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Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

Making Federally Funded Educational Materials Open Access

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is considering a rule change that would make the educational resources the Department funds a lot more accessible to educators and students—not just in the U.S., but around the world.

National Atlas: Another Victim of Austerity

Crossposted from the Writer’s Guide to Government Information blog.

The National Atlas from the US Geological Survey has so much of possible interest to fiction writers that it actually has FOUR entries in the Writer’s Guide to Government Information:

All this is going away on September 30, 2014 the end of the Federal fiscal year, courtesy of budget cuts. From the National Atlas web site:

Announcement – The National Atlas Will Be Removed from Service September 30, 2014

This year we are combining the National Atlas of the United States with The National Map to provide a single source for geospatial and cartographic information. This transformation is taking place to streamline access to information from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Geospatial Program. USGS budget austerity has compelled our organization to prioritize its civilian mapping role and to consolidate its core investments.

Our organization will continue its long history of providing topographic maps and other geographic information by offering a range of scales and layers of geospatial information on its National Map Viewer and through the US Topo product. As a result of the conversion to an integrated single source for geospatial and cartographic information, nationalatlas.gov will be removed from service on September 30, 2014.

We recognize that not having the same access to information about the population, economy, infrastructure, natural resources, environment, government, and history of the Nation, organized for display on national and regional maps, may place a burden on USGS customers. Please take advantage of the remaining eight months to browse and download anything you need from the National Atlas.

We value National Atlas customers and want to make this transition as easy as possible. We have posted more information on the future availability of National Atlas products and services.

Another page provides questions and answers about the future of the National Atlas.

Here are some of the questions that will likely be harder to answer from government information resources after September 30th:

  • What time zone is Dallas located in?
  • Where can I find a map of Indian reservations?
  • What did the Electoral vote map look like in 1860 for Lincoln’s first election?
  • Where are bats found in the United States?
  • Are there forests in Northern Alaska?
  • What is the average rainfall for Los Angeles, California?
  • Where did a major tornado hit in 1955?
  • What was the path of Hurricane ___________?
  • Is there more than one continental divide?
  • Outside of Appalachia, where are America’s coal fields?
  • Where are potentially active volcanoes in California?

Stay tuned for an entry on the National Map and whether it is as useful a tool for writers as the National Atlas is. If you want to complain about the deletion of theNational Atlas, I’d go straight to your Senators and Representatives. Only they can put back the money to restore the National Atlas.

Digest Of Education Statistics

Doc of the Day. The Digest Of Education Statistics is a classic government document. The newest edition, 2012, came out on Dec 31, 2013. It is a compilation of statistical information covering the broad field of American education from prekindergarten through graduate school. It has been issued annually since 1962 except for combined editions for the years 1977–78, 1983–84, and 1985–86.

The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To qualify for inclusion in the Digest, material must be nationwide in scope and of current interest and value. The publication contains information on a variety of subjects in the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, federal funds for education, libraries, and international education. Supplemental information on population trends, attitudes on education, education characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides background for evaluating education data.

  • Snyder, T.D., and Dillow, S.A. (2013). Digest of Education Statistics 2012. (NCES 2014-015). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. [PDF, 836pp].

The massive publication is only one of many reports and data products and data tools available from the NCES.

A Roundup of Recent Government Info News and New Resources

More news and new resources via INFOdocket.com.

1. White House Launches Ethics.gov

2. USDA: Consumers to Receive Timely Food Safety Alerts Through New State Twitter Feeds

3. A Law Classification Scheme as Linked Data?

4. Access GAO Reports and Legal Decisions via New App for iOS (Free)

5. National Broadband Map Updated, New Data Added

6. United Nations Releases 2012 E-Government Survey (Full Text), Country Rankings Updated

7. Compare Country Statistics With New United Nations CountryStats iOS App (Free)

8. UNESCO Releases World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education (Full Text, Free)

9. New Online Database from NIH: Genetic Testing Registry, Video Tutorials Available

10. Open Data: DOE Data Explorer Now Searches Individual Datasets

11. Archivist of the United States Appoints New Director of Presidential Libraries

Roundup of Recent Government Info News and New Resources

Time once again for a selection of news and new resources that we hope will be an interest to the FGI community. The following posts are from INFOdocket.com (@infofodocket) where we compile and post new items daily.

1. New iOS App From SEC: U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission News

2. Just Released: Library of Congress Offers Congressional Record As iPad App

3. National Library of Medicine Announces Latest Release of Its “History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium”

4. Asked and Answered Questions: U.S. Department of Education Releases Mobile Version of Answers.Ed.gov

5. Smithsonian Gets Dedicated Funds for Digitization and New Media, Will Spend $8.7 Million In FY 2012

6. The Library of Congress Names Gayle Osterberg Director of Communications

7. EPA Releases Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Online Database and Dataset Available

8. White Paper: “Authentication of Primary Legal Materials and Pricing Options”

9. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) Launches Mobile Web Site

10. Full Text Reference Resource: Trade & Development: UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics 2011
From the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

11. NARA Launches “Citizen Archivist Dashboard”

12. U.S. Bankruptcy Courts Begin Offering Online Chat Services

13. USDA Launches New Online Nutrition SuperTracker

14. New Database: Time-Series Plots of Phrases in U.S. Supreme Court Opinions (Legal Language Explorer)

15. Statistics: NLM Updates MEDLINE Indicators With FY2011 Numbers

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