A blog post from the Wall Street Journal today reports that Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel wants to publish more data from federal agencies using RESTful standard API's. Some specific data types mentioned include traffic information for better logistics, the movement of goods through ports and the amount of energy costs within cities. VanRoekel is looking to expose the huge government data stores to "spur innovation across our nation."
It's true that the government keeps a lot of data underwraps. However, the question has always been whether it's the government's job to promote what they've got. Now, VanRoekel's approach at least provides the mechanism to retrieve data while leaving it up to others to exploit them.