Open data is a big deal for the Energy Department. As outlined in the President’s Digital Government strategy, “We must enable the public, entrepreneurs, and our own government programs to better leverage the rich wealth of federal data to pour into applications and services by ensuring that data is open and machine-readable by default.” Every Federal agency is working hard to deliver this improved level of customer service, and the Energy Data Initiative is proud to announce a milestone in this movement with the creation of a new resource hub for open energy data.
Open data resources help businesses and consumers every day. For example, shoppers almost always look at the labels on light bulbs and the fuel efficiency stickers on new cars, both of which are derived from Energy Department programs. Consider also that government weather reports feed into the daily management of every large solar and wind power plant in the country. These benefits are behind-the-scenes for most people. But small businesses absolutely rely on this type of open data, which is why the Energy Department is launching this scalable web portal.
Energy.gov/data includes targeted features for different groups of data customers. For coders, this resource hub includes featured developer tools such as new Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). There will also be features on popular open datasets and search tools that are valuable for students, regulators, and energy professionals. Government managers of open data, particularly those that are familiar with the Data.gov platform, will soon take advantage of new “federated search” capabilities by leveraging a growing data catalogue. Finally, entrepreneurs and job creators will be able to see exactly how open data is fueling economic growth and even contribute their own stories if they so choose.
The new resource hub will continue to grow with the community it supports. Planned features include improved interoperability with other data platforms like energy.data.gov, openei.org and the National Library of Energy. There will also be frequent updates from Energy Data Jams leading up to the annual Energy Datapalooza. The content and capabilities will grow along with a portfolio of “agency.gov/data” sites that will be created by other Federal agencies in the coming months. Ultimately, the goals of this coordinated effort are to improve our level of customer service for open data as well to empower innovators to create and sustain valuable products that help all Americans.