The Indian government has launched the new version of its open data platform, where it makes data sets from government establishments available to the public. Much to our relief, this one is a lot more functional and usable.
In September last year, when we’d first written about the data portal, it was in public beta with only 13 data sets and a terrible user interface. The site is modeled on the lines of Data.gov, the American data transparency site.
The new data site flaunts some impressive metrics. It says
6,330 resources in 2,810 catalogs, 141 visualizations contributed by 64 departmetns were viewed 1.06 million times and downloaded over 365,846 times. It has nearly 40,000 registered users as well.
Crime statistics, pin code directory, market prices and Exim data is extremely useful (especially for data journalists!). The data sets are a gold mine of insights. However, much of it is dated. Perhaps now, the folks at the Open Data Project can work on making some real time data available. As we’d argued before, a lot of it is useless to develop great applications unless data becomes available in real time.
Yesterday, the government also gave away Rs 1 lakh to the winners of the #Opendataapps challenge. In August last year, it had invited developers to build applications on top of the data sets it provided.
Meanwhile, the government also launched a Cement Information System (CIS) portal for on-line collection of data on production, dispatch, export, import etc. of cement across the country.