The Open Dialog Coalition's Open Public Integrated Architecture
AdvocateHOPE is collaborating with the Open Dialog Coalition as a founding member. The Open Dialog Coalition is creating a system by which all stakeholders in the Recovery Act can independently mark information they post on the Internet can be aggregated and appear on various graphical representations such as timelines. There will be various facets to filter the data to allow for analysis of the effects of the Recovery Act. By using an open set of simple standards to allow stakeholders to publish themselves usable data that can be easily integrated with others data, for the first time crowd sourcing can be automated without centralization. In addition, using tools such as the MIT Simile Project's Timeline and other applications, pulling simple syndicated feeds with straightforward tags/metadata can be automated.
This is very similar to the Connected Conversations architecture that led to the Topic Code, where by using URLs for representing identifiable things, people can independently allow their web site pages, blog postings, wiki pages, microblog postings, RSS feeds to be easily aggregated for virtual conversations. In Open Dialog, that aggregation is used for powerful analysis of data from around the country.
For example, health care organizations will be able to report on their own sites about their use of grants provided under the Recovery Act. By adding some links to the documents and making the Coalition aware of the new documents, the system would allow the viewer to choose to see health care grant success by a series of facets such as by state, amount of money, etc. inside of a timeline, scatter graph, map, and other data visualization tools.
This open architecture using simple standards will allow for more diverse reporting than the federal government might expect and would allow them to use the same tools or others to view the data or even aggregate the same information for internal analysis. No participant would ever need to use proprietary standards or be forced to publish to a centralized site. Nor would the standards force the use of API's (application programming interfaces), which effectively should mean that by just adding links into their documents all the work that normally would programming could be done by non-technical participants.
AdvocateHOPE is providing some assistance to the Open Dialog Coalition by creating a set of non-authoritative citations for the Recovery Act's sections (since their does not appear to be electronic citations for individual sections within the public law: see Reliable Electronic Citations). These electronic citations will be an important facet for those Open Dialog Coalition participants to use to allow filtering data by specific parts of the Recovery Act (participants will be urged to also use an authoritative citation for the whole law: still waiting for GPO to publish the PDF or text version). Additionally, there will be a way for those that may not have their own Internet sites to publish their data or comments on the same site with the alternative citations.