You are here

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. 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 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 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. In its first Open Government Plan, the Department of Transportation (DOT) recognized that the Open Government initiative is about more than adopting new tools and emerging technologies—it is about effecting real policy and internal culture change to ensure that our Department truly becomes even more transparent, participatory, and collaborative, both internally and externally. Building on that strong foundation, our second Open Government Plan looked at the public engagement impact of, and public value generated by, enhancing DOT’s openness. Our third Open Government Plan looks at how Open Government can help DOT become more efficient, effective, and generate economic development. 


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.

FAA Engages the Public on its Strategic Plan

Since 2002, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Strategic Plan has been the product of extensive collaboration among leaders, industry stakeholders, the flying public, and employees.  Each year, these constituencies have been solicited for their input, and each year their collaboration has helped make the plan better than it otherwise would have been. However, there has never been a way for all of these constituencies to join together in an online conversation in a single space. Typically, the plan would have been sent in hardcopy to industry representatives, posted on the FAA intranet and displayed on the FAA Web page with a “suggestion box” or email address to submit comments.  In 2011, FAA was seeking a new way to engage in this dialogue.