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Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 13

Welcome to the thirteenth Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter! For a plain text version for email, please see:

Microblog version:


OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION NEWSLETTER NO. 13


Contents:

  • Seasons Greetings from the Open Knowledge Foundation!
  • Where Does My Money Go? Prototype Launched
  • Data.gov.uk is using OKF’s CKAN software
  • Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010 Call for Proposals
  • OKF at Chaos Computer Congress in Berlin
  • After the Open Data and Semantic Web workshop
  • Documentation from the Public Domain Calculators meeting
  • Climate Change, Climate Sceptics and Open Data
  • New board and advisory board members
  • Macedonian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)
  • Other news in brief
  • Thanks to our volunteers!
  • Support the Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Further information

To support the OKF see: http://www.okfn.org/support


SEASONS GREETINGS FROM THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE FOUNDATION!

A big Merry Christmas from the Open Knowledge Foundation to all our
friends and supporters. In the festive spirit, we’ve put together a
few images, texts and audio recordings from various open knowledge
projects for your delectation. See you again in 2010!

WHERE DOES MY MONEY GO? PROTOTYPE LAUNCHED

In mid December we had the first full release of our Where Does My
Money Go? prototype. The project aims promote transparency and citizen
engagement through the analysis and visualisation of information about
UK public spending. A winner of the Cabinet Office’s Show Us A Better
Way competition, we were very pleased to publicly release the first
stage of this project. Where Does My Money Go? received coverage in
the BBC and the Guardian newspaper, as well as in national press in
Germany, Italy and Poland.

Tom Watson MP, commented on the release:

Where Does My Money Go represents another milestone in the UK’s transparency movement. We know that transparency changes individual and institutional behaviour and this new tool will have a big impact on the way the public sector is held to account by UK citizens.

As well as being a great public benefit, Where Does My Money Go is also an immensely complicated tool to code and design. I applaud the team behind the project for their commitment and hard work. They’re leading the way in transparency and making a difference for the country.

DATA.GOV.UK IS USING OKF’S CKAN SOFTWARE

The UK Government’s public sector data site launched in private beta
in October. Its using the Open Knowledge Foundation’s CKAN, an open
source registry for open data, as its backend for storing information
about public datasets. Over 1000 existing data sets from 7 departments
are all brought together for the first time in a reusable form.
There’s been quite a lot of excitement about this in the developer
community and in the media, and we’re very much looking forward to the
launch!

OPEN KNOWLEDGE CONFERENCE (OKCON) 2010 CALL FOR PROPOSALS

OKCon, now in its fifth year, is the interdisciplinary conference that
brings together individuals from across the open knowledge spectrum
for a day of presentations and workshops – ‘from sonnets to
statistics, genes to geodata’. The Call for Proposals for OKCon 2010
is now open. We welcome proposals on any aspect of creating,
publishing or reusing content or data that is open in accordance with
opendefinition.org.

OKF AT CHAOS COMPUTER CONGRESS IN BERLIN

Several of us from the Open Knowledge Foundation will be at the Chaos
Computer Congress in Berlin after Christmas. The 26th Chaos
Communication Congress takes place from December 27th to December 30th
2009. OKF Director Rufus Pollock will give a talk on ‘CKAN, apt-get
for the Debian of Data’. If you’re planning to attend, we’d love to
hear from you. Just send us a message.

AFTER THE OPEN DATA AND SEMANTIC WEB WORKSHOP

In November we had a workshop on Open Data and the Semantic Web in
London. There event brought together key people from the semantic web
community – including developers, academics, and representatives from
the UK Government, the BBC, and other public bodies. There were some
excellent talks, demos and discussions – and documentation is now
online! At the event we also launched a new Linking Open Data Group on
CKAN, our open source registry of open data.

As a result of discussions we had at the workshop, we now have two new
volunteer positions at the Open Knowledge Foundation:

  • An Editor for the Linking Open Data Group on CKAN to help keep the
    collection of datasets up to date with the latest offerings from the
    LOD/semantic web community!
  • An Linking Open Data/Open Data Commons Community Liason. Open Data
    Commons are looking for an member of the LOD/Semantic Web community to
    join their Open Data Commons Advisory Council with their role being to
    exchange information between the two communities.

If you’re interested in either of these positions – please get in touch!

DOCUMENTATION FROM THE PUBLIC DOMAIN CALCULATORS MEETING

In November we also had a meeting at the University of Cambridge about
building a set of Public Domain Calculators for countries across
Europe. The public domain calculators will help to determine whether
or not a given work is in copyright in a given jurisdiction.

We started out by reviewing existing work on the calculators. We then
put together first drafts of diagrams representing copyright law in
the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We also started work on a
tutorial to help others getting started in building public domain flow
diagrams for other countries. Finally we shot some footage for a
micro-short film introducing the project – so watch this space!

CLIMATE CHANGE, CLIMATE SCEPTICS AND OPEN DATA

To mark the UN Climate talks in Copenhagen, we launched a Climate Data
Group on CKAN – a collaboration between the Open Knowledge Foundation,
Clear Climate Code and the scientists at Real Climate. Environmental
data is an excellent case of where sharing is the key to scaling.
Research institutions must share data with each other in order to
build up as detailed a picture as possible of the climate,
incorporating as much evidence as possible from around the world. As
much of this research is publicly funded, and due to increasing public
interest, there are now strong arguments for extending this sharing
from sharing between research institutions to sharing to the public.

By better documenting existing open environmental data, we hope to
make some small contribution to laying the groundwork for the shared
picture about the state of our climate that we currently need!

NEW BOARD AND ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS!

In the past month several new faces have joined the OKF’s Board and
Advisory Board, namely:

  • Dr. Ian Brown of the Oxford Internet Institute,
  • Glyn Moody, a technology writer and expert on all things open,
  • Mark Surman, Executive Director at the Mozilla Foundation and one of
    the founders of Open Everything,

We hope you join us in giving them a big welcome!

MACEDONIAN TRANSLATION OF THE OPEN KNOWLEDGE DEFINITION (OKD)

There is now a Macedonian translation of the Open Knowledge Definition
(OKD) thanks to Ljube Babunski. The OKD provides a clear set of
standards for making content and data open – whether this is open
government data, open geospatial data or open data in science. If
you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if
you’ve already done so, please let us know!

OTHER NEWS IN BRIEF

THANKS TO OKF VOLUNTEERS!

As usual, a big thank you to our volunteers and to our extended
virtual community for all of their valuable input!

FURTHER INFORMATION

If you would like to know more about what we are up to, please take a
look at our active projects page.

If you are interested in participating in any of the OKF’s projects,
please see our participate page, or join the OKF discuss list.

For further news and comments, see our blog:

You can follow us on Identi.ca or Twitter at:

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. It is
incorporated in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee
with company number 5133759. The registered office is 37 Panton Street, Cambridge, CB2 1HL, UK.

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