Blog

Who Will Shape the Future of the Data Society?

This piece was originally posted on the blog of the International Open Data Conference 2016, which takes place in Madrid, 6-7th October 2016. The contemporary world is held together by a vast and overlapping fabric of information systems. These information systems do not only tell us things about the world around us. They also play […]

Progress report: OpenTrials – linking clinical trial data

Since last year Open Knowledge has been developing OpenTrials, an open, online database linking the publicly available data and documents on all clinical trials conducted – something that has been talked about for many years but never created. The project is funded by The Laura and John Arnold Foundation and directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, an internationally known […]

Introducing ContentMine

If you are interested in Open Access and Open Data and haven’t hear about ContentMine yet then you are missing out! Graham Steel, ContentMine Community Manager, has written a post for us introducing this exciting new tool. ContentMine aims to liberate 100,000,000 facts from the scientific literature. We believe that “The Right to Read is […]

Become a Friend of The Public Domain Review

Open Knowledge project The Public Domain Review launches a major new fundraising drive, encouraging people to become Friends of the site by giving an annual donation. For those not yet in the know, The Public Domain Review is a project dedicated to protecting and celebrating, in all its richness and variety, the cultural public domain. […]

Walkthrough: My experience building Australia’s Regional Open Data Census

On International Open Data Day (21 Feb 2015) Australia’s Regional Open Data Census launched. This is the story of the trials and tribulations in launching the census. Getting Started Like many open data initiatives come to realise, after filling up a portal with lots of open data, there is a need for quality as well […]

Building a Free & Open World-wide Address Dataset

Finding your way through the world is a basic need, so it makes sense that satellite navigation systems like GPS and Galileo are among open data’s most-cited success stories. But as wonderful as those systems are, they’re often more useful to robots than people. Humans usually navigate by addresses, not coordinates. That means that address […]

The Role of Open Data in Choosing Neighborhood

To what extent is it important to get familiar with our environment? If we think about how the world surrounding us has changed throughout the years, it is not so unreasonable that, while walking to work, we might encounter some new little shops, restaurants, or gas stations we had never noticed before. Likewise, how many […]

Call for action: Help improve the open knowledge directory

This is a guest blog post from Open Steps, an independent blog aggregating worldwide information around Open Cultures in form of articles, videos and other resources. Its aim is to document open knowledge (OK) related projects and keep track on the status of such initiatives worldwide. From organisations using Open Data, promoting Open Source technologies, […]

New Open Access Button launches as part of Open Access Week

This post is part of our Open Access Week blog series to highlight great work in Open Access communities around the world. Push Button. Get Research. Make Progress. If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you too are a student, researcher, innovator, an everyday citizen with questions to answer, or just a friend to […]

OpenCorporates invites you to join the launch of #FlashHacks

This is a guest blog post by OpenCorporates. OpenCorporates is now 3 years old. Looking back our first blog on the Open Knowledge (Foundation) blog about reaching 20 million companies, it is heartening to see that we have come a long way. We now have over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide making us […]

Open Steps: Documenting open knowledge in South America

This is the fourth and (so far) final travel-guest blog post from Open Steps, an initiative by two young Berliners Alex (a software developer from Spain) and Margo (a graduate in European politics from France) who decided to leave their daily lives and travel around the world for one year to meet people and organizations […]

The 2013 Open Reader – Stories and articles inspired by OKCon2013

This is a guest post from Andreas Von Gunten, founder of the Creative Commons-based publishing house Buch & Netz and editor of the brand new “The 2013 Open Read – Stories and articles inspired by OKCon2013”. We all remember very well the fantastic OKCon / Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva last year. There were so […]

Two and a half months researching Open Data in (a part of) Asia

This is the third guest blog post from Open Steps, an initiative by two young Berliners Alex (a software developer from Spain) and Margo (a graduate in European politics from France) who decided to leave their daily lives and travel around the world for one year to meet people and organizations working actively in open […]

Open Steps: 3 months documenting Open Knowledge in India

This is a guest blog post from Open Steps, an initiative by two young Berliners Alex (a software developer from Spain) and Margo (a graduate in European politics from France) who decided to leave their daily lives and travel around the world for one year to meet people and organizations working actively in open knowledge […]

Open Assets in Argentina

The following guest post is by Florencia Coelho, from Argentinian daily La Nacion. In Argentina, where a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has yet to be signed, LA NACION and three transparency NGOs – Poder Ciudadano, ACIJ (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia) and Fundación Directorio Legislativo joined efforts to produce the first […]

