Entrepreneur Aims to Map US Government Information

4 February 2016

Armed with a $35,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, New York entrepreneur Max Galka hopes to map the information available in US. federal agencies.

Galka plans to populate his FOIA Mapper website with a catalogue of government information systems, indexed by subject and with descriptions of each system.

For example, a user might enter “noise” and a location, “New York,” and be presented a list of government information systems that contain information about noise.

He plans to focus more on the database side than on hard copy records, He told FreedomInfo.org. He imagines a free site, notwithstanding the .com domain name, and said the site will not be a place to make requests. “I would like to figure out who could be using FOI who is not currently using it.” he said.

Galka “first began using FOIA while working in the finance / insurance industry, modeling natural disasters,” according to his website. “Later, I started a real estate data business called Revaluate, which used data obtained via FOIA to help home buyers assess the quality of life in urban neighborhoods. Currently, I maintain a data visualization website called Metrocosm, where I use FOIA to analyze a wide range of topics.”

 

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