Google Donates $3.7 Million to Foster Open Government Data Standards
Google is giving money to groups for programs that support open government data to make information easier to use and more available to citizens.Google is donating $3.7 million to two organizations that are working to make government data more open, available and transparent to citizens in the United States and around the world. Google.org has awarded $2.1 million to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation, and $1.6 million to mySociety, a U.K.-based group, according to a Jan. 16 post by Matthew Stepka, vice president of Google.org, on the Google Public Policy Blog. The donation to the Sunlight Foundation is aimed at helping the group to "grow their programs for open government data, with a focus on making civic information for U.S. cities transparent, available and useable," wrote Stepka. "By opening up information at the city level for developers as well as citizens, Sunlight is creating opportunity for new ideas that can have an impact in local markets." The donation to mySociety is aimed at building "a global platform to equip developers with tools and resources—such as open-source code—to more easily and quickly launch new civic apps and services," wrote Stepka. "This initiative can promote collaboration between civic-minded technologists, regardless of geography. For example, a civic app created in Finland might be easily replicated 9,000 miles away by a developer in Chile."
The money is meant to foster the open availability of information so that people can be better informed, according to Stepka's post. "Both organizations are working to bring together a larger community—governments, developers, companies, nonprofits and citizens—with an interest in improving societies. By creating these open platforms today, we can open doors to ambitious new solutions in the future."