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Federal Profile: Geographic Information Officer, a picture’s worth a thousand words

We’re talking maps — yes, really! People say a picture is worth 1,000 words. Well, maps are ways of making sense of data — perhaps the best example is if you needed to go to a hospital. If you had a list of addresses, it doesn’t mean that much. But put that data on a map and well, it’s magic.

Michael Byrne is the Geographic information officer for the FCC. He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program about what maps mean, how they can help you make decisions, and their connection to the Digital Government Initiative.

Mindset Change: The Digital Government Strategy represents a mindset change. We need data collected by other bureaus to do our job. Like data from the Census Bureau. But the open data first mindset means we don’t all have to collect the information in silos. We can share and that saves time and money.

Difference between Open and Big Data: Big data is in terabyte form. Like the information you can gather from every click on a social media site. We are not dealing with that volume of data at the FCC. But we are growing our skills so eventually we can start tackling big data.

Openness: We were already on a path to openness before the strategy came out. By decoupling data from the presentation it reduces the total investment. It also reduces the time it takes to get information to the end user.

Check out these cool new programs at the FCC.

  • Issue Map: Last October, the FCC quietly deployed a new section to fcc.gov. The section, http://www.fcc.gov/maps, translates complex policy into understandable stories for consumers. Our maps are a fresh approach to internet mapping and help to advance our goal of open government.

Check out this interactive map that shows how strong the wireless connection is. So Cool!!!!

  • National Broadband App: empowers consumers, researchers, policy-makers, and developers to truly understand what broadband means in America.

When the map went live in mid-February, the response was astounding, with the number of requests to the website averaging more than 1,000 per second! Below is just a short list of the metrics the FCC observed on its first day;

  • Total hits: 158,123,884
  • Hits served by cache: 141,068,348 (89.21%)
  • Total Bytes Transferred: 863GB
  • Peak Requests per Second: 8,970
  • Average Requests per Second: 1,095
  • Visits in the first 10 hours: over 500,000

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