|By David Linthicum||
|April 19, 2009 11:00 AM EDT||
I’ve been in several meetings recently that have hit on the topic of Data.gov. Data.gov will become a repository for all the information the government collects, and that information will be in turn available to anyone who needs it. Pretty positive move, if you ask me. However, the existing data-as-a-service providers that traffic in government data could find that they are soon suffering from relevancy problems.
The core issue is that many existing data-as-a-service players make their living from publishing reconstituted, and cleansed, government data that they charge for. The rise of Data.gov will mean the commoditization of this information, which will be accessible, both through visual interfaces, and using APIs (Web services), if I understand the government’s vision here.
Thus, overnight Data.gov could become the mother of all data-as-a-service sites, providing gigabytes of government data to anyone who would need it, for any purpose. The ability to mashup this data with existing business systems, or validate business information are just a few of the high-value applications, and I suspect I’m only scratching the surface.
I predict that a cottage industry of startups will surround Data.gov, typically around managing the interfaces, but the source of the content will shift from the data-as-a-service providers to the government. Moreover, the business intelligence applications that you could place on top of this data would be extremely valuable to both commercial and government organizations.
We need to keep in mind that Data.gov is still a concept now, and it will take some time before the slow gears of the government launch the first instance of Data.gov. However, just the concept is a game changer, and we’ll have to see if the offering has the proposed value.
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