Federal data accessible through Oregon’s government data website is an offering state officials believe is the first of its kind.

When Data.Oregon.gov was in development two years ago, the state and Socrata — the Seattle-based company that provides the website’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) open data platform — decided to put federal data related to Oregon on the state portal so users wouldn’t have to visit multiple websites.

Data.Oregon.gov offers 578 of the state’s data sets in addition to 5,249 data sets also available on Data.gov, the federal government’s website. The integration has been helped by the fact that Data.gov also runs on Socrata.

Oregon is the first state in the U.S. to provide federal government data on a state portal, said Sean McSpaden, the state’s deputy CIO. Furthermore, according to the National Association of State Chief Information Officers. Oregon was the first state to use the SaaS cloud platform to allow the websites users to “socialize, interact with and create new ways of viewing government datasets.”

Users can make personal accounts on the website and suggest new data sets that aren’t already posted on the site.

Locating data from the state and Data.gov portals can be cumbersome due to the abundance of data available, McSpaden said. “What we’ve done initially is establish the connection. Over time, our plan is to work with Socrata on filtering so that only Oregon-specific [federal] data is present or accessible on our site,” he said.

To differentiate between what’s Oregon data and what’s federal data, McSpaden said Socrata is using icons on Data.Oregon.gov to indicate who owns what.

The state made federal data available on Data.oregon.gov starting about six months ago. To make it happen McSpaden said the state worked with the U.S. General Services Administration — the custodial agency of Data.gov. Socrata did the extra work free of charge.

In the future, Oregon hopes to continue filtering the data so Data.Oregon.gov users can search more effectively for federal data sets — and how that information related to the state. In addition, the state is working to integrate more geospatial data so that it’s available directly to the public, McSpaden said.

Oregon is in the process of putting all state agencies onto its data portal. As of now, data from about two dozen of the state’s 100 agencies, boards and commissions is available on Data.Oregon.gov.

Sarah Rich, Staff Writer Sarah Rich  |  Staff Writer

In 2008, Sarah Rich graduated from California State University, Chico, where she majored in news-editorial journalism and minored in sociology. Since 2010, Sarah has written for Government Technology magazine and covers a spectrum of public-sector IT topics, including cloud computing, transparency, broadband, and other innovative projects and trends. She currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.