Daily Digest | White House Opens Doors on Major Open Government Initiative
BY Editors | Thursday, May 21 2009
WHITE HOUSE OPENS DOORS ON MAJOR GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE As striking as it was that one of the very first acts of Barack Obama's presidency was to call for making the federal government far more transparent, participatory, and collaborative, open government advocates have waited eagerly and, ironically, mostly in the dark for some news on just how this new paradigm would emerge. Today, 120 days after Obama's call, the White House is launching a new initiative to open government, housed at WhiteHouse.gov/open. Micah and Nancy cover every detail of today's exciting developments for you.
The transparency process is only beginning. Over the course of the next month, the White House website will house an on-going discussion aimed at the creation of an open government directive with buy-in from inside and outside government. And for the first step, they're asking people like you to answer some questions.
With this change comes the eagerly awaited Data.gov, the new flagship site of the transparent politics movement promised by CIO Vivek Kundra on his appointment. Data.gov launched with 47 initial data feeds -- some previously published by individual government agencies working on their own, and others presented in machine-readable format for the very first time. The site will also feature, says Kundra, about two dozen "tools," or widgets that demonstrate how the data might be made into engaging and useful applications.
Finally, calling all developers: The Sunlight Foundation, Google, O'Reilly Media and Techweb are launching a new contest, Apps for America 2: The Data.gov Challenge, to celebrate the launch of Data.gov today. They're looking for applications using one or more of the data sources on this new open repository of government information -- with a prize of $25,000!
- NYC posts school attendance numbers While national attention on swine flu seems to have dwindled, the issue has new life in New York City this week following the Sunday death of a Queens assistant principal. Matthew Burton writes that the NYC Department of Education has posted attendance statistics on its Web site in an apparent effort to track the virus. Could the data help sport previously unnoticed patterns?