Feb 15, 2017 - Politics & Policy

Hackers are rushing to archive government science data


Wired has a look at eclectic groups of coders organizing hackathons around the country to archive science data from publicly available government datasets.

The problem: There's a worry that the Trump administration might direct huge dumps of environmental and scientific data. And it's already started — for example, coders discovered that some of NASA's atmospheric carbon dioxide datasets were empty.

The work: It could be as simple as tagging websites to be saved for posterity in the Internet Archive or as difficult as building algorithms to manage downloading gigabytes worth of datasets from the DOE.

The goal: Compiling the data and monitoring changes or deletions on government websites is a huge task, so automation is the key. Ideally, the groups can compile a huge network of volunteers in every state working 24/7 to code and archive data as quickly as possible.

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