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Data.gov moving to an open source platform

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The team that manages Data.gov is well on its way to making the government data repository open source using a new back-end called the Open Government Platform, officials said during a Web discussion Wednesday.

The governments of India and Ghana have already launched beta versions of their data catalogues on the open source platform, said Jeanne Holm who heads the Data.gov team.

Government developers from the U.S. and India built the OGPL jointly. They posted it to the code sharing site GitHub where other nations and developers can adopt it as is or amend it to meet their specific needs.

The Obama administration launched Data.gov in 2009 as part of a slate of open government commitments. The idea was to spur private developers to make use of data the government was already collecting but not uniformly releasing to build new information-rich websites and applications, either as a public service or to turn a profit. Large industries, for example, have been built using government-collected weather and Global Positioning System data. 

There are now nearly 400,000 raw and geospatial government data sets posted to Data.gov.

The administration pledged to launch an open source version of the site with India as one of its commitments under the international Open Government Partnership in 2011. 

(Image via kentoh/Shutterstock.com)

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