Thomas Jefferson once wrote that when you share an idea with someone, they receive that idea without taking it away from you, just, "as he who lights his taper (candle) at mine, receives light without darkening me."
Almost two hundred years later, that theory of openness is transforming how we think about government services.
In May, President Obama launched an initiative to build a 21st century platform for government. It requires federal agencies to make key services available to mobile users and to release important government data in ways that will allow citizen developers and entrepreneurs to turn them into new products, services, and jobs. "I want us to ask ourselves every day," he said, "how are we using technology to make a real difference in people's lives."
Here at the White House, we've been working to meet that expectation. Last week we expanded our mobile program and, now, we're launching a one-stop resource for those who want to take advantage of the tools provided by the White House technology program. It's called /Developers and includes a breakdown of all of the open data and open source software that we've released to date.
If you're a software developer, we hope you'll take a look at the data and applications that we've released. Crack them open, see how they work. Spot a problem? We'd love for you to help fix it. Have an idea for a new way to use that piece of data? We'd love to know about that, too. Join us on GitHub or drop a line via our contact form or @WHWeb on Twitter.