May 23, 2012

Federal CTO and CIO Stress Importance of APIs and Open Data


Federal CTO Todd Park and CIO Steven VanRoekel announced at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC this week the government's initiative to open up data to developers to help drive innovation of new applications and services based on that data. What was once chained up in government documents and mysterious backend systems, will now be pushed towards making government data more social -- ultimately changing the meaning of social participation -- and transforming the the new default to Open Data, where everything should be an API to allow for data, applications and services to be made available anywhere, anytime and on any device.

The U.S. Government's push for this new digital roadmap is designed to decrease the inefficiencies in government and to allow developers to build applications that the government would never have thought of. In order to improve upon the government's efficiency levels, the federal government plans to ensure that all agency websites have a /DEVELOPERS page. The government's campaign for innovation has also been powered by meet up and hackathon sponsorships through which developers get the opportunity to demo new apps built on government APIs.

Here are the first five projects that were announced as part of the government's Open Data campaign:

*Launching Blue Button for America: creating apps to allow U.S. citizens to access their own health data

*Introduce RFP-EZ: allows startups to have access to compete for government projects

*Launching MyGov portal: user-friendly website for government services

*Launching 20% Campaign: initiative to move from cash payments to mobile payments overseas

*Open access to data from industries such as energy, education, non-profits and safety.