Technology advancements like social computing and cloud computing are at the very center of making the goals of a transparent, participatory and collaborative government a reality. In this environment where government transparency is in increasing demand, many government agencies publish raw data for download from their web sites. This is essential but not enough. Making that data easily accessible and queriable by people and software is critical for making it useful. The Open Government Data initiative aims to encourage and enable data publishing by government agencies and organizations in an easily consumable form.
What is it?: The Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI) is an open source starter kit developed by Microsoft to help government agencies publish data that can be queried by using open web programming interfaces (API’s).
Information about the initiative can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/opengovdata/Default.aspx
Explore the sample site and learn about the OGDI Interactive Software Development Kit at http://ogdisdk.cloudapp.net.