Roundup: who said what about the White House executive order on open data?

This morning, President Obama issued an historic executive order making open data the new default for releasing information in the federal government. The president announced the order on a trip to Austin, Texas, where he visited Manor New Tech High School, visited the Capital Factory incubator, where he saw a demonstration of StormPulse, a risk management startup that uses open data, and delivered remarks on open data at Applied Materials Inc.

Here’s what the tech media had to say about today’s news. (Got half an hour? Listen to the press briefing from today  at FierceGovernmentT or download this MP3 of the call that provides the source material for much of the following.)

Sean Gallagher and Nick Clark Judd both penned the most thoughtful, informed and well-reported pieces covering the news. Both are especially strong on covering what the order and associated initiatives actually mean.

At ArsTechnica, Gallagher highlights the challenges that implementing the policy will face: “Obama orders agencies to make data open, machine-readable by default.”

At techPresident, Judd parses out what’s new (Github!) and what actually relates to transparency in “Developers Are Already Submitting Patches to Obama’s New Open Data Policy.”

The Github angle was irresistable  to Wired reporter Bob McMillan (and pretty much anyone else interested in open source) who noted that “Now You Can Fork U.S. Government Policy … On GitHub.”

We’ll see if “the revolution will be forked,” as Githubber (and former White House staffer) Ben Balter put it.

The executive order was significant enough news to escape the tech orbit: The business and general press was also on the story, framing it in terms of jobs.

The Daily Caller earned the dubious distinction of writing the worst headline of the bunch, “Obama is going to tell people how the White House is organized.” (Not exactly.)

Out in the blogosphere and on Twitter, there’s a somewhat different flavor of reaction and commentary from reporters tasked to cover the news.

The team is actively looking for feedback, as evangelist Jeanne Holm made clear on Google+

Those of us at the team are seeking your great ideas and constructive criticism as we move forward to the next phase of We want to scale up the quality and quantity of data, be more helpful to American businesses and entrepreneurs looking to use government data and research, more clearly support learning in classrooms, get government data in front of researchers and journalists, and bring the power of open data to American citizens.

It’s all about getting you to the data you need as quickly as possible in a variety of machine-readable formats with better search, more APIs, easier ways to share data, more data resources federated.  You can see an early view of our new CKAN-powered catalog .

You’ve told us via forums, list serves, hack-a-thons, blogs, social media, and meetups around the country and the world that we need to have more and better capabilities for developers and innovators.  We are listening.Find out more details about the technical implementations underway and let us know what you think at or via Twitter @usdatagov!

At the Sunlight Foundation, John Wonderlich says that the “open data executive order shows the way forward.”

Simon Rogers explored how the open data executive order compares to similar efforts in the United Kingdom.

Open government data advocate and founder Josh Tauberer weighed in, regarding licensing: “New Open Data Memorandum almost defines open data, misses mark with open licenses.” praised aspects of the open data policy but expressed concern about exemptions, definitions for information systems and references to the mosaic effect.

Steven Aftergood questioned whether making government data open and machine-readable would have an effect on government secrecy, particularly in the intelligence world.

Jim Harper focused on a similar dynamic, praising President Obama’s new open data policy but questioning its relationship to government transparency.

Noel Dickover said the the new open data policy is terrific, but… notes that “creating and maintaining an enterprise data inventory is a massive undertaking.”

Clay Johnson also wondered about related costs  and found the part of the policy focused on grant and contract knowledge especially interesting.

Coming tomorrow: my interview with US CIO Steven VanRoekel and further analysis on why this matters.

3 thoughts on “Roundup: who said what about the White House executive order on open data?

  1. Pingback: Somewhere else, part 52 | Freakonometrics

  2. Pingback: Open government data isn’t just about entrepreneurs | The Obscure Suddha

  3. Pingback: The Best Thing Obama’s Done This Month | Slate |

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.