Announced today, the World Bank is openly releasing all of their indicator data. Previously, the World Bank had provided an API, but the full data downloads is a welcome move in the realization that access to raw data can enable many possible projects and analyses that a simple interface cannot.
The World Bank's Open Data initiative is intended to provide all users with access to World Bank data. The data catalog is a listing of available World Bank data sources.
It is clear that an organization as wide reaching and impactful as the Bank has a vast amount of data across many organizations and groups. Pulling these data together, normalizing, and sharing them is a noble, and well done, effort.
Besides just the data catalog, the World Bank has provided an excellent inspection by country and indicator for actually moving through the data without having to be a developer. For example, the Central African Republic demonstrates the depth of information on economics, social welfare, health, business development, and the environment.
I also believe I see the indelible fingerprint of the excellent work of Development Seed on the design, and layout of a complex catalog of data, indicators, and communication. Having also worked with the World Bank on several projects, it's interesting to see a large, multinational organization embracing innovative tools, open data, and information sharing in the pursuit of global development. There are also some more great announcements coming in the future.
And don't forget to get your World Bank Data iPhone Application.