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Re: Public Data Catalog Priorities and Demand

From: Anne L. Washington <washingtona@acm.org>
Date: Mon, 23 Nov 2009 14:09:16 -0500 (EST)
To: Steven Clift <clift@e-democracy.org>
cc: public-egov-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <alpine.DEB.1.00.0911231330580.12170@anneasus>
On Mon, 23 Nov 2009, Steven Clift wrote:
> Has anyone explored what government data is in highest "demand" on the
> emerging public data reuse sites? How does interest from different
> re-user audiences vary (e.g.  business, media, open gov advocates,
> independent coders, etc.)
Here here!  Great description of research that needs to be done.

I have not seen any survey on data reuse sites. I imagine it is because 
they are mercurial in nature and because it is a recent phenomena.  The 
civic hacking piece was written only in 2007, which is yesterday morning 
on academic researcher time.

In my domain within egov, legislation, there have been many innovative 
fly-by-night sites. They were great and then they were gone. However, they 
were easy to find.  In my small world, the scope of data is fairly 
narrow: votes, debates and bills.

For the range of data produced by executive agencies, it might a challenge 
to identify and locate all the mashup sites. Without a egov sourceforge or 
some hashtag/URI for self-identification as a government masher, it is 
hard for a researcher to comprehensively gather them. Also good data comes 
from all geo-political levels: city, state, province, regional, national, 
extra-national. After identifying the universe of data reusers, it would 
be possible to begin to categorize them.

Of course the best source would be the traffic stats from the agency.
Anyone managing the statistics would notice the increased traffic of 
someone scrapping all the pages or doing regularly scheduled downloads.


FBI tracks data dataloads from stats

> Also, has anyone started a comparsion chart of what different
> governments are providing? It would be interesting to quickly see what
> different national or local governments are providing now and over
> time. This gets to the "what's important" to release for easy reuse
> versus what is the easiest or least politically sensitive.

There are reports about what electronic information governments are 
offering. Nothing I know of as succinct as what you suggest. Most surveys 
are from the perspective of the data provider and cover the absolute 
basics (Do they have a website? What's the budget for ICT?)

For the record some examples: 
*Digital States Survey - Digital Cities Survey (US) 
*Digital Dialogues Report Hansard Society (UK)
*Darrell M. West's E-gov Reports, Issued by Brown University or Brookings.

The E-parliament survey which is issued in an annual report, is the only 
one I know that asks about data specifically. It also is one of the few 
surveys that is truly worldwide, covering all continents. But again, the 
legislative community is much smaller and easier to build relationships.

Does anyone know if government mash sites self-identify in any obvious way?

Anne L. Washington
Standards work - W3C egov - washingtona@acm.org
Academic work - George Washington University

> Steven Clift
> E-Democracy.org
> --
> Steven Clift - http://stevenclift.com
>  Executive Director - http://E-Democracy.Org
>  Follow me - http://twitter.com/democracy
Received on Monday, 23 November 2009 19:00:28 UTC

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