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Open Government

DOT meets Executive Order, opens data for public use

Photo of DOT CIO Richard McKinneyIn addition to Small Business Saturday, November 30 was also a critical deadline for DOT to reach some of the milestones in President Obama's Executive Order on Open Data. I'm happy to say that this Department has met its obligations.

But, more than just meeting our requirements, opening our data is about unleashing the power of information for public use.

The Federal Government collects and creates a vast amount of statistical, economic, financial, geospatial, regulatory, and scientific data, but much of it remains in unusable formats or trapped in government systems where it can't be accessed by the public.  Even when it was technically available online, it could be hard to find...and even harder to use.

Over the past few years, the Obama Administration has launched a series of Open Data initiatives, which, for the first time in history, have released valuable data sets that were previously hard to access in areas such as safety, energy, and transportation.

Data.gov Interim Identification & Prioritization Process and Guidelines v1.0

Access to DOT data provides opportunities for consumers to conduct valuable research and analyses, combine data layers into new and interesting “mashups” of DOT and non-DOT data, and build novel applications, services, or derivative information products. Increased visibility and use of DOT data will result in increased citation, innovation and new research ideas. It will also lend greater credibility to scientific, engineering, and policy-making communities across a broad spectrum of the public and private sectors.

Section 2 provides information about the structure and content of Data.gov as they relate to the DOT. Section 3 outlines an interim publishing process and provides guidelines and resource links to assist DOT program managers and data access coordinators to identify, evaluate, prioritize, and prepare datasets and tools for inclusion in Data.gov. The evaluation questionnaire is contained in Appendix A.

Plain Language

At the Department of Transportation, we have a long-standing commitment to using plain language, and we see plain writing as an integral part of achieving the goals of our Open Government Plan.

Open Government Plan

The President’s Open Government initiative represents a significant shift in the way Federal agencies conduct business and engage the public.  The DOT recognizes that the Open Government initiative is about more than adopting new tools and emerging technologies—it is about affecting real policy and internal culture change to ensure that our Department truly becomes even more transparent, participatory, and collaborative both internally and externally.  Toward that end, our DOT Open Government Plan looks at the culture, policy and technology issues involved in enhancing the DOT’s openness. 

IdeaHub

IdeaHub is an online community that facilitates innovation and collaboration within the DOT and the Operating Administrations (OAs). It’s designed to bring comprehensive, cultural change to the DOT through the use of a collaborative website. IdeaHub is more than a suggestion box. Through this exciting online community, you and your colleagues will be able to submit, comment on, improve, and rate each other’s ideas. No idea is too big or too small.

U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates the United States’s Entry into the Open Government Partnership

As President Obama today signs the Open Government Partnership declaration, DOT is proud to highlight some of the ways that we have advanced America’s domestic open government agenda and created a more efficient and effective government through greater transparency, participation, and collaboration.

IdeaHub Drives Innovation, Change at DOT

Over six months later, we can say that IdeaHub really works! Since launch more than 2,400 ideas, 33,000 ratings on those ideas, and 7,500 comments have been submitted by DOT employees. To date, the DOT has also sponsored four idea challenges that have focused employee’s collaborative brainstorming efforts on issues ranging from environmental sustainability to emergency preparedness. Many highly rated ideas as determined by DOT employees have been implemented or are moving towards implementation.

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