We’re a democracy: open that data!

President Obama still has lots of work to do, but under his open data initiative, the United State federal government is moving toward a culture of greater information openness:

Moves by President Barack Obama’s administration to open up government data in the US need to go further but have succeeded in creating a culture of greater openness, according to an independent report.

The report ( http://bit.ly/ds4TIy ), from non-partisan think-tank the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, looks at how technology has been used to implement the Open Government Directive, a memorandum written by President Obama on his first day in office focusing on three areas: transparency; public participation; and collaboration ( http://bit.ly/duz9JA ).

The first of these areas, transparency, has been the biggest success of the directive, the report says, with an “unprecedented” volume of data available to citizens online. However further moves are needed, it says, including addressing problems with access to government datasets through the central portal data.gov ( http://bit.ly/9yd810 ) [Tristan Parker, “U.S. Open Data Moves ‘Have Created New Culture’,” E-Government Bulletin, 2010.04.01].

Now we just have to hook everyone up to broadband and make sure their education includes healthy doses of media literacy and civics so they know how to use all that data.