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Tag Archive: EPA

Surge of EPA data in


Late afternoon yesterday, went from 81 feeds to 261, and the EPA overtook the USGS for the agency providing the most data. The EPA added 180 new data files-- the Toxics Release Inventory data for each state and territory as well as for federal agencies for 2005, 2006 and 2007.

This data is interesting stuff-- dozens of CSV files (still in .exe compressed archives, ick) that speak to where corporations and government are managing toxic chemicals. There's lots of interesting data in there. But it isn't just a clear win-- this data is poorly documented byte delimited text files. While we do have some headers provided to get us started, but no real description of the actual files.

If you do end up working with this data for your [Apps for America 2: The Challenge] entry, make some notes on how you parsed the data and let's create our own documentation for this data source.

Here's a breakdown of the data in as of today:

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Redesigning the Government: EPA


small image from EPA comp

Continuing with our redesigning the government project, we have moved on to the EPA. Many of you might ask why we would want to redesign the EPA – it looks like it's been redesigned recently and seems to have a lot of new and up-to-date features. I think what happens with a lot of redesigns is that people start thinking of all the fun things they can add to a site, rather than thinking of the underlying problems and finding good solutions to fit those problems. Good design and good websites aren't just made up of pretty pictures and Web 2.0 features like gradients and podcasts. A good site has structure and organization, and is easy for users to navigate. I think the EPA has started down a good path, and I want to show them that by emphasizing the right things on a page, it makes the content much more accessible and would take their good site and make it a great site.

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EPA’s Wiki


It's a welcome change of pace to be able to say something nice about the federal government. Federal Computer Week reports on the Environmental Protection Agency's use of the Web 2.0 style to help local citizens in Washington State working to clean up Puget Sound.

Last November, EPA held its 2007 Environmental Information Symposium where they activated its Puget Sound Information Challenge wiki. Participants were asked to supply information that could help local groups working to restore the Sound. The Web site was up over the two days of the conference, and received 18,000 page views, 175 entries with everything from documents to decision support systems and a significant volume of e-mail, the magazine reports.

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