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Tag Archive: Open Knowledge Foundation

G8 countries must work harder to open up essential data

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions of the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.

Open data and transparency will be one of the three main topics at the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland next week. Today transparency campaigners released preview results from the global Open Data Census showing that G8 countries still have a long way to go in releasing essential information as open data.

The Open Data Census is run by the Open Knowledge Foundation, with the help of a network of local data experts around the globe. It measures the openness of data in ten key areas including those essential for transparency and accountability (such as election results and government spending data), and those vital for providing critical services to citizens (such as maps and transport timetables). Full results for the 2013 Open Data Census will be released later this year.

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The Open Data Census Needs Your Help

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An increasing number of governments have now committed to open up data but how much data is actually being released? What kind of data is this and in what format? Which countries, regions and cities are the most advanced and which are lagging in relation to open data?

The Open Data Census has been developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN) to assist in answering these questions and assess the state of open data around the world. It collects and presents information on the evolution and current state of open data around the world. The Census is a community-based effort initiated and coordinated by the OKFN but with participation from many different groups or individuals. The Census was launched in April 2012 to coincide with the OGP meeting in Brasilia.

We want to help our friends at OKFN  improve the coverage of the Open Data Census (http://census.okfn.org/) and verify existing contributions to ensure information is still up to date and reliable. We need your help in doing this!

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Your Guideline to Open Data Guidelines Pt. 1: The History

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Last summer, Sunlight released a series of Open Data Guidelines in reaction to a surge of municipal open data policy making. In anticipation of revamping these policies this summer (to add fresh context, ideas, and exemplary language) and in reaction to a recent surge in open data policy collaboration as evidenced by the interactive Project Open Data and the newly public (beta) Open Data Stack Exchange (or maybe more accurately in reaction to the Meta Open Data Stack Exchange...), we wanted to provide a roadmap to the world open data resources and recommendations that are available to put these resources in context of their evolution over time–a guideline to Open Data Guidelines, if you will. The first step in navigating the open data guidelines out there is to examine the chronology of how they surfaced.

The timeline below provides a landscape of current open data policy guidelines, guidance, and principles that exist and showcases the chronology in which they have manifested, each guideline often directly building off of (or crafted in reaction to) its predecessor. Looking at these guidelines in context exposes the pragmatic and technical evolutions in thought that have occurred under the banner of open data pursuit: from the foundational drive to define what information is legally available (through FOIA and other public records laws) to the trailblazing concept of proactive disclosure (where "public" access means "online" access) to establishing the qualities that make data more accessible and usable (emphasizing structured, bulk data, unique IDs, and APIs). The dialogue for discussing open data policy guidelines has itself evolved from the gathering of smaller open government groups of: Open House Project, Open Government Working Group, the Open Government Initiative, and early collaborative efforts such as the Open Gov Handbook, to the editable Project Open Data and the Q&A Open Data Stack Exchange.

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OpenGov Voices: Data.gov relaunches on open source platform CKAN

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed by the guest blogger and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not reflect the opinions profileof the Sunlight Foundation or any employee thereof. Sunlight Foundation is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information within the guest blog.

Irina Bolychevsky is the Product Owner of CKAN -- data management system that makes data accessible – by providing tools to streamline publishing, sharing, finding and using data. (@CKANproject) is the leading open source data management platform, at the Open Knowledge Foundation (@OKFN). She led and managed the new release of data.gov from the CKAN team and previously managed the relaunch of data.gov.uk. Follow her on twitter: @shevski.

A huge milestone was reached yesterday with the relaunch of the U.S. government data portal on a single, open source platform. A joint collaboration between a small UK team at the Open Knowledge Foundation and data.gov, this was an ambitious project to reduce the numerous previous catalogs and repositories into one central portal for serious re-use of government open data.

Catalog.data.gov brings together both geospatial as well as “raw” (tabular or text) data under a single roof in a consistent standardised beautiful interface that can be searched, faceted by fomat, publisher, community or keyword as well as filtered by location.

Users can quickly and easily find relevant or related data (no longer a metadata XML file!), download it directly from the search results page or preview spatial map layers or CSV files in the browser.

Of course, there is still work to do, especially about improving the data quality, but nonetheless a vast amount of effort went into metadata cleanup, hiding records with no working links and adding a flexible distributed approval workflow to allow review of harvested datasets pre-publication.

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