Data can be retrieved using pre-existing tools (e.g., widgets that you can insert into your website, like these from the CDC), or it can be downloaded "raw"in a variety of machine-readable, platform-independent formats:
- XML (for the Web)
- CSV/Text (MS Excel, Open Office Calc, iWork Numbers, etc.)
- KML/KMZ (Google Earth)
- ESRI (ArcGIS software)
Got a cool project that uses government datasets? Let us know about it in the comments.