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Why good governments should embrace open data (gigaom.com)
26 points by kirtijthorat 1420 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 7 comments

I'm a programmer in the medical field, and have heard complaints that some state medical boards keep important information behind pay-walls, like which doctors are sanctioned. (I wish I knew the details, but don't work directly with state medical boards.)

Did you new doctor just move from another state? Do you want to know if he was declared incompetent by the other states medical board? Then pay up.

I wonder if they do this out of greed, or they consider it genuinely expensive to give this data out. It makes me think of all the large corporations; often they make tasks I could automate with a few lines of Python sound nearly impossible.

This is an excellent article to read. I am very impressed with the thoughts. Here are some of the best quotes(for those who r in hurry or that TL;DR): We’re a long way from where we need to be — and end that will require governments to change, too. "No one tries to judge what uses people will have for it,” he said, “but having the information enables people to derive whatever they need.” ‘Are we saving money with open data?’ The only question I would suggest public agencies should focus on is ‘Are we doing the right thing? Are we making our data available and machine-consumable to our communities?’”

Take the Courts... want to know which attorneys have received court sanctions? Which routinely make cases drag out the longest? Who has the most aggressive motion practice resulting in denied pleadings? Which Judges are often overturned? In short, which attorneys/judges are regularly in disservice of the process? Well you can't in State jurisdictions. No meta-data, no detailed data online. Billions of dollars wasted on unnecessary litigation, backed up courts and prolonged dispute resolutions that could be saved.

It seems like the current state of the industry is that open data is more of a privilege than a right. I was at a conference where a prominent figure of a large US city stated that he "doesn't support open data because these programmers take the data, repackage it, and sell it to other people." As a developer, it is hard to eradicate these fallacies, especially from people who are performing a duty where stubbornness and unwillingness to change are part of the job description.

The team I'm a part of designed and built the platform Palo Alto uses to publish their financial data, OpenGov.com.

I don't generally put in plugs on HN but we're always looking for people interested in making a difference with the intersection of good government and tech. Drop me a line if you're interested zjohnston@opengov.com.

OpenGov is a very nice initiative. I did not know any such project in existence at all. One thing is for sure that in order to build trust one need to be transparent and accountable. Who says modern technology won't solve into Govt. related issues? This great initiative is a perfect answer. Keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing with us.

Three words: no thanks NSA. How about the government fix potholes and explain where the gas excise tax revenues actually go...

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