Smithsonian art collection coming soon to an app near you

smithsonian aam

Looking to visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum without actually going to the Smithsonian? You might soon be able to do so from the comfort of your own smartphone.

On Friday, the White House announced in a blog post that the Smithsonian American Art Museum would soon open up its digitized collection to developers so they can build it into educational apps. According to the White House, “even museum curators do not have easily accessible information about their art collections. This information will soon be available to everyone.”

According to the US Government’s Open Data Action Plan (PDF), the Museum will release information on works in the collection such as the artist or medium used, and will release images “without copyright or other restriction [...] for non- commercial, educational use.” It plans to complete the process by December. 

This newly released information is the latest step in fulfilling an executive order that “made open and machine-readable data the new default for government information.” In addition to art gallery information, the US Government’s Small Business Administration will update its database of small business suppliers to make it more developer-friendly.

The Food and Drug Administration will do likewise with data on adverse drug effects—information currently only available in a quarterly report.

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