- Using Open Data workshop
- Open Data Research meeting report
- US Digital Government Strategy
- Open GLAM Obstacles to Opening Up Content and Data in the Cultural Heritage Sector
- OpenCorporates global lookup service
- Brazilian Government open data portal
- US access2research petition
- Copyright in databases in Australia guide
- GovHack 2012 reminder
Using Open Data workshop
W3C and JRC-IPTS are running a workshop called ‘Using Open Data: policy modeling, citizen empowerment, data journalism’ as part of the EU-funded Crossover Project. It will be held on 19-20 June in Brussels. The workshop will explore how all the released data from local, national, and supranational governments is actually being used and how claims made about the potential of this open data can be made real. The main outcome expected is a greater understanding of how open data can be used to benefit a variety of audiences and what obstacles might be hindering exploitation of data.
The public is encouraged to participate by the means set out on the W3C website such as discussion lists. For example, anyone can participate in a W3C Community group or W3C Business Group. Information on these groups and how to sign up is available here.
Open Data Research meeting report
Open Data Research is a project being developed by the International Development Research Centre, World Wide Web Foundation, and the Berkman Center at Harvard. The Open Data Research (South) meeting recently brought together 20 policy-orientated academics to develop a research agenda designed to measure outcomes of open data programs and gather empirical evidence. The aim is to ensure that open government data programs foster openness, support citizens’ rights, and are inclusive.
The report from the meeting, entitled ‘Fostering a Critical Development Perspective on Open Government Data’, is now available.
Several other reports on these issues can be found in the special issue of the Journal of Community Informatics regarding community informatics and open government data. Articles include Some Observations on the Practice of Open Data as Opposed to Its Promise and Open Data: What the Citizens Really Want.
US Digital Government Strategy
The White House has released a strategy document, ‘Digital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People.’ The strategy complements other initiatives of the US Federal Government, such as major IT reform, which are aimed at building a government that works better for US citizens. The strategy incorporates input from cross-governmental working groups, government practitioners, the public, and private experts. The four principles under which objectives are grouped in the strategy are as follows: an information-centric approach, a shared platform approach, a customer-centric approach, and a platform of security and privacy.
Open GLAM Obstacles to Opening Up Content and Data in the Cultural Heritage Sector
An Open GLAM blog post by Sam Leon this week outlines the obstacles to opening up content and data in the cultural heritage sector based on feedback from institutions. The main obstacles are legal uncertainty, economic issues including the cost of digitisation, problems in controlling released content, and technical constraints. You can add information to the list of obstacles by commenting on the post or responding on the Open GLAM mailing list.
As the post states, other resources about this issue include the Europeana White Paper no. 2: The Problem of the Yellow Milkmaid and the JISC Guide to Open Bibliographic Data.
OpenCorporates global lookup service
OpenCorporates aims to build an openly licensed global database containing every corporate legal entity. Their recent blog post discusses their progress towards a global lookup service for corporate URI identifiers.
OpenCorporates also published in April the report into access to company data in Open Government Partnership countries, ‘The Closed World of Company Data.’ That report shows that Open Government Partnership countries generally allow little more than free online searching while some even charge for searches for companies and reiterates the importance of open access to company data.
Brazilian Government open data portal
The Brazilian Government has launched an open government data portal, which aims to open up government data and improve transparency and policy-making. As stated in Ankit Sharma’s blog post on the topic, the portal includes 78 datasets and 849 resources available for reuse.
US access2research petition
The US access2reseach petition requests that the White House mandate open access to publicly funded scientific research. The petition is now approaching its goal of 25 000 signatures within 30 days and if the petition reaches this goal, the White House must give an official response to the request.
Copyright in databases in Australia guide
A new short guide to copyright in databases under Australian law written by Natasha Dwyer and Professor Anne Fitzgerald is available here. It discusses when a factual compilation may be protected under copyright law in Australia with reference to recent cases concerning the originality test. This guide was written for inclusion in the Open Data Handbook.
GovHack 2012 reminder
GovHack 2012 is on this weekend 1-3 June in Sydney and Canberra. Teams can still register here. Data that can be reused and mashed up includes over 1 000 datasets available at www.data.gov.au as well as data from Geoscience Australia such as the National Elevation Data Framework and CSIRO biodiversity information from the Atlas of Living Australia.