[LINK] Release of data.gov.au

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat Mar 12 01:24:30 AEDT 2011

AGIMO Blog: 'Effective and efficient use of ICT'


The release of: http://data.gov.au

By Special Minister of State, Gary Gray, on 10th March 2011 1:30pm

The new data.gov.au site has now been released and I invite you to 
explore, access and reuse the data available on the site. 

The release of public sector information in the form of datasets allows 
the commercial, research and community sectors to add value to government 
data in new, innovative and exciting ways.

Data.gov.au plays a crucial role in realising the Australian Government’s 
commitment to informing, engaging and participating with the public, as 
expressed in its Declaration of Open Government and Freedom of 
Information (FoI) reforms. It is the Australian equivalent to similar 
overseas sites such as the United States’ data.gov, the United Kingdom’s 
data.gov.uk and New Zealand’s data.govt.nz.

Agencies such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Geoscience 
Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Commonwealth Scientific and 
Industrial Research  Organisation (CSIRO) already release large amounts 
of data to the public. 

An important goal of data.gov.au is to provide a broader range of 
agencies the opportunity to similarly release more data online.

More than 200 datasets are accessible through data.gov.au. Thanks to 
contributions from Australian Government agencies and libraries, this 
number is growing rapidly. 

The release of data.gov.au replaces the data.australia.gov.au beta site, 
which was developed for the Government 2.0 Taskforce’s Mashup Australia 
contest in 2009.

Data.gov.au offers new features for both the public and government 
agencies. People can:

* suggest datasets they would like released by Australian Government
  agencies, which AGIMO will forward to relevant agencies;

* participate on the site by rating and commenting on datasets;

* provide feedback and suggestions for site improvements; and

* contribute submissions of mashups or data-based initiatives they

The site also offers:

* support for hosting datasets in a cloud-based storage solution
 (alternatively, agencies can continue to store datasets on their agency
  site and provide a link through data.gov.au);

* a showcase of mashups and prominent Australian Government data-based
  initiatives; and

* links to other Government data catalogues such as the Australian Bureau
  of Statistics, Australian Spatial Data Directory and the Queensland
  Government Information Service. These and various other data sources
  will continue to exist separately from data.gov.au, however future
  updates will also make their data holdings discoverable directly
  through data.gov.au.

Australian Government agencies have been encouraged to make data open and 
reusable for the public through data.gov.au. AGIMO, in conjunction with 
the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, is preparing best 
practice guidance to assist agencies with the technical aspects of 
publishing public sector information. 

Additionally, guidelines are being developed by the Attorney General’s 
Department to assist agencies with licensing public sector information, 
with the goal of encouraging the use of open licences.

Benefits of open data will be  demonstrated in the upcoming Libraryhack 
competition, to be held in May 2011. The Libraryhack organisers have 
asked residents of Australia and New Zealand to develop new and 
innovative ways of using library data. This will encourage increased use 
of library data and digital collections, and  provide additional 
resources that can be combined with data from Government agencies to 
increase our understanding of Australian society.

I encourage you to visit data.gov.au and suggest data that should be made 
available or other improvements to the site. Your feedback will assist 
with future enhancements of data.gov.au as the Government works to 
release greater amounts of data online.



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