The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, April – June 2012
It’s been another hectic few months here at the Open Knowledge Foundation! We’re getting really excited about this year’s inaugral OKFest in Helsinki (more later), but there’s so much going on across the world of openness that it’s hard to see when we’re going to find time to pack our suitcases! From the launch of the new data journalism handbook to the exciting new developments our Labs projects like Annotator and Europe’s Energy, as well as our growing and thriving global community, we’re almost overwhelmed by the number of directions openness is taking. To try and get some oversight we’ve been undertaking two big studies of openness around the world, the Open Data Census and an OpenSpending investigation into fiscal mapping projects – read more below. You can keep up to date by following us on twitter – @okfn – or checking out the blog.
If you fancy joining the hectic but super-exciting world of the OKF, check out all the recent posts which have come up over on the jobs page.
The OKF is a not-for-profit organisation – all our community services are provided openly and for free. We rely on the generosity of our institutional and individual supporters – and we need your help now more than ever. Please visit http://okfn.org/support/ to find out more about becoming an Open Knowledge Foundation supporter.
(Some of) what we’ve been up to…
OKFest, September 17-22, Helsinki
The Open Knowledge Festival is a full week of participatory sessions, keynote lectures, workshops, hackathons and satellite events in Helsinki, organised by diverse communities from over 40 nations across the globe.
The 2012 theme of OKFestival is Open Knowledge in Action, looking at the value that can be generated by opening up knowledge, the ecosystems of organisations that can benefit from such sharing, and the impacts that transparency can have in our societies. Thirteen guest-organised topic streams have now been announced, and the call for proposals is now closed with tonnes of exciting stuff lined up. Keep your ears to the ground (or perhaps more effectively, your eyes on the blog) for all the details!
You can still get early bird tickets here – but hurry! Can’t wait to see you there!
Stop press: You have until 20th July to make submissions for the Open Data Academic Research stream – see here for more.
Data-Driven Journalism Handbook
It was so exciting to see the Data-Driven Journalism handbook go live last month. The product of a six month collaboration between the OKF and the European Journalism Centre (EJC), with contributions from all the top names in data journalism, the handbook was unveiled at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia. As Tim Berners-Lee said: “Data journalism is the future. Journalists need to be data-savvy” We hope that the handbook will help journalists to sniff out the stories, and make them make sense to citizens around the world.
The super sleuths over on the OpenSpending team have had a number of breakthroughs over the past few months. We uploaded the massive data release from Privacy International back in February, shining a light on the normally underground world of the international market in surveillance technology. Our Technology for Transparent and Accontable Publc Finance report was published last month, surveying intitiatives around the world working to map the money – you can read it here. And we were very excited that our OpenSpending.Mobi app was nominated in the Rio Cities Summit, along with the CityData app from our Open Economics project (not least because it meant we got a little trip to sunny Rio!).
Psst – check out these fab new visualisations, using the IATI data on international aid!
School of Data
We’ve been laying some solid foundations for the School of Data, which aims “to provide online training for data ‘wrangling’ skills – that is, the ability to find, retrieve, clean, manipulate, analyze and represent different types of data.” Following a recent coffee-fuelled 3-day gathering in Berlin, we’ve developed a framework for the school. We expect to launch the first iteration of the school in Autumn 2012. Find out more about how to get involved here.
As announced in the last newsletter, we’re proud to be providing two Panton fellowships, providing support to scientists who promote open access to data. The two fellows have now been selected – we’re well chuffed to have Sophie Kershaw and Ross Mounce in the posts! Read all about them here
We’re also excited to announce the launch of the Panton Discussions – podcasts from our conversations around open science with some very interesting folk. Check out the catalogue so far here, and look out for more coming soon!
And if you’ve got some scientific research that you want to share with the world, check out this useful introduction to using CKAN for open science publishing.
Open Data Census
Open data has been exploding over the past couple of years, and we want to try and get some comprehension of where we’re at on a global level. To that end, we’ve launched the Open Data Census, seeking info on the “open” status of datasets of different types around the world. We need your help!! You can find nd out more on the blog or visit http://opengovernmentdata.org/census/submit/ to contribute.
Highlights from some of our other projects:
- TEXTUS is moving forward in leaps and bounds thanks to a fantastic openBiblio event earlier this month – check out the new features and the plans here.
- A new feature for CKAN, the Data Store is fantastic news for data wranglers, allowing storage of structured data with powerful querying.
- Europe’s Energy won a silver award at the Malofiej awards for innovative infographics.
- The Public Domain Review has released some new posters and added new filter options to make searching the treasure trove even easier.
- We’ve brought out shiny new releases of Annotator and AnnoteateIt, our code and platform for web annotation.
Ideas and Musings:
In case you missed them, here’s some food for thought from the blog:
- Peter Murray-Rust explains that the right to read is the right to mine, and lays out his draft content mining declaration.
- Find out why John Wilbanks thinks open data isn’t enough.
- Jonathan Gray explores what data can and cannot do.
- And Rufus Pollock gives a talk at the Lift conference on “Open Data, how we got here and where we’re going”
Dates for your diaries:
- Open Science Hackday, 7th July, in London and online.
- Open Legislative Data Conference, 6-7 July, Paris.
And remember to check out the Meet Ups page to find out about OKF stuff happening near you!