COLUMBIA, Mo. – Despite a dramatic increase of available information due to the prevalence of the Internet, many important government records and data are still not readily accessible for citizens and journalists to view online. In an effort to improve the transparency in state and local government and encourage the use of data by citizens, journalists and businesses, David Herzog, a 2010-11 Donald W. Reynolds Fellow, has created Open Missouri, a website that helps make Missouri government data more accessible for those who wish to access it.
Open Missouri has located more than 135 of Missouri state government databases that do not exist anywhere on the Internet. In its next phase the site will make it easy for users to make requests for the information included in these databases. Herzog says one of the most important aspects to the Open Missouri project is that it simply raises awareness that the information exists.