Despite Serious Challenges, the Outlook for OpenData Looks Positive

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Matthew Hall

May 11, 2012, 12:09:47 PM5/11/12

Open government data (OGD) is the main platform for emerging civic technology applications developed to facilitate civic improvement. Josh Tauberer, one of the founders of civic tech company PopVoxwrote that OGD “is a sort of civic capital, a raw material that can be transformed like a diamond in the rough into something far different and much more powerful.”Civic Commons provides an entire “marketplace” of applications built on OGD and this data is absolutely vital to projects like the Civic Data Challenge, which seeks to turn “the raw data of ‘civic health’ into beautiful, useful applications and visualizations, enabling communities to be better understood and made to thrive.” 

Applications built on OGD are perhaps the most exciting and potentially transformative elements of the Gov 2.0 movement, allowing government to directly utilize untapped citizen resources. But since these applications are built on top of government datasets, the quality of those datasets is vital to current and future generations of civic applications. Good data ensures the continued health of the entire Gov 2.0 movement.

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