Gov 2.0 Round Up June 4 Edition

The Patent and Trademark Office opens its data to the public via Google, Health and Human Services introduces a new community health
initiative, GSA makes it easy for agencies to
issue challenges, and the California State Parks’ website gets high
marks for usefulness, all in this week’s edition of the Gov 2.0

—Earlier this week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office announced that it had come to an agreement with search giant Google to make
bulk trademark and patent information free to the public
. A variety
of information, including trademark and published patent applications,
trademark trial details, and patent assignments will be available for
the first time in bulk without a fee. The partnership is said to be a
“temporary” way that the PTO can move toward
meeting the Open Government Directive while its own proprietary database
is being created.

—The Department of Health and Human Services is also making strides in its quest to make its data more open and accessible to the public. This week, the
department debuted datasets that are part of its Community Health Data
. The datasets are culled from a variety of sources and
include information on national, regional, and local health indicators,
like smoking and prevalence of heart disease or diabetes. The goal of
the datasets’ release is to encourage public and private entities to
develop applications that help people and communities better track and
take action on health issues affecting them.

—There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of or participated in a conference geared toward gathering ideas and fostering innovation in
government—whether it’s Apps for America or the Darpa Red Balloon Challenge,
government agencies are tapping the power of the public to generate new
ways of doing things. And this week, the General Services Administration
announced that they’re going to be making it easier for agencies to
roll out their own challenges and solicit public ideas and feedback.
Using an online platform powered by marketplace application providers
ChallengePost, agencies will be able to easily create
their own challenges and receive public input
anticipates that the platform will be available this July.

—Score one for usability and thoroughness. The California State Parks’ website
is lauded as being an easy-to-use features””>excellent example of extensive information
combined with easy-to-use features
and robust functionality. The
site is aimed at helping residents and visitors find parks (including
public playgrounds), campgrounds, and trails near a specific location.
Visitors can check out park maps in 3D and can even request walking or
biking directions. Site developers plan on creating a mobile application
for the project so that potential park-goers can use their phone to
direct them to the outdoor area they’ve chosen.

This is cross-posted on the Rock Creek Blog.

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