smithsonian museumIn 2013, President Obama signed an executive order, releasing government data for public and corporate use. Just this May, the White House released an Open Data Action plan that targets specific types of data with their proposed dates for completion. Within this document is an outline that now includes the Digital Collection of Art from the Smithsonian Institute:

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s entire digitized collection will be opened to software developers to make educational apps and tools. Today, even museum curators do not have easily accessible information about their art collections.  This information will soon be available to everyone.    

Developers should expect to see the completed, accessible database from the Smithsonian by early next year since most of their completion date is set for December 2014:

 

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Collection

The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum Collection plans to make all digitized collections metadata public domain, and digitized collection images without copyright or other restriction publicly available at the highest available resolution for non-commercial, educational use.

Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Collections

The Smithsonian Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery plans to make all digitized collections metadata public domain, and digitized collection images without copyright or other restriction publicly available at the highest available resolution for non-commercial, educational use.

Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection API

After a successful limited release of an API of the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection and hackathon that resulted in a number of working prototypes, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is planning a staged release, from open metadata, like artist or medium, to an open API of digitized collections images without copyright or other restriction available for non-commercial, educational use.

 

The Open Data Action Plan also outlines other initiatives that will be extremely helpful for developers. For example, information about campsites and recreational areas on public lands can be useful for camping or recreational apps for weekend adventurers. Data from the National Health Interview Study can be useful for companies like Fitbit, whose wearable device helps Americans stay fit. There are plenty of others, and if you are a developer or are interested in government data, you can view the document here.

 

Photo Credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum Pedro Szekely