Bloomberg Government analysts put together a prototype through the Census Bureau’s Opportunity Project to better assess where volunteers should direct litter-clearing efforts. Using Census Bureau and Forest Service information, the team brought a data-driven approach to their work. Their experience reveals how individuals with data expertise can identify a real-world problem that data can help solve, navigate across agencies to find and obtain the most useful data, and work within resource constraints to provide a tool to help address the problem.
This case study details the development of the renewable energy applications built on the Open Energy Information (OpenEI) platform, sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and implemented by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
The Census Bureau team produced a new interactive mapping tool in early 2018 called the Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM), an application that resulted in wider use of authoritative Census Bureau data, not only to improve the Census Bureau’s own operational efficiency, but also for use by tribal, state, and local governments, national and local partners, and other community groups. Other agency data practitioners can learn from the Census Bureau team’s experience communicating technical needs to non-technical executives, building analysis tools with widely-used software, and integrating efforts with stakeholders and users.
It is a well-kept secret that the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau were the original two federal agencies to build the first national digital database of roads and boundaries in the United States. The agencies joined forces to develop homegrown computer software and state of the art technologies to convert existing USGS topographic maps of the nation to the points, lines, and polygons that fueled early GIS. Today, the USGS and Census Bureau have a longstanding goal to leverage and use roads and authoritative boundary datasets.