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Data.gov gets an open-source revamp

By Joab Jackson
July 16, 2013 05:25 PM ET

Data.gov will also visualize some sets of government data in a rotating display on the home page, using the D3.js JavaScript library. The preview shows a visualization of earthquake data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

For the site, the Data.gov development team will rely heavily on open-source software. The redesigned site will use the Apache Solr search server software to improve the site's search capabilities. Agencies that post their metadata in the Common Core Metadata Schema will have their data sets indexed by Data.gov.

For the data catalogue, it will use the CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) data management platform. For content and the community sections, Data.gov will use the WordPress content management system.

Even the fonts are open source -- the new site will use the Abel and Lato fonts, from Google Fonts, though some argue that these fonts, available only as a service, aren't truly open source in nature.

Nonetheless, the use of open source is a "reassuring sign" that Data.gov is moving further in line with the White House's preference to maximize the use of open-source software, Wonderlich said.

Data.gov is seeking feedback for the new design, through GitHub, Twitter and Quora.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Reprinted with permission from IDG.net. Story copyright 2014 International Data Group. All rights reserved.
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