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Sunlight Labs creates catalog of government databases

The Sunlight Labs open government group recently debuted its free online open-source collection of federal, state and local government databases in the United States.

Despite its ambitious name, the group’s National Data Catalog currently only has links to data from the federal Web site, as well as data from the District of Columbia and the state of Utah.

Sunlight’s goal is to continue to post more databases and links to federal, state and local datasets. The national data catalog platform consists of a Web application and an Application Programming Interface. Users can register to obtain their own dashboard allowing them to search and examine the data.

“More and more governments are publishing their data online. However, there is no central place to find this data,” David James, software developer for Sunlight, said in a video introduction. “No single entity will be able to build such a catalog. That is why we are doing it here at Sunlight.”

Sunlight Labs is a project of the Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to open government.


Posted by Alice Lipowicz on May 20, 2010 at 7:25 PM

Reader Comments

Thu, May 20, 2010 David James Washington, DC

Hi Alice, Thanks for writing this post. Yes, we do have an ambitious goal and we have our work cut out for us. I'd like to mention that we also have San Francisco data in NatDatCat. We'll be adding more data sets as fast as we can. We also invite the software developer community to help. For example, Cristian Messel is helping us out with importing Rhode Island data:

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