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Sean Montague
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I defended against a #zergrush on Google Search.

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The 10-year contract for the US recreation.gov site  is up for renewal, and the Department of the Interior had promised an RFP for a new contract that conformed with the open data mandate. If it were consistent with the Obama open data guidance, that RFP would require an API so that independent companies could provide alternate interfaces, just like travel sites provide booking interfaces for air travel, hotels, and more. 

Unfortunately, as drafted, the RFP allows the winning contractor to determine whether an API is feasible — meaning the company that benefits most from keeping all the reservations to itself  has the authority to do so. And the draft even removes data that is currently accessible — availability data — from public sharing. So, it’s a huge step backward, and completely out of step with the administration’s open data policy.

The founder of Hipcamp, Alyssa Ravasio, has written up some thoughts on how this RFP could be improved that I want to share with you. And after reading them, I’m hoping you will be moved to send comments asking the Department of the Interior to reconsider their RFP.

Comments on this draft are accepted via email to jasonmking@fs.fed.us through Wednesday October 22. Please send your comments.

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