Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Two cups data, one cup journalism

Matt Waite of Politifact is a smart guy. Go read him. Part of his latest:

"Are we really building a business model, or even a component of a business model, around making public data searchable? Because guess what? Google is too. That’s right. The search giant is dealing directly with government agencies to help them make their own data searchable. Sound familiar? Think your data ghetto can compete with Google? Do you think people are going to remember your newspaper.com url over Google? Really?"

"....That said, here’s how we can get out of the data ghetto: add some journalism to it."

Like Charlotte did here.

More on Google's efforts from my UNC class research last semester:
"The search engine company has launched technology and standards to make public records more findable on the Internet and is making agreements with states to help get public information in to the hands of the public. The most recent agreement was with the state of Florida, opening records about public schools, water and waste permits, employment data and consumers' commuting patterns. Google is offering its services for free for now. ...
Google has also initiated agreements with plainlanguage.gov hosted by the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Energy Department's Office of Scientific and Technical Information and the Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics." Reference.

Ensuring government is only one search away here.
Agencies work with Google here.
Dense code but clues to the future here.
Hiding in plain sight: Why important government information cannot be found through commercial search engines (again, density warning): here.

H/T to Waite's post from John Hassell, from the Facebook group "The Exploding Newsroom," now a blog.

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