Let the Sunshine in

Public=Online is the the rallying cry during this year’s Sunshine Week, an annual event to highlight the importance of open government and the freedom of information. The week is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors, and many editorial boards have echoed the thoughts of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“...government information ought to be made available to the public as quickly as possible, with a minimum of rigmarole and in the easiest, most accessible way possible--which these days means via the Internet.”
We agree--and what better way to celebrate Sunshine Week than with leading thinkers on government, media and citizen engagement on all sides of the political spectrum who feel the same? Yesterday at our Google D.C. office, the Sunlight Foundation announced its Public=Online campaign.

It’s exciting to see growing support for transparency and to see the progress that’s been made in the last year alone. Every day, through sites like Data.gov and projects like Open Congress, OMB Watch and our Public Data Explorer, more data is available online.

But there’s still a gap between having access to government data and easily understanding what it means. To help fill this gap, Google has partnered with the Sunlight Foundation in its Design for America contest to make government data more comprehensible to the public.

You can learn more and get started on the contest homepage. There’s room for all kinds of folks to participate, and we can’t think of a more fun way to keep the spirit of Sunshine Week going.