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Feds look to developers to improve big data, open source projects

Kenneth Corbin | March 17, 2015
Technology officials look to enrich the value of large datasets by collaborating on open source projects with developer community.

"There's a lot of really interesting things going on in the big data space," said Abe Usher, CTO at the HumanGeo. "It's incredibly exciting that the government has a leadership position in making data [available]."

At the NGA, the big data and open source initiatives Rasmussen described entail a closer collaboration with established developer efforts outside of the government. For instance, the agency has arranged with Google to make its GeoWave library a subject for the search giant's annual Summer of Code program.

In the same spirit, Rasmussen has been seeking to find the broadest possible audience for the NGA's applications and open source projects. So while the agency maintains an in-house app store, it has also been pushing content like the ASAM (Anti-Shipping Activity Messages) application, which aggregates reports on piracy and other crimes against ships, out to Apple's iTunes and Google Play.

"You can't crowd-source something without a crowd," Rasmussen said. "This is the hardest thing about open source. The coding is hard, but it's the marketing. You've got to get the message out."


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