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The New Data.gov Sells the Idea of Gov Data

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, May 21 2010

The redesigned Data.gov

Just a reminder that Data.gov relaunched today, timed to mark the one-year anniversary of the launch of the White House Office of Management and Budget's federal data clearinghouse.

Even a quick glance at the screen shot above reveals something. When it launched last February, Data.gov had data itself front in center. Information sets like the "Residential Energy Consumption Survey," were given top billing. The new version of the flagship site of the Obama Administration's open government push seems to have an increased interested in selling the very concept of open government data. A gallery highlights app (only a handful at the present) that build off of the site's published data, like FlyOnTime or a national obesity map. Also featured is the story of how Data.gov is helping to spawn a "Global Movement to Democratize Data" around the country and around the planet. There's also a focus on how Data.gov will tie into the so-called "semantic web," a bid to use standardized data to enrich how the World Wide Web works.

In at least some sense, the Obama White House and CIO Vivek Kundra have a lot riding on Data.gov. There seems to be a renewed acknowledgment in the new site that the vast majority of us have a very tough time wrapping our minds around the import of raw data sets. Expect reviews of the data part of the new Data.gov -- you know, the steak to the sizzle -- to come next week.