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New Source of Data for Everyone

Posted by on July 23rd, 2013 Posted in: All Posts


By Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, NN/LM, SE/A region

President Obama recently discussed the importance of increased access to data and statistics for the American public (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/07/08/remarks-president-presenting-new-management-agenda). Along with appointing the nation’s first Chief Technology Officer and working to “get rid of overlapping IT systems,” this administration established a new website, Data.gov, to allow searching and downloading of more than 75,000 data sets. The goal, President Obama stated, is for “entrepreneurs and business owners” to use these data “to create jobs and solve problems that government cannot solve by itself or cannot do as efficiently.”

Now Data.gov has a new design that will make it easier for users to discover ways to use this data, along with streaming to allow communication between users. Next.Data.gov is not complete, but there is enough there to get a feel for the new design and start the discovery process. When first visiting the site, there are tutorial-type messages to introduce the sections and explain the site’s different areas. The White House blog explains the redesign with a post called “First Look at Next.Data.gov,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/07/16/first-look-nextdatagov, and asserts that we consider the site “as a very early beta” version. The changes include putting the data first, a more powerful search engine, rotating data visualization, and more modern typography such as open-source fonts.

For more information, please contact Sheila Snow-Croft (ssnowcro@hshsl.umaryland.edu).

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