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Category Archives: E-Government

How Chicago Solved Its Open Data Dilemma

How Chicago Solved Its Open Data Dilemma, Loraine Lawson – “In New York City, obtaining a public data set required an open records request and the researcher toting in a hard drive. So grab a notepad, Big Apple, and let the Windy City show you how to do open data. A recent GCN article describes how Chicago simplified the release and updating of open data by building an OpenData ETL Utility Kit. Before the kit, the process was onerous. Open data sets required manual updates made mostly with custom-written Java code. That data updating process is now automated with the OpenData ETL Utility Kit. Pentaho’s Data Integration ETL tool is embedded into the kit, along with pre-built and custom components that can process Big Data sets, GCN reports. “What’s different now is we have a framework that can be easily used by a lot of people,” Tom Schenk, the city’s chief data officer, told GCN. “I could also give that tool to a number of users around the city of Chicago and they’d to be able to program ETLs that are going be easier for them to understand, easier for them to create. It allows us to be more nimble.” In a particularly compelling use case, the city tapped into an application programming interface (API) that monitors water quality at Lake Michigan beaches and used the ETL to push out information hourly. If you’re curious about the OpenData ETL Utility Kit — and I’m looking at you, New York City — you can download it from github.”

2014 U.S. and State Population Estimates on American FactFinder

“July 1, 2014 population estimates are now available for the nation, states and Puerto Rico on American FactFinder. The annual estimates include components of change (births, deaths and net migration) in the previous year and since the April 1, 2010 Census. The estimates were originally released on Dec. 23, 2014, on the Population and Housing UnitContinue Reading

The National Taxpayer Advocate’s Annual Report to Congress

“The National Taxpayer Advocate’s (NTA) Annual Report to Congress creates a dialogue within the IRS and the highest levels of government to address taxpayers’ problems, protect taxpayers’ rights, and ease taxpayers’ burden. TAS is an independent organization within the IRS. The NTA delivers this report directly to the tax-writing committees in Congress (the House CommitteeContinue Reading

HHS OIG – Federal Marketplace: Inadequacies in Contract Planning and Procurement

Report (OEI-03-14-00230) 01-20-2015 Federal Marketplace: Inadequacies in Contract Planning and Procurement WHY WE DID THIS STUDY: “The Federal Marketplace at was designed to enable millions of Americans to select health insurance in a “one-stop shop” environment. A project of this magnitude and complexity required the development, integration, and operation of multiple information technology (IT)Continue Reading

Hubble’s High-Definition Panoramic View of the Andromeda Galaxy

Maanya Sachdeva – “Have you seen the largest picture ever taken? For the record, it’s a mammoth 1.5 billion pixel image (69, 536 x 22, 230) and requires about 4.3 GB disk space. Oh, and it’ll take your breath away. On January 5, NASA released an image of the Andromeda galaxy, our closest galactic neighbour,Continue Reading

Federal Leaders Digital Insight Study

“The Federal Leaders Digital Insight Study, conducted by the National Academy of Public Administration (the Academy) in collaboration with ICF, is the inaugural report designed to survey Federal Leaders’ perspectives about the pace with which the government is adopting, applying, and leveraging technological advancements in service to its constituencies. The study found that Federal Leaders believeContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Geostationary Weather Satellites, NOAA Polar Weather Satellites

Geostationary Weather Satellites: Launch Date Nears, but Remaining Schedule Risks Need to be Addressed, GAO-15-60: Published: Dec 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Jan 15, 2015: “The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R) program has made major progress in developing its first satellite, including completing testing of satellite instruments. However, the program continuesContinue Reading

Research Shows XBRL Filing Costs Lower than Expected

AICPA: “EXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) is a global data standard used for reporting business information in a computer-readable format. The standardization of business reporting information eliminates the costs associated with manually processing this data or using proprietary products that lock data in incompatible formats.  When it enacted the Final Rule for XBRL, the U.S.Continue Reading

EPIC Urges Congress to Hold Hearing on FBI Database

“In a letter to Senators Grassley and Leahy, EPIC has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the FBI’s “Next Generation Identification” program. NGI is the most extensive biometric database in the world and raises many privacy risks. In a recent FOIA case, EPIC v. FBI, EPIC obtained documents which show that the FBI acceptedContinue Reading

Improved Search and QuickFacts Enhance Census Bureau’s Website

“As a direct result of customer feedback, the U.S. Census Bureau recently updated two key tools with new features to make accessing statistics easier than ever before. With an improved search feature generating better results on, users can discover a wealth of information and visualizations just by typing key words, such as “median income,”Continue Reading

FCC Launches Consumer Help Center

FCC Consumer Help Center focuses on Telephone, TV, Radio, Internet, Emergency Services and Accessibility. – “The FCC cannot resolve all individual complaints, but we can provide information about your possible next steps. Complaints about issues such as loud commercials, the Do Not Call List, robocalls, unwanted telephone calls, unsolicited faxes and similar issues covered by the Telephone ConsumerContinue Reading

Data and Research to Improve the U.S. Food Availability System and Estimates of Food Loss

Nancy J. Kirkendall, Rapporteur; Committee on National Statistics; Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; National Research Council “The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service’s (ERS) Food Availability Data System includes three distinct but related data series on food and nutrient availability for consumption. The data serve as popular proxies forContinue Reading