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Category: Big data, open data platforms, web services

Overview: The purpose of is to increase public access to high value, machine-readable datasets generated by the Executive Branch of the Federal government. As a priority, the Open Government Initiative for President Obama’s administration, increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal government. provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets, enabling users to directly analyze the underlying information. is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. The openness derived from will strengthen our Nation’s democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

Coverage: Data aggregated from 172 Federal, Executive Branch agencies and sub-agencies are included in

Scope: 390,834 raw and geospatial datasets

Form: Open data platform

Key Data Elements:

  • Raw Data Catalog: a catalog with instant view/download of platform-independent, machine-readable data. Links to a metadata page have additional links to authoritative source information from the sponsoring agency’s website including pertinent agency technical documentation regarding the dataset.
  • Geodata Catalog: trusted, authoritative, Federal geospatial information. This catalog includes links to download the datasets and a metadata page with details on the datasets, as well as links to more detailed Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) metadata information.
  • Tools Catalog: simple, application-driven access. This catalog features widgets, data mining and extraction tools, applications, and other services.

Timeframe: The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added.

Frequency: Updated continuously

Access: Public; multi-screen data search, pre-formatted top picks, or FTP site flat file

Potential Uses for Regional Analysis: Agencies have been asked to post datasets on that increase government accountability by revealing the results and characteristics of government services to citizens; the public’s use of government services; the distribution of funds from the government; and demonstrable results from Federal programs are crucial elements of accountability. The efficiency of information-centric markets benefits economic development directly by ensuring maximum access to available information. The Open Data Set movement has spread to 31 U.S. States and 15 American Cities. There are 30 international sites with similar access, enabling greater comparability.

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