Like Google, also Amazon is creating vast repositories of public data pulled from data sources managed by government. The last example is the addition of the U.S. Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) shapefiles, covering American states, counties, districts, places, and areas. Amazon has already posted other data in past, such as the list of all federal contracts taken from USAspending.gov.
As more of these examples emerge, it becomes clear that governments need to act fast to make their public data easily available, to make sure that people and businesses do not become too dependent on what vendors like Google or Amazon will be doing. On the other hand, the genie may already be out of the bottle, and while agencies agree on formats and priorities, the wealth of public data scraped from web sites and extracted from public data bases by Google, Amazon and others will keep increasing.
Remember the search box on government portals? How many people use it as opposed to googling what they are looking for? History may repeat itself here
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