The White House needs a few good data scientists to help its climate change campaign. Instead of creating all of the doomsday scenarios itself, the White House is opening up government data so that researchers can create their own simulations and also help the cities prepare for the impacts.
“The Obama Administration is today issuing a call to America’s top private-sector innovators to leverage open government data resources and other datasets to build tools that will make America’s communities more resilient to climate change and to forge cross-sector partnerships to make those tools as useful as possible,” explains a White House fact sheet on the website.
Data on everything from coastal flooding to tsunami activity has been put in a developer-friendly new web portal on Data.gov. To incentivize work on this somewhat obscure topic, it’s paired the new data with a host of prize-based competitions, including the “Coastal Flooding Innovation Challenge,” to “help people understand their exposure to coastal hazards and their increased vulnerability due to population increase and sea level rise.”
The move is a continuation of the open-data-happy policies of Chief Technology Officer Todd Park, who explained his approach to me back in 2012:
We are enabling entrepreneurs and innovators across all walks of life to tap into fields of data sitting in the vaults of government in machine-readable form. They can, as they did with weather data, as they did with GPS data, create all kinds of services and products that we can only even barely imagine.
Developers and data nerds can check out all of the new tools here.