Socrata, Inc.

Socrata, Inc.

October 12, 2010 08:02 ET

Socrata Asks Civic Application Developers: How Open is Government Data?

The third and final survey in the Open Government Data Benchmark Study is now open to developers to voice their opinions

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON--(Marketwire - Oct. 12, 2010) - Socrata, Inc., together with public advocacy organizations and Government 2.0 thought leaders Sunlight Foundation, Personal Democracy Forum, GovLoop, Code for America and David Eaves, is asking civic applications developers to complete an online survey on the state of Open Data in government at

This ten-minute online survey asks civic application developers to weigh in on basic and straightforward questions regarding Open Data. How accessible is government data? Is the data they need public? Is it available in consumable formats? Is it accurate and up to date? What obstacles are hindering developers' ability to focus on application development? What motivates developers to dedicate their skills and time toward building civic applications?

A vibrant and sustainable developer community is vital to unlocking government data for innovation. Yet, many obstacles still remain. Dan Melton, Chief Technology Officer at Code for America says, "We have seen early adopters and visionaries in government commit their organizations to enabling developers with access, resources and support because they believe in our mission. There is a real sense of excitement that we're on the cusp of a fundamental shift toward government as a platform. Yet, in order to build on this early success, we need to have a sustainable ecosystem with open and accessible data as its lifeblood."

The answers to the questions in this survey, which follows two prior surveys of public citizens and of internal government stakeholders, will provide the third and final body of insight for the Open Government Data Benchmark Study.

Open government thought leader Davis Eaves adds, "Governments need to engage developers from all walks of life whether it's a talented hobbyist or a professional non-profit or for-profit organization. Surprisingly, understanding what outside civic developers need often opens up possibilities for internal developers to innovate as well."

The findings from this study will be shared publicly with the Open Data community on November 2nd, 2010, in order to provide actionable insights into the state of Open Data as a strategic asset for an open, participatory and enabling government in a 21st century democracy.

The following advocacy organizations and Government 2.0 thought leaders have joined Socrata in conducting this important study:

The Sunlight Foundation

The Sunlight Foundation is a non-partisan non-profit that uses cutting-edge technology and ideas to make government transparent and accountable. Visit to learn more about Sunlight's projects, including and

Personal Democracy Forum

Personal Democracy Forum is a series of annual conferences held in New York City, Barcelona, and Santiago, Chile focused on how technology is changing politics, government, and civil society. The community of people who attend the conferences and who read the associated Personal Democracy Forum blogs are technologists, political leaders, social entrepreneurs, political activists, journalists, and academics, who are deeply engaged in the process of building new ways of looking at and solving problems in the 21st century. For more information please visit:

Code for America

Code for America helps city governments become more transparent, connected and efficient by connecting the talents of cutting-edge web developers with people who deliver city services and want to embrace the transformative power of the web to achieve more impact with less money. Inspired in part by Teach for America, CFA works with city officials and leading web development talent to identify and then develop web solutions that can then be shared and rolled out more broadly to cities across America. For more information please visit:


GovLoop is the "Facebook for Government" - the premier social network connecting over 30,000 government innovators from federal, state, and local government. The community is a great resource for all people in and around government, whether they are looking to connect with peers, collaborate on projects or discover career-building opportunities. GovLoop is the place to be for today's government leaders. For more information please visit:

David Eaves

David is a public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert. David is retained by several governments to advise on open government and open data, works with two spin-offs of the Harvard Negotiation Project and serves as a fellow at the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University. For more information about David, please visit:

About Socrata

Socrata, Inc. (Socrata), is the proven leader in Open Data Services, a category of Web solutions that enable federal, state, and local governments like Medicare, State of Washington and City of Seattle to dramatically improve the reach, usability and usefulness of public data while lowering the costs of serving large datasets and managing large-scale federated data catalogs.
Socrata develops, operates and licenses the most comprehensive set of commercial Open Data Services including:

  • Socrata Social Data Platform™: a cloud-based, turnkey solution that enables data publishers to provide a universally accessible and engaging data-consumption experience, delivered within configurable, branded datasites.
  • Socrata Social Data Player™: makes it easy to embed and propagate any Socrata-hosted dataset across the Web while maintaining source fidelity and full interactivity.
  • Socrata Open Data API (SODA): a freely-distributed, open, standards-based, non- proprietary application programming interface that makes every public Socrata-hosted dataset accessible to developers

Socrata is a privately-held company, based in Seattle, Washington, with venture financing from Frazier Technology Ventures and Morgenthaler Ventures. To learn more about Socrata, visit

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