Feds To Open Data Access In A Big Way

John K. Higgins | E-Commerce Times | May 29, 2013

One aspect of the feds' new Open Data Policy presents both an opportunity and a challenge. It specifically calls for improved interoperability as a way to advance open data implementation. "Right now, standards setting for interoperability seems to be nobody's job -- and the federal government has the opportunity to take the lead here," said Hudson Hollister of the Data Transparency Coalition.

Making money from accessing the vast amounts of information collected by the U.S. government has been the basis for many commercial enterprises. The widespread use of Census Bureau data alone has been a great business resource for decades -- with a relatively new twist as a component of Google Maps.

Now the U.S. government has undertaken a major effort to make tons of federal information from all agencies more accessible for the general public and the business community. The government's Open Data Policy requires federal agencies to put most of their information resources into electronically accessible configurations.