Veterans Affairs Website Now Offers Open Data

The Department of Veterans Affairs has rolled out a new addition to its website as part of the federal government’s over-arching Open Data Initiatives effort. Visitors to the VA site now have access to APIs, tools, and resources to develop applications using the VA’s open data.

Among other data, the new section features a description of all county, state, and federal VA facilities nationwide that include medical centers and mobile clinics; services for homeless vets, including health care, mental health, housing, and job assistance; and a list of benefits, services, and resources for family caregivers of veterans. The 171 VA datasets currently available to the public reside on, a central hub for open government data. Anyone can use the datasets to create Web or mobile apps, visualizations, and other services that benefit veterans.

Driving the open-data effort at the VA is Marina Martin, a former senior advisor to federal chief technology officer Todd Park. Martin was appointedas the agency’s CTO earlier this year and has extensive background in open data as a Web developer and business efficiency expert. She had worked on Project Open Data, a collection of code, tools, and case studies to help federal agencies adopt the Open Data Policy, which the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy released in May.

The Open Data Policy, together with President Obama’s executive order, also issued in May, urged government agencies to make previously unavailable data accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers, and the public in open, machine-readable formats. Agencies now are required to create an internal index of their data, make a public list of their public data, and list all data that can be made public. They also have access to an open online repository of tools and best practices to assist them in integrating the policy into their operations.

“Data is a valuable national asset that should be open and available to the public, to entrepreneurs, to scientists, and others — instead of being trapped in closed government systems,” Nick Sinai, federal deputy CTO in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, wrote in a blog post on in late October. Open data is helping the federal government to be more efficient, effective, data driven, and transparent. We’ve seen the power of open government data in action—and it pays off.”

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana VA Mortgages ( nor NEO Home Loans is affiliated with any government agencies, including the VA.

1 Comment

  1. juke dfs
    Jun 20, 2015

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