State Launches New Website: Data.hawaii.gov

Posted on Oct 8, 2012 in What's New

October 8, 2012

The state Office of Information Practices (OIP) is excited to be a part of the initial launch of the State’s new website, data.hawaii.gov, which is an important new tool that will help to transform government and increase public accessibility to public records.

Instead of solely responding to requests for information, state agencies will be proactively posting public data onto the state’s new website at data.hawaii.gov. As part of Governor Neil Abercrombie’s open data initiative, state agencies have already begun posting machine readable datasets, such as excel spreadsheets, to data.hawaii.gov where new summaries, charts, graphs, maps, and other visualizations can be created to fit the user’s interests. Data.hawaii.gov was opened to the public for alpha testing on October 4, 2012.

Through data.hawaii.gov, information that was formerly in the hands of only one agency can now be open and accessible by anyone, including other agencies, researchers, application developers, businesses, and other members of the public. Data.hawaii.gov allows users to view, search, sort, summarize, analyze, combine, and visualize datasets in a myriad of ways that users want and find relevant. Therefore, users or application developers can now take data from different agencies and prepare a whole new dataset or application that could analyze or present information from a much different perspective and lead to innovative solutions. 

Data.hawaii.gov is based on the same open government platform as the federal government’s data.gov, where you can find over 445,000 datasets from over 172 federal agencies and subagencies, from which approximately 1,500 applications have been transformed by government or private developers into usable and relevant information. For example, developers have taken raw datasets to create a mobile application showing the Food and Drug Administration’s list of product recalls and safety warnings, with daily updates. The FDA also has a “DailyMed” application that provides detailed information about the contents, use, side effects, and studies of marketed drugs, based on FDA data and labels (package inserts) and no advertising. Another example are the “Green Button” web and smartphone applications that help consumers choose the most economical rate plan for their energy use patterns, provide customized energy efficiency tips, access tools to size and finance solar panels, and deliver energy audit software. These are just a few examples of the wealth of public information that has been made freely available by the federal government through data.gov, and will be made available through data.hawaii.gov, and they give you an idea of what Hawaii could develop on its website.

Like data.hawaii.gov, the City and County of Honolulu has launched its own website at data.honolulu.gov. Both of these new state and county sites are continually posting additional datasets, which developers are transforming into useful and relevant information. For example, on the State’s site at data.hawaii.gov, political candidates’ formerly static campaign spending and contribution reports are now readily accessible and can be sorted, filtered, and visualized in countless ways that users find relevant. If you want to know how much was contributed to a candidate overall, or only by employers, or for specific amounts, you can now sort and filter by various categories and then visualize the results as a table, bar graph, or pie chart.

OIP previously announced its own new tool to help agencies track, record, and report on UIPA requests for records and will tie into data.hawaii.gov – the UIPA Record Request Log, which can be found on OIP’s website at hawaii.gov/oip. As described in the September 6, 2012 What’s New article, OIP will be conducting a special training seminar explaining the UIPA and the Log on October 10, 2012, from 8:30am-12:00pm at the State Capitol Auditorium. To register for the seminar, please go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YHGVCSQ.

For the latest on open government news, look here on the What’s New page, or ask to be placed on OIP’s e-mail list for weekly What’s New updates.