Government Data Now Exposed

5 years 10 months 4 days ago March 17, 2011 Mar 17, 2011 Thursday, March 17 2011 Thursday, March 17, 2011 10:50:00 AM CDT in News
By: Christine Karsten

COLUMBIA - The Reynolds Journalism Institute held a day-long conference on open government records Thursday.

David Herzog launched his Open Missouri website at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute on MU's campus during Open Missouri Day. Herzog has worked on the project alongside Missouri School of Journalism's students to make government data more accessible and understandable for journalists, businesses and citizens.

Herzog created a portal as part of a nation-wide movement to bring government data more into the public eye. A well-known term is "Government 2.0." The website contains a lot of information and set into categories to make it easier to find data that may be important to you.

According to his blog, Herzog say he has contacted numerous agencies about collecting the data they are storing in their databases. One Missouri contains 135 Missouri state government databases that were not exposed on the internet before. Some of the problems he has run into is some agencies do not have inventories of their databases and need to create them. Others simply will not disclose the information they do have.

Herzog wrote in his blog, "Some agencies have flat-out told us they're not going to divulge information about the data they collect using taxpayer money."

Not only is Herzog working with master's students, he is also working with the Sunlight Foundation. This foundation is a non-profit, nonpartisan organization that wants to create government openness and transparency.

Herzog ultimately wants this website to inspire people to look for data and share it with others. He also hopes that other states will look at the website and get motivated to create other version of the project to benefit their states.

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