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White House Revamps Government Data Trove

Todd Park and Barack Obama look at information on a tablet computer in April.

Todd Park and Barack Obama look at information on a tablet computer in April. // White House

The White House previewed an update to the government information trove on Tuesday that it said would offer better search, more responsive design and deeper background on how the public is using government data.

The upgrade follows a speech earlier this month during which President Obama promised to give entrepreneurs better access to government data. The plan is that the private sector and nonprofits will be able to commoditize information the government is collecting anyway about hospital performance, real estate prices, educational programs and other issues.

Similar industries have been built in the past using government-gathered weather and Global Positioning System data.

The upgraded site is in an early beta form now and will be down frequently for maintenance, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said.

The site will integrate blog and social media posts about how government data is being used and will rely more on open source tools, the office said. The presentation will also automatically adapt to smartphones and tablets. 

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