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Legislative Data Challenge: Making US Laws Machine Readable

07.19.2013
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Win $5k challenge by helping the Library of Congress make US laws machine readable...

NEXTGOV - CONTEST AIMS TO MAKE PROPOSED U.S. LAWS MACHINE READABLE WORLDWIDE

The Library of Congress is crowdsourcing an initiative to make it easier for software programs around the world to read, understand and categorize federal legislation.

The library is offering a $5,000 prize to the Challenge.gov contestant whose entry best fits U.S. legislation into Akoma Ntoso, an internationally-developed framework that aims to be the standard for presenting legislative data in machine-readable formats.

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News from the Library of Congress-

Library of Congress Announces Legislative Data Challenge

The Library of Congress, at the request of the U.S. House of Representatives, is utilizing the Challenge.gov platform to advance the exchange of legislative information worldwide.

Akoma Ntoso (www.akomantoso.org) is a framework used in many other countries around the world to annotate and format electronic versions of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents. The challenge, "Markup of U.S. Legislation in Akoma Ntoso", invites competitors to apply the Akoma Ntoso schema to U.S. federal legislative information so it can be more broadly accessed and analyzed alongside legislative documents created elsewhere.

"The Library works closely with the Congress and related agencies to make America’s federal legislative record more widely available through Congress.gov," said Robert Dizard Jr., Deputy Librarian of Congress. "This challenge will build on that accessibility goal by advancing the possibilities related to international frameworks. American legislators, analysts, and the public can benefit from international standards that reflect U.S. legislation, thereby allowing better comparative legislative information. We are initiating this effort as people around the world are working to share legislative information across nations and other jurisdictions."

Utilizing U.S. bill text, challenge participants would attempt to markup the text into electronic versions using the Akoma Ntoso framework. Participants will be expected to identify any issues that appear when applying the Akoma Ntoso schema to U.S. bill text, recommend solutions to resolve those issues, and provide information on the tools used to create the markup.

The challenge, which opened today and closes Oct. 31, 2013, is extended to participants 18 years of age or older. For the official rules and more detailed information about the challenge or to enter a submission, visit akoma-ntoso-markup.challenge.gov.

The competition’s three judges are experts in either U.S. legislation XML standards or the Akoma Ntoso legal schema. The Library of Congress will announce the winner of the $5,000 prize on Dec. 19, 2013.

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AKOMA NTOSO

Akoma Ntoso (“linked hearts” in Akan language of West Africa) defines a “machine readable” set of simple technology-neutral electronic representations (in XML format) of parliamentary, legislative and judiciary documents.

Akoma Ntoso  XML schemas make “visible” the structure and semantic components of relevant digital documents so as to support the creation of high value information services to deliver the power of ICTs to increase efficiency and accountability in the parliamentary, legislative and judiciary contexts.

Akoma Ntoso is an initiative of "Africa i-Parliament Action Plan" (www.parliaments.info) a programme of UN/DESA.

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I'm trying really hard to be supportive of this and not be snarky (like at least with this, something will read the laws congress passes... OH darn, see what I mean? ;)

Published at DZone with permission of Greg Duncan, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Andrew McVeigh replied on Fri, 2013/07/19 - 6:32am

I can't help the snarkiness either...

<snark>

The US government spends billions on so many failed IT attempts, and they want someone to translate their documents into XML for $5k. unbelievable...

At least Netflix had the good grace to offer 1m.

</snark>

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