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Announcing the Commerce Data Usability Project

The U.S. Department of Commerce collects, processes and disseminates data on a range of issues that impact our nation. Whether it's data on the economy, the environment, or technology, data is critical in fulfilling the Department's mission of creating the conditions for economic growth and opportunity. It is this data that provides insight, drives innovation, and transforms our lives. The U.S. Department of Commerce has become known as "America's Data Agency" due to the tens of thousands of datasets including satellite imagery, material standards and demographic surveys.

But having a host of data and ensuring that this data is open and accessible to all are two separate issues. The latter, expanding open data access, is now a key pillar of the Commerce Department's mission. It was this focus on enhancing open data that led to the creation of the Commerce Data Service (CDS).

Our mission at the Commerce Data Service is to enable more people to use data from across the department in innovative ways and across multiple fields. The first step is to help users find Commerce data and to offer guidance on using this data in the right context, providing useful tools, to help tell interesting stories.

As part of this effort, we are excited to launch the Commerce Data Usability Project (CDUP), a community-driven public-private partnership to help data scientists, programmers and other users to access open knowledge from our open data. Bringing together contributing partners from the private sector, academia and government, CDUP will offer tutorials to illustrate how to use high value datasets from a variety of perspectives.

Image of Commerce Data Usability Project Homepage

With the launch of the CDUP, we are making four initial tutorials available that leverage weather, cybersecurity, satellite and demographic datasets:

Collage of Commerce Data Usability Projects

Over the coming months, we will share more tutorials and guided tours that offer additional examples for using departmental data. A number of private sector companies, including MapBox, Earth Genome, Microsoft, and Zillow, will share tutorials that highlight how they also use Commerce data to bolster their operations. As we build the CDUP, we encourage anyone interested in contributing tutorials to contact us to learn how.

Whether you're a student, a developer or an entrepreneur interested in Commerce data, our tutorials can get you off to a running start by walking you through each phase of the data discovery process, from initial data touch through preprocessing, analysis and visualization.

Join us in exploring the Commerce data lake and learn how you can leverage this free and open data to unlock the possible.


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