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The federal government produces one hell of a lot of data, but despite desultory lurches towards usability there’s little guarantee that it’s available in a way that makes it useful to anyone. That may change for the better with the OPEN Government Data Act, which the President signed into law last night. The Act essentially requires federal agencies to default when possible to making data (and metadata) public, to publish that public data in a machine-readable format, and catalog it online. It also mandates that Chief Data Officers be appointed at those agencies to handle the process. This bipartisan piece of legislature flew through the House and Senate mostly uncompromised, though the ... Full story

15 January