As a priority Open Government Initiative for President Obama's administration, Data.gov increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. Data.gov provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets. The data catalogs will continue to grow as datasets are added. Federal, Executive Branch data are included in the first version of Data.gov.In the three years since its birth in late May 2009, DATA.GOV has created a collection that includes:
- 445,314 raw and geospatial datasets
- 1,263 government apps
- 236 citizen-developed apps
- 103 mobile apps
In April of 2012, the site added "Safety" as a dedicated community. From this new node, users can find Apps like the Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER), GIS tools like the Safety Analysis Tools of the Highway Safety Information System (HSIS), and crime maps like the one for Chicago. To give the Safety section of DATA.GOV a whirl, click the link below:
Comment: DATA.GOV got off to a bumpy start and has had to fight for funding to stay alive. However, no matter what the future holds for it in competition against geospatial approaches like the U.S. Geological Survey's National Map, or the FGDC's Geospatial Platform, its overall approach to business represents the best of how government data should be made available to the public - unfettered, easily accessible, and free.