Even after earthquakes, we need Open

The following guest post is by Chistian Quintili from Open Ricostruzione. Open Ricostruzione is an Italian civic project focused on people engagement after the earthquake which damaged cities of Emilia-Romagna in 2012 Open Ricostruzione is pleased to have a little corner in the OKF network. Our project, in short, is a website to monitor public […]

Publish from ScraperWiki to CKAN

The following post is by Aidan McGuire, co-founder of ScraperWiki. It is cross-posted on the ScraperWiki blog. ScraperWiki are looking for open data activists to try out our new “Open your data” tool. Since its first launch ScraperWiki has worked closely with the Open Data community. Today we’re building on this commitment by pre-announcing the […]

Principles for Open Contracting

The following guest post is by the Open Contracting Partnership, announcing the release of their Principles for Open Contracting. It is cross-posted from their website. Over the past year, the Open Contracting Partnership has facilitated a global consultation process to create a set of global principles that can serve as a guide for all of […]

Opening the weather, part 2

See also “Opening the weather, part 1” I began paragliding a few years ago. It’s maybe the most weather-dependent sport in the world. We often fly in mountainous areas, very close to the ground. We need to know about local effects like thermal updrafts, clouds growth, mountain-breeze, foehn wind and all sorts of other micro […]

Opening the weather, part 1

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight A cow with its tail to the west makes the weather best Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in Humans have always wanted to know what the weather has in store for them, and have come up with a whole load of ways to predict what’s coming; some […]

We need open carbon emissions data now!

Last week the average concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached 400 parts per million, a level which is said to be unprecedented in human history. Leading scientists and policy makers say that we should be aiming for no more than 350 parts per million to avoid catastrophic runaway climate change. But what’s in […]

Announcing CKAN 2.0

CKAN is a powerful, open source, open data management platform, used by governments and organizations around the world to make large collections of data accessible, including the UK and US government open data portals. Today we are very happy and excited to announce the final release of CKAN 2.0. This is the most significant piece […]

LobbyPlag – Who is really writing the law?

Sometimes, the band continues to play because the audience is enjoying the music so much. This is pretty much what happened to Lobbyplag. Our plan was to drive home a single point that outraged us: Some Members of the European Parliament were taking law proposals verbatim from lobbyists and trying to slip them into the […]

The Biggest Failure of Open Data in Government

Many open data initiatives forget to include the basic facts about the government itself In the past few years we’ve seen a huge shift in the way governments publish information. More and more governments are proactively releasing information as raw open data rather than simply putting out reports or responding to requests for information. This […]

An Open Knowledge Platform on Building Energy Performance to Mitigate Climate Change

Buildings account for more than 30% of final energy use and energy-related carbon emissions in the world today. This sector has the potential to play a crucial role in mitigating the global challenge of climate change. However, the building industry is a local industry and the sector is fragmented at all levels, from planning to […]

Document Freedom Day 2013

What is document freedom? Have you ever been stuck with some data that you have not been able to open because it was in a format that needs some specific kind of software to open it? The same thing happens tens of thousands of times each day. Can you imagine how much knowledge exchange doesn’t […]

Opening Product Data for a more responsible world

Data on the products we buy is rarely viewed as something to be opened. But in fact, the international standards that make it possible for products to be traded across borders can be used by consumers for their own ends – to help improve information-sharing and choice across the planet. There is currently no public […]

Keeping track of the European Parliament

The following guest post is by Stef. ###European Union legislation: In whose interest? Brussels is a globally important policy-making center. The European single market is advanced and huge, with industry interests competing with national politics and NGO values. Policy negotiations at this level attract powerful interests. The current Data Protection Regulation, for example, brings in […]

The Open Data Census – Tracking the State of Open Data Around the World

Recent years have seen a huge expansion in open data activity around the world. This is very welcome, but at the same time it is now increasingly difficult to assess if, and where, progress is being made. To address this, we started the Open Data Census in order to track the state of open data […]

Version Variation Visualisation

In 2010, I had a long paper about the history of German translations of Othello rejected by a prestigious journal. The reviewer wrote: “The Shakespeare Industry doesn’t need more information about world Shakespeare. We need navigational aids.” About the same time, David Berry turned me on to Digital Humanities. I got a team together (credits) […]

My Environment App Competition

Natural England, in partnership with the Environment Agency, is launching a new web-portal service called My Environment. To celebrate its launch, My Environment is running an Apps competition. From the announcement: Could you create an app that will appeal to mobile device users and help them to engage with nature? The app that best helps […]

Content as Data: Towards Open Digital Publishing with Substance

I’m the maintainer of Substance, an open software platform for collaborative composition and sharing of digital documents. In this little essay, I’d like to sketch the challenges that modern publishing systems face today. I’d also like to come up with ideas for how the complexity can be handled with the help of specialized user-driven software. […]

