to make sure the elected officials in Oregon know that government information needs to be online and updated in real time. He has graciously shared his experience with us.
The State of Linked Data in 2010, by Richard MacManus, Read Write Web (March 31, 2010).
... Linked Data is data that has been marked up using Semantic Web technologies such as RDF (Resource Description Framework) or RDFa (a simpler variation). Minus the acronyms, Linked Data is simply structured data.
However one of the reasons the Semantic Web hasn't yet been widely adopted, at least commercially, is that it's often difficult or time consuming to mark up data semantically. RDF in particular has a reputation for being painful to code. With that in mind, the past year has been as much about prompting governments and organizations to put their data up on the Web in whatever form they can....
The most high profile usage of Linked Data over the past year has come from two governments: the United States and United Kingdom.
White House bars agencies from posting some statistics, by Aliya Sternstein, NextGov (01/27/2010).
According to this article, datasets posted to data.gov by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Peace Corps, the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service, the Interior Department's Bureau of Reclamation, and the Social Security Administration have been removed by the Office of Management and Budget "because they raised privacy, security or other concerns."
The article is based on work done by OpenTheGovernment.org which is tracking agency participation with the Open Government Directive here.