More government sites should be API-enabled, says open data advocate

With so much data, government information needs to be usefully discoverable says open data advocate

More Australian government departments and agencies should make APIs available so that people can discover information faster, according to open government advocate Pia Waugh.

Speaking at the AIIA Navigating the Internet of Things conference in Canberra, Waugh, who works for the Department of Finance, cited the Australian Bureau of Statistics as an example of an agency with an API-enabled website.

With more than 1000 federal government websites — and more in state government — it can be difficult for consumers to find out the right place to go for help, she said.

“Government information that is produced should be user centric. Imagine if all the government information was usefully discoverable rather than via a Google search?”

Waugh pointed to the example set by data.gov.au, a site which publishes government data for individuals and organisations to access. In 2013, the website was moved to the open source CKAN platform to encourage engagement with government data sets.

“Start thinking about what you would use if this information was discoverable.”

She added that more sites should follow the example of the ABS.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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