The Sad State of Open Data

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While the wealth of applications built on top of open data is ever increasing, a fundamental problem persists in  surfing open data websites. In short you could say that the entire process is nothing short of  a sad affair.

For example, take a complete listing of every farmer’s market in the United States, that includes the types of produce one can typically find there, or demographics on the Martial Status of Active Military Personnel. The variety is simply astounding, and while these are only two examples, there is just so much data out there. However getting to those bits of good data can be quite a pain.

People who love data see how gleaming insight from even static sets can help us hack everything from public policy to our daily commute. Unfortunately in order for developers to build these tools it’s not enough for data to be open and public, it also has to be accessible and frequently it isn’t. Continue reading

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Welcoming you to Exversion from a highway in Georgia.

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Headed for SXSW we left New York on Sunday at approximately 8 am. Since then, we’ve seen the White House, stopped in Raleigh to catch the back end of a Hackathon and give a wholly unprepared pitch to a few entrepreneurs and investors after only conceiving the idea a few early hours before.

What is this madness you may think? Easy. It’s Startup Bus and we’re Exversion, a new startup founded on the road that’s launching the world’s first ever social collaboration platform for data.

What’s this mean? Well for the many of us who work with data, and more frequently than not, open data, we all run into the same problem. Spend hours diving in through countless resources, only to download a dataset that fits the project you want to work on, but find that it’s either totally unusable, or, that you’ll spend the equivalent amount of time in excel or google refine getting the data to do what you actually want to convey. Continue reading