Today Microsoft announced the Open Government Data Initiative (OGDI).  The goal of OGDI is to encourage the publishing and use of public government data.  See the press release here More information on Microsoft’s Open Government Data Initiative can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/industry/government/opengovdata

What's special about OGDI?  OGDI enables government organizations to easily expose data for *programmatic access* vs download.  An OGDI container stores data in Microsoft Windows Azure storage and anyone with a myriad of both Microsoft and non-Microsoft programming skills can access the data.  Flash, PHP, Ruby, Python, C#, Silverlight, maps, have at it! OGDI-based data repositories expose data via the very familiar REST programming model.  At the heart of OGDI is a read-only data service built on Windows Azure.

OGDI is two things: 1) a sample site which is also an interactive SDK which can be found at http://ogdisdk.cloudapp.net 2) and source code we used to build it which will be published on CodePlex so that any interested party can build a container and quickly begin allowing programmatic access to data (stay tuned for more information).  We call this a “Starter Kit”

You will also see, when you visit the SDK site and begin interacting with the data, that we have a ton of sample code in all of these technologies to help you write programs to access the data.  Be sure to check out the demo video on the main page!

We hope you find this interesting and useful and really would appreciate hearing from you!

Calls to action:

  1. If you are a government customer who is interested in more information please contact us at askogdi@microsoft.com
  2. If you are partner, we would be eager to hear your ideas about how you could take advantage of this service.  Again, contact us at askogdi@microsoft.com

-Keith