US Congress data opened

Exciting news on open legislative data from the US. Eric Mills (from the Sunlight Foundation), Josh Tauberer (of GovTrack.us) and Derek Willis have been beavering away on a public domain scraper and dataset from THOMAS.gov, the official source for legislative information for the US Congress. They’ve just hit a key milestone – the incorporation of […]

Amendments Liberated: new features for Parltrack

The following guest post is by Stef. The European Parliament is one of the most notoriously impenetrable institutions that governs our lives. Shining a light into the murky corridors of Brussels and Strasbourg becomes increasingly vital as the reach of the Parliament grows. Opening up the EU to greater citizen scrutiny will help to improve […]

ForestWatchers.net A citizen project for forest monitoring

Tropical forests provide habitat for most of the world’s known terrestrial plant and animal species. These ecosystems are under increasing threat worldwide. During the last few decades, several million hectares of humid tropical forest were lost each year. Despite the proliferation of new remote sensing technologies, information about the status of world’s forest is limited […]

Visualising Europe’s Languages

Jonathan Van Parys of Where’s My Villo? fame got in touch to tell us about a nice little mini-project he’s just launched to coincide with the European Day of Languages, which is today: Launching on the 2012 European Day of Languages, languageknowledge.eu is a new website that visualizes language knowledge in Europe based on the […]

OpenDataMx: Opening Up the Government, one Bit at a Time

On August 24-25, another edition of OpenDataMx took place: a 36-hour public data hackathon for the development of creative technological solutions to questions raised by the civil society. This time the event was hosted by the University of Communication in Mexico City. The popularity of the event has grown: a total of 63 participants including […]

OpenDataMx: Open Data Hackathon in Mexico City

  This weekend Mexico City will host OpenDataMx, a Hackathon of public open data lasting 36 hours, during which participants will develop creative technical solutions to solve various civil society problems. Programmers, designers, members of civil society organizations (CSOs) and government officials are invited to participate in OpenDataMx and collaborate in web and mobile solutions […]

Announcing: Linked Open Vocabularies (LOV), enabling the vocabulary commons

We are delighted to announce that Linked Open Vocabularies is now being hosted on Open Knowledge Foundation servers and is now officially an Open Knowledge Foundation project. ##LOV Project in 5 points LOV is about vocabularies (aka. metadata element sets or ontologies) in OWL / RDFS used to describe linked data. LOV provides a single-stop […]

Laying Foundations for the School of Data

Recently, a small team gathered in Berlin for the School of Data kick-off sprint. After three days fueled by coffee, felt-tip pens and a multi-coloured array of post-it-notes, the sprint left us with a true appreciation of the amazing community we are working with, and an exciting new structure to underpin the School of Data. […]

Introducing PyBossa – the open-source micro-tasking platform

For a while now our network has been working on applications, tools and platforms for crowd-sourcing and micro-tasking. At the end of last year, we posted about a cute little app developed at a hackday called the Data Digitizer that was being used to transcribe Brazillian budgetary data. In recent months we’ve been working closely […]

Wikidata: a new open data repository for the world

This month Wikidata, a new project of Wikimedia Germany, finally started. The ambitious goal of the project is to create an open data repository for the world’s knowledge that can be accessed and edited by everyone, humans and machines alike. Wikidata will be a place where Wikipedia’s editors and others will be able to collect […]

Can Open Data help conflict prevention?

We’re in the planning stages of a conflict prevention project called PAX and open data perspectives have fed into our thinking in its processes and structures. PAX aims to provide early warnings of emerging violent conflict, through an online collaborative system of data sharing and analysis. We’re still in the early stages of exploration and […]

Open Plaques: Community Powered Heritage

This is a shortened version of a post from the OpenGLAM blog, where you can keep up-to-date with goings-on around open data in heritage and arts. Historical plaques by their very nature are objects in the public domain, so creating a platform to collect them with the public – and for the collected data to […]

Share Your African Knowledge

The following guest post is by Iolanda Pensa, the scientific director at WikiAfrica and Share You Knowledge. What about African knowledge? Where is it? Who has it? And what is African knowledge anyway? Defining “African knowledge” is so difficult that it probably takes less time to share it. Talking about African knowledge is to talk […]

Prizewinning bid in ‘Inventare il Futuro’ Competition

By James Harriman-Smith and Primavera De Filippi On the 11th July, the Open Literature (now Open Humanities) mailing list got an email about a competition being run by the University of Bologna called ‘Inventare il Futuro’ or ‘Inventing the Future’. On the 28th October, Hvaing submitted an application on behalf of the OKF, we got […]