Tag Archive | Transparency

White House Jobs Bill Could Take Crowdfunding to Next Level

By Alex Howard, The Atlantic, Sept 9, 2011

There have now been more than 10,000 Kickstarter projects funded, with more than $75 million dollars pledged and a 44% success rate. This lightweight model for “crowdfunding” has caught the attention of the White House, which specifically highlighted how entrepreneurs are using Kickstarter to access capital — and how President Obama’s new “American Jobs Act” could extend that access to more high-growth companies. …

For full text of the article, visit White House Jobs Bill Could Take Crowdfunding to Next Level – Alex Howard – Technology – The Atlantic.

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Former FGDC Executive Director on Mapping and the Spatial Data Infrastructure

Mapping and Spatial Data: Infrastructures and Imagination

by John Moeller, Communia Blog,, Woodrow Wilson Center Science and Technology Program, September 6, 2011

“Cartographers, imagery analysts, geographic information system GIS specialists and others who work with maps and geospatial information operate on the premise that location or place is the most effective organizing principal for bringing together information and making it understandable for use. Others outside of the geospatial community are also increasingly recognizing that “where” is the most common integrating element of almost all data and information. In May 2011 the U.S. Congressional Research Service released a Report that highlighted the challenges to coordinating how geospatial data are acquired and used at the local, state, and federal levels, in collaboration with the private sector. The Report concluded that the issues of coordination are not yet resolved and that it will likely take some time, and several budget cycles, to evaluate whether the current model of geospatial data management is the best available model for managing the federal geospatial assets. …”

For full text of the article, visit Communia Mapping and Spatial Data.

Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal – Nextgov

By Joseph Marks, Nextgov, August 17, 2011

A new Web portal being put together by the Agriculture Department aims to reduce duplication in the agency’s mapping work and make high-quality maps more accessible to the public.More than half the department’s 29 divisions are involved in geospatial work, Geospatial Information Officer Stephen Lowe said, either mashing satellite and aerial imagery with survey data or on-the-ground research about crop yields, ground chemicals or farm subsidies, or using other divisions’ maps in their own research and programs.USDA-produced maps and images generally are available to the public for free or for a nominal fee, and frequently crop up in paid data services and even in Google Maps, he said. …

via Agriculture pulls all GIS maps into a single portal – Nextgov.

Open Government and the National Plan | The White House

….the United States will produce a plan that builds on existing initiatives and practices. The plan will be released when the Open Government Partnership is formally launched on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City in September.

As part of the Open Government Initiative, we have benefited from knowledgeable and constructive input from external stakeholders with strong commitments to the principles of open government. The list is long and continues to grow.

We have initiated consultations about the Open Government Plan, beginning with a number of meetings with key external stakeholders, and our consultation is now moving to a new phase in which we seek ideas through this platform, in response to specific questions that we raise through a series of blog posts. We will have a final meeting with stakeholders as we finalize our plan.

Today, we are asking for your thoughts on ideas related to two of the key challenges – improving public services and increasing public integrity:

  • How can regulations.gov, one of the primary mechanisms for government transparency and public participation, be made more useful to the public rulemaking process? OMB is beginning the process of reviewing and potentially updating its Federal Web Policy.
  • What policy updates should be included in this revision to make Federal websites more user-friendly and pertinent to the needs of the public? How can we build on the success of Data.Gov and encourage the use of democratized data to build new consumer-oriented products and services?

Please think about these questions and send your thoughts to opengov@ostp.gov. We will post a summary of your submissions online in the future. Your ideas will be carefully considered as we produce our National Plan and continue to engage with you over the next month in future posts on this blog. Aneesh Chopra is the U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Cass Sunstein is the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

For full text of the article, visit Open Government and the National Plan | The White House.

New Court Ruling: USDA’s GIS Data Need Not Be Disclosed

USDA logo

Image via Wikipedia

Recent court ruling finds that USDA GIS data need not be disclosed via a FOIA request because of the 2008 Farm Bill provision. The court’s opinion will have implications specifically for Nebraska’s 23 natural resources districts, primarily for water management purposes.

Central Platte Natural Resources District (Appellant) v. United States Department of Agriculture; Farm Service Agency (Appellees) Central Platte Natural Resources District (Central Platte) sought disclosure of geospatial data from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Farm Service Agency (collectively the USDA) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq. The district court dismissed Central Platte’s APA claim on the ground that it already had an adequate remedy and granted summary judgment on its FOIA claim on the ground that the USDA was not required to disclose the requested geospatial data. … For the full Judicial View article, click here.

For text of the court’s opinion, visit: United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, Case No. 10-3205. Thank you to the GSDI listserv for the heads up!

India’s Government unveils new Remote Sensing Data Policy

From the GSDI announcements:

PTI, Jul 5, 2011

The government has unveiled a new remote sensing data policy which allows all data of resolutions up to 1 meter to be distributed on a non-discriminatory basis and on “as requested basis”. The Remote Sensing Data Policy 2011 (RSDP 2011) replaces a 2001 policy which allowed all data of resolutions up to 5.8 metres to be distributed on non-discriminatory and “as requested” basis. The RSDP 2011, apart from opening up the remote sensing sector, will remove certain restrictions to facilitate more users to access high resolution data for developmental activities. …

For full text of the article, visit Government unveils new Remote Sensing Data Policy – India – DNA.

Tech experts exit White House – POLITICO.com

By Kim Hart and Michelle Quinn, Politico Pro, 7/8/11

When President Barack Obama took office, he brought with him a pack of technology advocates with impressive résumés and ambitious visions. They wanted to improve the government through the use of Internet tools and iPhone apps and help shape communications policy to expand broadband. But the core group of techies that launched big initiatives has left the White House over the past six months, raising questions about what will become of the administration’s technology-focused goals…The administration says its commitment to technology remains strong. …

For full text of the article, visit Tech experts exit White House – Kim Hart and Michelle Quinn – POLITICO.com.

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