In the wake of President Obama’s May 2013 executive order on open data, the Obama administration has launched a string of Open Data Initiatives to make valuable data in areas such as health, energy, education, public safety, finance, and global development available to the public and federal authorities, Nick Sinai, deputy chief technology officer for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, had said about Open Data action late last year.

The ongoing Open Government Initiative, has seen many such efforts which utilize open data standards to bring government data closer to the public, Nick Sinai, explained at a recent government/industry symposium on data transparency, reports Information Week.

“We recognize that data is a national asset and that data is 21st century infrastructure,” Sinai said. The relaunch of the site this year using open software and an open design, Sinai points out is one of the many ways in which the Government continues to use open data. For instance, recently President Obama announced the availability of new tools and data to help study global climate change at the UN climate summit.

Meanwhile, a website enabling citizens to look up adverse reactions to medications has been launched by the Food and Drug Administration,  which was previously made available through a quarterly report, Sinai said. has launched a website that allows citizens to look up adverse reactions to medications. Within several weeks, the API received over one million hits from more than 20,000 unique IP addresses, the Information Week said.

Assisting patients make “better decisions” Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Health and Human Services has published information procedural costs of various hospitals for common inpatient and outpatient procedures.

Adding about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, Sinai noted that it collects approximately 20 terabytes of data daily; however with the limitation of being able to make only 10% of it available online, usage of open data methods was suggested to make the other 90% of this data available.

“We believe that open data is good for the economy and good for America,” he said.

With the extent of such data sharing still open for speculation, how far is the US Government willing to go, remains to be seen.

Read more here.

(Image credit: Flickr)


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