Photo credit:  Tony Arias, TechWire.net

Photo credit: Tony Arias, TechWire.net

California CIO Carlos Ramos — in a presentation at the Digital Access Summit in Sacramento last week — said that the state is developing an open data portal, along with a number of other initiatives.

“We’re putting hundreds and hundreds of services online”, said Ramos, citing taxes, car registration, licensing, childcare services and university registration among online offerings. In addition, Ramos also announced a drought website where residents can check reservoir levels and find drought-related information.

Pretty soon,” said Ramos, “we’re going to be releasing an open data website, where we’re going to make other sorts of government data available for free, online for folks to use. The cool thing about that is that it’s going to leverage cloud technologies.”

An open data portal has “live” data and carries a machine-readable application programming interface so that it can be easily transported, updated and kept current digitally which facilitates application development and innovation. San Francisco and other municipalities have pioneered open data portals, and Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom — formerly mayor of San Francisco — last year challenged the state to develop such a portal and improve transparency.