European Open Data Summit

European Open Data Summit

Last week was the first [European Open Data Summit](http://wiki.okfn.org/ckan/eutransparency/participate) in Brussels (which we [blogged about here](http://blog.okfn.org/2009/04/21/european-open-data-inventory/)) organised by EU Transparency, who created [farmsubsidy.org](http://farmsubsidy.org/). The event brought together journalists, researchers, civic hackers, and representatives from European institutions for two days of documenting and building on documents and datasets from European institutions and member states.

At the press briefing, [Farm Subsidy](http://farmsubsidy.org/) announced their compilation and analysis of material regarding the Common Agricultural policy – which received coverage on the front page of the [International Herald Tribune](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/business/global/06smithfield.html?scp=1&sq=smithfield&st=cse) and in the [New York Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/business/global/08farm.html). The cleaned up data will be published in full in the near future. The event was attended by a representative of Vice-President of the European Commission, [Siim Kallas](http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/kallas/index_en.htm), who was today [honoured for his commitment to openness](http://ec.europa.eu/commission_barroso/kallas/news/news29_content_en.htm) by the [European Information Association](http://www.eia.org.uk/).

We had a presentation from Sara Hagemann of [Votewatch.eu](http://www.votewatch.eu/) which was launched today (see [here](http://www.theparliament.com/latestnews/news-article/newsarticle/mep-voting-records-put-under-the-spotlight/) and [here](http://euobserver.com/9/28105)). The new service is a bit like [Publicwhip](http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/) or mySociety’s [TheyWorkForYou](http://www.theyworkforyou.com/), aiming to provide:

> detailed information about parliamentarians’ voting records and formal political activities – from committee work to parliamentary reports – and includes easy-to-access information on the political coalitions that are formed around policy issues.

Unfortunately from their [disclaimer](http://votewatch.eu/static/disclaimer.php) it doesn’t look like their code or content is [open](http://opendefinition.org/) – but we hope they consider using an open license so others are free to build on their work with new features to help the public to understand and explore what goes on in the European Parliament.

I presented our work on the [European Open Data Inventory](http://wiki.okfn.org/ckan/eutransparency/), which currently includes nearly 150 packages. You can see these under the ‘eutransparency’ tag on [CKAN](http://www.ckan.net):

*

For each package we looked for legal information and whether or not items could be downloaded in bulk – providing direct download links where possible. Data includes everything from [budget information](http://ckan.net/tag/read/budget) to [statistics](http://ckan.net/tag/read/statistics) to [postcode databases](http://ckan.net/tag/read/postcode). Material that was identified as particularly ripe for re-use included:

* [EU Financial Transparency System](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-fts)
* “The names of the beneficiaries ofthe €10 billion or so of grants and other forms of support, awarded (in budgetary terms: “committed”) by the Commission every year..”
* [European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound)](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-eurofound)
* Data from the Quality of Life Surveys from 2005 and 2007
* [EU emission trading scheme (ETS) data](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-citl-ets)
* “…aggregated data by country, by sector and by year on the verified emissions, allowances and surrendered units of the more than 12000 installations covered by the EU emission trading scheme”
* [Eurostat](http://ckan.net/package/read/eurostat)
* Over 4000 datasets on a wide variety of topics.
* [European Pollutant Emission Register](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-eper)
* “… gives you access to information on the annual emissions of approx. 9,200 industrial facilities in the 15 Member States of the EU as well as Norway and Hungary mostly for the year 2001 and approx. 12,000 facilities in the 25 Member States of the EU and Norway for the year 2004. ”
* [European Environment Agency (EEA) – Core Set of Indicators (CSI) Datasets](http://ckan.net/package/read/eea-csi-data)
* “Indicators about Europe’s environment”

During the Summit we added several more packages and drilled down into some that were already listed. We explored material published on beneficiaries of the [EU Cohesion Fund](http://ckan.net/tag/read/eu-cohesion). Currently material is linked to via an image map of the member states and then regions within those states – so we used Julian Todd’s [Codewiki](http://www.goatchurch.org.uk/metroscope/codewiki/parsers/test.py) to collate the links into a single list. While some member states publish material as a single machine readable file ([France](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-cohesion-beneficiaries-fr) is a good example of this) – many publish information in PDF on a variety of websites for different regional authorities (such as the [UK](http://ckan.net/package/read/eu-cohesion-beneficiaries-uk)), which have to be scraped before the data can be readily re-used or compared to information from other member states.

If you know of any datasets from European institutions or member states, we hope you consider [adding them to CKAN](http://ckan.net/package/new)!

For more information you can see:

* [Analysis presented at today’s press conference in Brussels](http://www.farmsubsidy.org/allcountries/press_conference_materials/170509) – from Farm Subsidy
* [Write up from Wobbing.be](http://www.wobsite.be/index.php?page=4&detail=471)
* [Remarks spoken on behalf of Vice-President Siim Kallas (by Kristian Schmidt, Deputy Head of Cabinet)](http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=SPEECH/09/225&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en)
* Some [photos on Flickr](http://www.flickr.com/photos/jwyg/sets/72157617904744861/)
* [Blog post from Julian Todd](http://www.freesteel.co.uk/wpblog/2009/05/hungary-got-subsidy/)
* [Blog post from Jan Seifert](http://blog.jan-seifert.eu/?p=438)
* [Blog post from Bente Kalsnes](http://bentekalsnes.wordpress.com/2009/05/07/behind-the-sceenes-with-the-egov-geeks-at-farmsubsidy/)
* [Blog post from Jon Worth](http://www.jonworth.eu/its-time-for-germany-to-learn-some-lessons-on-transparency/)