Luigi Reggi’s website
Professor Varian, what do you think about this kind of global feverfor open data and Gov 2.0? Is it all hype or does have a future?
I think that this model is very attractive. You can think of the government as the wholesaler of data, that puts it up in bulk form. Then this data canbe downloaded, refined and improved for retail and distribution. There area lot of reasons to think that that model might be attractive, because therole that the Government would play would be quite specifically defined:
make the raw data available
. Then people can extract from that what they want, and polish it, beautify it, crack it and a lot of other things. Sothat is a model which I think could be attractive to Italy, the US and theother Countries. The problem of managing the data from end to end is that it’s very expensive and a very big challenge. The most important step is tomake the data available even if it’s in a raw and unfinished form.
Two days ago, at Gov 2.0 Summit 2010 in Washington DC EllenMiller of Sunlight Foundation strongly criticized the availability andquality of the data published on USAspending.gov and Data.gov. Itseems that this revolution is actually not happening yet.
Well, I think that in the Obama administration, for example, they aremaking a lot of more patent data available, FCC (Federal CommunicationsCommission) data available, and so on. So it is happening, it’s just not asrapid as one might think, because it’s a difficult problem. But I think there’s enough momentum behind this effort, and we will see progress. Asthey say "pazienza"!