The government has a lot of data, and the Obama administration has made releasing much of it a priority. But opening data takes time and resources, so the administration has frequently asked civil society and the public to provide input into which data sets they should prioritize for release. The trouble with that request was that the public did not have a comprehensive listing of what data the government has. Now, thanks to the work of the Sunlight Foundation, that will change. The Office of Management and Budget said they will comply with Sunlight’s December 2013 FOIA request for agencies’ Enterprise Data Inventories—the lists of agencies’ data holdings. Learn more about what this means for open government here.
SkyTruth’s motto “if you see it, you can change it,” is being directed toward catching ships fishing illegally. The organization worked with Google to create software that uses AIS signals (broadcasts that help ships avoid collisions) to track ships all over the world. Using the software, SkyTruth identifies vessels in a fishing pattern in off-limits areas. Learn more about their work in NPR’s Morning Edition.
The FOIA Project is a one-stop shop for information about FOIA lawsuits. The Project, created by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, now hosts interactive agency pages for federal agencies sued under the FOIA since 2001. Explore the pages here.
Sunshine Week is a month away! The week-long celebration of the public’s right to know includes events held across the United States and on the web. The morning of Friday, March 13th, OTG, the Newseum Institute, the American Library Association, Sunshine in Government Initiative, American Society of News Editors, and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press will host the annual Freedom of Information Day at the Newseum. The event will also be webcast. In the meantime, start filling up your calendar with the events compiled on SunshineWeek.org and look out for the 10th anniversary coverage from the founders of Sunshine Week through March 21st.