New Commerce Department tool opens data on income inequality

(Commerce Department)

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Fresh off launching the platform for the White House’s community open data project, the Census Bureau has released another tool to let people craft their own measure of income inequality.

MIDAAS — Making Income Data Accessible as a Service — is an API, website and developer toolkit that gives the public the ability to explore income data from the Census Bureau and accelerates developers’ ability to integrate government data in their projects.

The project, which lives at midaas.commerce.gov, launched Friday in an open alpha. The public can’t use the tools yet, but can get more information about how they can use the data in the future.

“The goal is to help Americans of all backgrounds better understand the complicated and complex issues surrounding income distribution in America,” said Commerce Department Deputy Chief Data Officer Tyrone Grandison. “MIDAAS will evolve into a one stop shop and a resource for people that want alternate pathways out.”

In addition to the Census Bureau, members of the Commerce Data Service and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows team worked on MIDAAS.

Agencies under the Commerce Department have been releasing a number of open data tools this week. On Monday, the Census Bureau was the lead on White House’s Opportunity Project, a new open data portal that melds tools from various federal and local government agencies to help communities find ways to improve their residents’ lives.

The Commerce Department is accepting feedback on MIDAAS via GitHub. A beta version will be available in a month, and the final version will come out in May.

Contact the reporter on this story via email at greg.otto@fedscoop.com, or follow him on Twitter at @gregotto. His OTR and PGP info can be found here. Subscribe to the Daily Scoop for stories like this in your inbox every morning by signing up here: fdscp.com/sign-me-on.

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Census Bureau, Commerce Department, data analytics, Departments, open data, Presidential Innovation Fellows, Tech
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