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Recycle public sector data with the Big Clean on November 3rd 2012 in Prague

Public sector data lives a short life. Its life spans the life of applications that are hidden deep inside of public bodies. Tied to application-specific data formats, the data dies with the application that hosts it. During its lifetime the data stays within the public sector, serving a few predetermined purposes, while the ability to access and make effective use of the data is often restricted to civil servants only.

The Big Clean is a conference for those who want to change that. Its goal is to empower its participants with the skills to recycle public sector data, so that it is open to anyone who wants to put it to use. Its goal is to share the knowledge how to make the life of public sector data longer and richer.

Recycling public sector data makes its life-cycle longer. The Big Clean will focus on the techniques that prevent the data used in the public sector to be wasted. The public may acquire the data by the means of screen-scraping, improve its quality by data refining and use it as a source for data-driven stories that journalists and other can write. These are the key topics of the Big Clean:

  • Screen-scraping — the skill of distilling data out of web pages and other poorly structured sources
  • Data refining — the techniques of transforming raw data into usable data
  • Data-driven journalism — the craft of telling stories with data

The idea of the Big Clean builds on the past. It dates back to the Open Government Data Camp in the fall of 2010, when its concept, originally conceived by Antti Poikola, was shaped during one of the camp’s workshops. This year’s Big Clean follows up on the topics laid out by the previous Big Clean in 2011. You can read about the experiences from the Big Clean on the OKFN blog.

Unlike the Big Clean in 2011, this year’s Big Clean is meant to be a truly international event. Based on the popularity growth of the Big Clean’s core topics, we want to make it bigger and better. We invited leading experts and important voices to talk about the key aspects of recycling public sector data from the viewpoints of screen-scraping, data refining, and data-driven journalism. To keep the event open to a wider audience, the event’s language will be English and no admission fee will be charged.

Practical Details

Do you want to know more? Read up on the Big Clean on its web site or follow @BigCleanCZ on Twitter.

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