If you’re a government agency planning a Gov 2.0/open gov/open data initiative, keep in mind these three simple strategies for quick, strategic wins:
2. Publish the original files
Another quick win strategy is publishing the original "raw" files used to create the public information on your agency’s site. More often than not, the public is given access to HTML or print-ready documents in PDF format versus the original raw documents used to produce these PDF files. Don’t get me wrong, PDF format is great for "document integrity" and all, but is often totally useless for someone trying to automatically extract the data from it.
If you’re using a spreadsheet, document, or any other type of file format (including geospatial formats), offering up the raw files saves developers the headache of reverse-engineering documents that you could have just as easily published online in the original format.
3. Make open what’s already public
The last quick win strategy is identifying "low-hanging fruit" for open data - typically information that’s already public. My favorites are various geospatial datasets that you may be sharing today via maps, guides, etc. If your agency is using GIS (Geographic Information System) software, you can simply export and publish the data that was originally used to create those nice citizen-friendly guides and community maps. Some suggestions include maps of your agency’s facilities, geographical points of interest, parks, city and ward boundaries, etc. This GIS data can then power some very useful citizen-ready Gov 2.0 applications.
These are some simple but effective strategies to get the ball rolling with your Gov 2.0 initiatives. Good luck!
Have a comment or opinion on this post? Let me know @Microsoft_Gov. Have a question for the author? Please e-mail us at email@example.com.