U.S. Unveils Open Source Code for Open Gov Sites

5 December 2011

The U.S. government Dec. 5 unveiled “open source code” designed to help governments manage data and ultimately create more open government  platforms around the world.

The development grew from an U.S.-India collaboration and a next step, according to the White House blog post, will be an Indian announcement concerning software for an Open Government Platform website being developed by India. (See earlier FreedomInfo.org coverage on this initiative.)

The U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue announced last year aims to produce “Data.gov-in-a-Box” – an open source version of the United States’ Data.gov data portal and India’s India.gov.in document portal. More information is on a website for the project.

“The U.S. and India are working together to produce an open source version available for implementation by countries globally, encouraging governments around the word to stand up open data sites that promote transparency, improve citizen engagement, and engage application developers in continuously improving these efforts,” according to the posting by Steven VanRoekel, the Federal Chief Information Officer, and Aneesh Chopra, the Federal Chief Technology Officer.

“Technical teams from the U.S. and Indian governments have been working together since August of this year, with a planned launch of the open source product (which is now called the Open Government Platform (OGPL) to reflect its broad scope) in early 2012,” the post also said.

“The first module released is the Data Management System, which provides the tools and capabilities for an automated process for publishing data in the Open Government Platform, an open source product designed to facilitate governments around the world to stand up their own open government data sites. Any government adopting the Open Government Platform will be able to download and use the DMS code to submit, approve, and update catalog data electronically on Open Government Platform websites and view management metrics reports.

According to a tally on the U.S. site, 28 countries have established open data sites.

For background and a discussion of the wider context, see this article by Alex Howard in O’Reilly Radar.

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