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President Barack Obama receives the Presidential Daily Briefing from Robert Cardillo, Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Intelligence Integration, in the Oval Office, Jan. 31, 2012. Part of the briefing was done using a tablet computer. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama has developed tools to improve the transparency of government data for citizen developers.

"I want us to ask ourselves every day, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people's lives."
President Barack Obama

Open Government

Digital Government
On May 23, 2012, the President issued a directive entitled “Building a 21st Century Digital Government”. It launched a comprehensive Digital Government Strategy (pdf/html5) aimed at delivering better digital services to the American people. The strategy builds on several initiatives, including Executive Order 13571, Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, and Executive Order 13576, Delivering an Efficient, Effective, and Accountable Government.

As part of President Obama's pledge for greater governmental transparency, was launched in 2009 with 47 datasets of government information that was previously unavailable to the public. The motivation was that this data belongs to the American people, who should not only have theinformation, but have the ability to use it. It was hoped that by tapping the collective knowledge of the American people, we could leverage this government asset to deliver more for millions of people. Today, there are more than 375,000 datasets available, which have been downloaded 2.9 million times. More than 1,250 governments apps have been developed using this data – 103 of them are for mobile usage. Citizens have used the data to develop 236 apps.

Open Data

We’re making government data freely available in machine-readable formats so that innovators and entrepreneurs can turn them into new products, services, and jobs. The feeds below provide access to data and content produced by the White House.


  • We the People API
    The We the People API currently provides read-only access to data within We the People, the White House petitions system. This API provides access to data on all petitions that passed the 150 signature threshold required to become publicly-available on the site. A bulk download of the same dataset is also available.
  • White House Web API Standards (GitHub Repo)
    This document provides guidelines and examples for White House Web APIs, encouraging consistency, maintainability, and best practices across applications. Pull requests welcome.


Open Source

We believe in using and contributing back to open source software as a way of making it easier for the government to share data, improve tools and services, and return value to taxpayers. Below are a few of the projects that the White House has contributed back to the open source community.


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