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Data.gov turning to be cloud-based platform

US: The White House added new features to Data.gov in an effort to transform the site from a data repository to a cloud-based platform for creating new applications and services.

Originally conceived as part of the federal government’s open-data push as a way to expose more data from the government to the public, Data.gov has evolved into more of a development and service-delivery platform, providing new ways for the public, developers, and the agency to plug into the site.

New features for the public, developers, and federal agencies are available as part of on the Data.gov Next Generation, a preview of which is available in a video posted online. The site does not give specifics on whether all of the new features are already available, and the Office of Management and Budget did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

The government worked with a host of contractors to update the site, awarding a USD 46 million blanket purchase agreement to Socrata, CGI Federal, Eyak Technology, Smartronix, and Qbase last year, according to Socrata.

For the public, the next-generation site includes a new data catalogue that can be browsed and searched by topic. Once people locate data, there are tools allowing them to visualize the data through charts and maps, or disseminate the information by quick links to social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Agencies also have new ways to use Data.gov more interactively. They can upload data from their own systems to the Data.gov cloud platform, link it in real time to data stored in their own networks, or federate data from their own sites, according to the site.

There are currently 389,681 raw and geospatial datasets available on the site, which has spawned 973 government applications and 236 citizen-developed apps, according to the site. Developers also have built 51 mobile apps using data from the site.

Source: Information Week