Data.gov has grown from hosting 47 data sets when it launched in May 2009 to offering more than 300,000 today, said Program Director Marion Royal, during the International Open Government Data Conference in Washington. Royal leads the team of federal employees and contractors working on the site.
GSA launched an open data community page within the site on Monday, according to Royal. The page aims to bring together policy makers, technologists, data owners and citizens, encouraging them to make recommendations on information that should be shared.
“[I’m] happy to finally open up . . . two-way communication on Data.gov,” he said. “New two-way communication is going to be helpful to not only us but the public as well.”
GSA also is working on hosting data sets that will be easier to view without downloading the entire file, Royal said, adding, this will be especially helpful for people using mobile devices.
“[The] tools we are looking at will allow us to do that kind of thing and allow us to [display] the data in a way the average person” will understand, he said.
Despite this progress, hurdles remain, according to Royal. “If we have additional funding, we could do additional things,” he said, though he did not elaborate on how much extra money would be necessary, or what he’d like to accomplish with it.
Royal has big plans for the site nonetheless. “I hope we can get around or over the roadblocks to achieve some really special things,” he said. “No matter how well we do at Data.gov, we [always have] to kick it up a notch.”
– by Brian Kalish – 11/18/2010 – NextGov.com