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The tech press today is chatting about Data.gov, the newly launched website from the federal government. It makes available raw data collected by government agencies as diverse as the National Weather Service to the FBI.
I spent the last half-hour trying to find pull some OC-related nugget of knowledge from the website's catalog, but it's not as easy as you'd think. When Uncle Sam says data, he means data: Many of the downloadable documents spit out raw numbers generated from enormous statistical surveys.
My first big breakthrough: Unearthing a map that confirms, once an for all, that there are no copper smelters in Orange County.
The idea behind the site is that the universe of analysts and programmers and database pioneers that caused, say, the iPhone app-making platform to be so successful will start channeling government data into useful tools for the public. So here's a challenge to Navel Gazing readers. Send us some kooky OC statistical trivia culled from data.gov... and we'll publish it! Or else I'll spend my next week trying to make something useful of this stuff all by myself.