The public relations hook of the administration's open data push ties into its economic potential. Todd Park, the federal chief technology officer and one of the most enthusiastic evangelists for open data, claims that unlocking the global positioning system for commercial use helped generate $100 billion in economic value. At a recent conference, he told a luncheon audience that the government is "sitting on a treasure trove of economic opportunity with the data we hold."
It's been exactly one year since the release of the Digital Government Strategy that included open data provisions, and four years since the launch of the Data.gov portal run by the General Services Administration. Data.gov started with 47 datasets, and now there are about 400,000.