Tools for the Citizen Scientist
One year ago this month the National Aeronautics and Space Administration released its Open Government Plan, in response to the White House directive issued in December 2009, which required federal agencies to take immediate, specific steps to achieve key milestones in transparency, participation, and collaboration. This directive hardwired accountability into executive agencies, instructing each to open its doors and data to the American people. More information about the White House directive can be found at: www.whitehouse.gov/open
For over 50 years, NASA has nurtured and developed a rich culture of openness, fostering collaboration among scientists and sharing with the public at large the excitement surrounding scientific discoveries, aeronautics, and space. From developing open source software and the largest federal cloud computing platform to creating new incentivized challenges for talented and interested members of the public, we’re striving to incorporate open government into every facet of our mission. To celebrate the anniversary, NASA is providing a detailed assessment and infographic marking its progress toward more than 150 milestones on 19 projects and 3 flagship initiatives. The infographic includes a status of all projects, as well as new information about NASA’s FOIA process, released data sets, space act agreements and use of social media. The full infographic can be viewed and downloaded here: http://www.nasa.gov/open/infographic.html, or take a look below to see a interactive illustration of the data:
The infographic demonstrates NASA’s commitment to make the data available – and make it useful. The visualization process balances design *and* function to communicate more effectively to a wider audience. “It’s vital that as a worldwide resource NASA is ready to communicate with the most innovative methods available. Infographics represent an opportunity to be both engaging and insightful. By combining NASA’s data and a story about how it affects us all, we thought this infographic should convey the sensibility at NASA that their work isn’t just about the high-tech but also about the everyday. From the big city to the calm desert, every part of the country has the power to make something great,” explains Dennis Bonilla, Design and Multimedia Manager who led the infographic design team. ”We expect to see great things from Citizen Scientists, and we’re ready to help equip them for that journey.”
Open Government isn’t just a project or a certain group of people who enjoy working in a different way – it’s a commitment by NASA to do its work differently. Open Government is a statement that we value increasing transparency, collaboration, and participation in every place possible across the agency, and that we acknowledge that our technology, policy, and culture will be better for having done so. Open Government is our belief that our agency - and our government - is better when we are fully engaged in it, talking about it and contributing to it.
What would you like to see on our next NASA Open Government infographic?