|03-07-2009, 03:30 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Western Australia.
Australian equivalent of USA Government data.gov
2009 June 28
In giving evidence before the - Victorian Parliament - Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee’s Inquiry into Improving Access to Victorian Public Sector Information and Data my sister Professor Anne Fitzgerald quoted a passage from an article published in the Yale Journal of Law and Technology which addressed the role that the US federal government should have in modernising its internet infrastructure:
The establishment of the http://www.data.gov/ website in the US embodies this philosophy. (See as background President Obama’s Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies : Transparency and Open Government (January 2009)) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_...penGovernment/
The Data.gov website explains its role as follows:
from → http://gov2.net.au/category/uncategorized/
4 Responses leave one →
2009 June 29
Rob Manson permalink
excellent post – I’m so glad you’re giving http://data.gov the attention it deserves. Nice quotes too btw 8)
I’ve been trying to build a collection of known gov APIs and have been encouraging people to tweet using the #datagovau tag. I’ll continue this as time permits.
@gordongrace and @adampiro have also been kind enough to join in so far.
I’ve created http://wthashtag.com/Datagovau and hopefully other people will contribute to this ongoing discussion as I think this is a key place to start the whole ball moving.
We’ve also started work on a common Open Data Model discussion over on the Open Australia wiki (see http://wiki.openaustralia.org/index.php/Open_Data_Model) and @cathstyles excellent suggestion about visualising the Australian Gov. structure could build upon and utilise these APIs and Open Data Model (see http://catherinestyles.com/2009/06/2...ment-2-0-idea/).
2009 June 29
Ben Searle permalink
The concept of an Australian equivalent of the USA Government’s data.gov is exciting and has considerable potential to assist Australian innovation. However, there are many processes and structures required to be put in place before such a capability can be effectively established. Many of these requirements relate to standards that are necessary to ensure maximum value is provided to the user community. In simple terms this relates to the description of the data sets in a standard manner that enables structures searches, and helps the user to understand what the data set can be used for. The Australian spatial community has been working on this approach for a number of years and has been very successful in developing this type of capability.
A model for how Public Sector Information (PSI) can successfully be made available to the broad community is the Australian Government Spatial Data Pricing and Access Policy that was established in 2001. This policy provides a governance structure, administrative infrastructure and a range of tools and mechanisms to facilitate access to spatial information held by government. Since its establishment many millions of downloads of Australian Government spatial information have been made, which is a reflection of the demand for this information and the success of the policy.
Any new approach to facilitate access to government information should build on these existing capabilities and leverage the knowledge and experience that has been developed since 2001.
2009 June 29
in the same vein as data.gov, newspaper like the New York Times, and Guardian are turing themselves into web based platforms and services. These would be interesting models to also investigate.
2009 July 1
Warwick Barnes permalink
The Yale article that contains the quotation, “Private actors, either nonprofit or commercial, are better suited to deliver government information to citizens”, makes some good points about separation of data from presentation – and making data available in standard formats – but I don’t think much of what it discusses is relevant to Australia; and I don’t think this particular quotation is useful or applicable in helping set Australian government policy.
The Yale article mentions “advanced” web features such as ‘search’ and ‘RSS feeds’ that the US government has been unable to set up, while private individuals in their “spare time” have produced better results. This seems to be an indictment of some of the US government’s web publishing efforts but isn’t relevant to Australia where governments have led in many areas: providing clean accessible web sites, leading-the-charge on accessibility and access, and producing advanced visualisations of data.
The Yale article talks about the “minefield of federal rules” that inhibit effective government web publishing. I don’t think this is the situation in Australia, but if it is then such rules need to be streamlined, rather than accepting excessive and unhelpful regulation as an essential ‘feature’ of government – that can only be solved by handing over to the private sector. Most of the rules Australian government operates under seem useful in supporting accessibility, privacy and accountability.
I’m concerned about commercial considerations (including the pseudo-commercial operation of government) distorting access to information due to the need to profit from the supply of that information. We must never require that people endure advertisements in order to access well-presented government information.
When government directly supplies information to the public, then it can benefit directly from public feedback and by examining the usage patterns of web sites. Government has been using “web 2.0″ technology since before this phrase was invented – and if properly organised, can continue to keep keep up as technology changes.