Data is a valuable national resource and a strategic asset to the U.S. Government, its partners, and the public. Managing this data as an asset and making it available, discoverable, and usable – in a word, open – not only strengthens our democracy and promotes efficiency and effectiveness in government, but also has the potential to create economic opportunity and improve citizens’ quality of life.
For example, when the U.S. Government released weather and GPS data to the public, it fueled an industry that today is valued at tens of billions of dollars per year. Now, weather and mapping tools are ubiquitous and help everyday Americans navigate their lives.
The ultimate value of data can often not be predicted. That’s why the U.S. Government released a policy that instructs agencies to manage their data, and information more generally, as an asset from the start and, wherever possible, release it to the public in a way that makes it open, discoverable, and usable.
The White House developed Project Open Data – this collection of code, tools, and case studies – to help agencies adopt the Open Data Policy and unlock the potential of government data. Project Open Data will evolve over time as a community resource to facilitate broader adoption of open data practices in government. Anyone – government employees, contractors, developers, the general public – can view and contribute. So dive right in and help to build a better world through the power of open data.
This section is a list of definitions and principles used to guide the project.
2-1 Open Data Principles - The set of open data principles.
2-2 Standards, Specifications, and Formats - Standards, specifications, and formats supporting open data objectives.
2-3 Open Data Glossary - The glossary of open data terms.
2-4 Open Licenses - The definition for open licenses.
2-5 Common Core Metadata - The schema used to describe datasets, APIs, and published data at agency.gov/data.
Implementation guidance for open data practices.
3-1 U.S. Government Policy on Open Data - Full text of the memorandum.
3-2 Implementation Guide - Detailed descriptions and guidance for each step of implementing the policy.
3-3 Public Data Listing - The specific guidance for publishing the Open Data Catalog at the agency.gov/data page.
3-4 Frequently Asked Questions - A growing list of common questions and answers to facilitate adoption of open data projects.
This section is a list of ready-to-use solutions or tools that will help agencies jump-start their open efforts. These are real, implementable, coded solutions that were developed to significantly reduce the barrier to implementing open data at your agency. Many of these tools are hosted at Labs.Data.gov and developers are encouraged to contribute improvements to them and contribute other tools which help us implement the spirit of Project Open Data.
4-3 Spatial Search - A RESTful API that allows the user to query geographic entities by latitude and longitude, and extract data.
4-4 Kickstart - A WordPress plugin to help agencies kickstart their open data efforts by allowing citizens to browse existing datasets and vote for suggested priorities.
4-5 PDF Filler - PDF Filler is a RESTful service (API) to aid in the completion of existing PDF-based forms and empower web developers to use browser-based forms and modern web standards to facilitate the collection of information. - Hosted
4-8 API Sandbox - Interactive API documentation systems.
4-9 ESRI2Open - A tool which converts spatial and non-spatial data form ESRI only formats to the Open Data formats, CSV, Json, or GeoJSOn, making them more a part of the www ecology.
This section contains programatic tools, resources, and/or checklists to help programs determine open data requirements.
5-1 Metadata Resources - Resources to provide guidance and assistance for each aspect of creating and maintaining agency.gov/data catalog files.
5-2 Business Case for Open Data - Overview of the benefits associated with open data.
5-3 General Workflows for Open Data Projects - A comprehensive overview of the steps involved in open data projects and their associated benefits.
5-4 Open License Examples - Potential licenses for data and content.
5-5 Chief Data Officer Material - Sample language for a Chief Data Officer position description.
5-6 API Basics - Introductory resources for understanding application programming interfaces (APIs).
5-7 Data Release Safeguard Checklist - Checklist to enable the safe and secure release of data.
5-8 Digital PII Checklist - Tool to assist agencies identify personally identifiable information in data.
Case studies of novel or best practices from agencies who are leading in open data help others understand the challenges and opportunities for success.
6-1 Department of Labor API Program - A department perspective on developing APIs for general use and, in particular, building the case for an ecosystem of users by developing SDKs.
6-2 Department of Transportation Enterprise Data Inventory - A review of DOT’s strategy and policy when creating a robust data inventory program.
6-3 Disaster Assistance Program Coordination - The coordinated campaign led by FEMA has integrated a successful data exchange among 16 agencies to coordinate an important public service.
6-4 Environmental Protection Agency Central Data Exchange - The agency’s data exchange provides a model for programs that seek to coordinate the flow of data among industry, state, local, and tribal entities.
6-5 FederalRegister.gov API - A core government program update that has grown into an important public service.
6-7 National Renewable Energy Laboratory API program - An agency perspective on developing APIs for general use and in particular building the case for the internal re-use of the resources.
6-8 USAID Crowdsourcing to Open Data - A case study that shows how USAID invited the “crowd” to clean and geocode a USAID dataset in order to open and map the data.
For Developers: View all appendices (and source)