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FCW : March 15, 2014
Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has asked Silicon Valley s business community for ideas on how the Obama administration can unlock the commercial potential of its gargantuan troves of climate and environmental data --- at no cost to the taxpayer. "Each day, [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminis- tration] collects and produc- es 20 terabytes of environ- mental data, from weather forecasts to climate change to ocean currents," Pritzker said while visiting startup accelerator Plug and Play in Sunnyvale, Calif., in Feb- ruary. "This is twice the data of the entire printed collection of the entire Library of Congress, yet only a small percentage of that information --- roughly 2 terabytes --- is made easily accessible to the public." Pritzker made her comments in the context of a listening tour during her rst visit to Silicon Valley as Com- merce secretary. She also planned to meet with executives from Google, Commerce secretary seeks input from Silicon Valley is the federal pay raise proposed in the president s scal 2015 budget 1% Trending Facebook and eBay, among others. Around the same time, NOAA issued a request for information seeking detailed ideas from the pri- vate sector on how companies and organizations could host NOAA s out- put in a standardized, usable format in the cloud while making it widely accessible to the public. The RFI also states that there must be no cost to the federal gov- ernment. "NOAA anticipates these partnerships will have the abil- ity to rapidly scale and surge, thus removing government infrastructure as a bottleneck to the pace of American innovation and enabling new value-added ser- vices and unimaginable integration into our daily lives," the RFI states. The problem with the current data structure at NOAA is that the informa- tion is not in a standardized format and resides on a variety of Web serv- ers, which makes it dif cult to parse and analyze on a large scale, accord- ing to the RFI. Enabling companies to make use of that information will likely spur economic growth. "Weather and cli- mate-sensitive industries account for roughly one-third of the GDP," Pritz- ker said. She also announced that the Census Bureau is adding new information to its Census Explorer mapping system. "Today, we re adding tech work- force and payroll data into those maps so that entrepreneurs and busi- ness leaders like you can see where tech workers are geographically con- centrated," she said. "You ll now be able to look at tech employment in regions, along with other factors like education, labor force participation and home-ownership rates." Pritzker, an entrepreneur herself, knows the value of government data. Twenty- ve years ago, she started a business developing high-end retire- ment communities. In press inter- views, she has said she relied on census data to gure out where she should locate the communities. --- Sarah Lai Stirland FCW CALENDAR Procurement ACT-IAC, the General Services Administration and the Department of Homeland Security team up to host Acquisition Excellence 2014. Speakers include NASA's Joanne Woytek, GSA's Mark Day and DOD's Katrina McFarland. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/AE2014 Big data Federal Trade Commissioner Julie Brill and Palantir Technologies' Ari Gesher are among the speakers at Structure Data, a GigaOm conference on business cases, privacy considerations and other big- data concerns. New York City. http://is.gd/ahoqut 3/20 3/19-20 Geodata State of the Map U.S. will feature the State Department's Josh Campbell, the U.S. Geological Survey's Elizabeth McCartney, and the National Park Service's Mamata Akella and Jim McAndrew. Washington, D.C. http://is.gd/epoxam 4/12-13 March 15, 2014 FCW.COM 3 Penny Pritzker
March 30, 2014