June 1st, 2010
12:00 PM ET
13 years ago

Companies capitalize on 'open government'

Washington (CNN) – Ronald Reagan is the father of Foursquare. At least that's what O'Reilly Media CEO and founder Tim O'Reilly said in his keynote presentation at last week's Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington.

In 1983, President Reagan signed an executive order making global positioning system technology, known today as GPS, available for public use.

That decision ultimately enabled new location-based social networks such as Foursquare or Gowalla to use GPS technology and change the way friends interact with each other. Reagan's opening of the GPS data to citizens was an early example of "open government."

O'Reilly co-produced the Gov 2.0 Expo, which brought together government officials, venture capitalists, large technology companies, entrepreneurs and individuals to discuss the latest trends in how the government is using transformative technologies to foster further innovation.

"Government 2.0" is defined, according to O'Reilly, as "making use of web 2.0 technologies to transform government" to be more transparent and efficient. Web 2.0 technologies include social media networks and "cloud computing."

The Obama administration's early commitment to openness with government information has made Gov 2.0 an emerging business sector in America.

"Data is available to anyone who wants to do something with it," said Mark Drapeau, the Director of Innovative Social Engagement at Microsoft and a co-chair of the Expo. "The government does not have all the ideas and skills, but citizens have all the opportunities due to new and open technologies."

Filed under: Government 2.0 • Social Media • Social Networking