Global Open Data Index 2015 – Uruguay Insight

This post was written by Daniel Carranza from DataUY Uruguay has made headlines in the news lately. Mostly due to our unconventional former president José “Pepe” Mujica, and initiatives such as legalized abortion, regulated marijuana market and egalitarian marriage. It’s not the first time that our small country brings up innovative ideas ,as with divorce […]

Matchmakers in Action – Help Wanted

Do you have a skill to share? Want to host an online discussion/debate about an Open Knowledge-like topic? Have an idea for a skillshare or discussion, but need help making it happen? Some of you hosted or attended sessions at OKFest. Why not host one online? At OKFestival, we had an Open Matchmaker wall to […]


Everyone is a storyteller! Just one week away from the big Open Brain Party of OKFestival. We need all the storytelling help you can muster. Trust us, from photos to videos to art to blogs to tweets – share away. The Storytelling team is a community-driven project. We will work with all participants to decide […]

The “right to be forgotten” – a threat to Transparency and Open Data?

A recent European Court Justice (ECJ) ruling may affect how privacy, transparency, and open data interact and has a direct relation with growing discussion about the “right to be forgotten”. Roughly summarized the ruling finds that organisations which publish information may be obliged to “take down” and remove information when an individual requests that removal […]

Open Data Privacy

“yes, the government should open other people’s data” Traditionally, the Open Knowledge Foundation has worked to open non-personal data – things like publicly-funded research papers, government spending data, and so on. Where individual data was a part of some shared dataset, such as a census, great amounts of thought and effort had gone in to […]

9 models to scale open data – past, present and future

The possibilities of open data have been enthralling us for 10 years. I came to it through wanting to make Government really usable, to build sites like TheyWorkForYou. But that excitement isn’t what matters in the end. What matters is scale – which organisational structures will make this movement explode? Whether by creating self-growing volunteer […]

Git (and Github) for Data

The ability to do “version control” for data is a big deal. There are various options but one of the most attractive is to reuse existing tools for doing this with code, like git and mercurial. This post describes a simple “data pattern” for storing and versioning data using those tools which we’ve been using […]

Follow the Money, Follow the Data

The following guest post from Martin Tisné was first published on his personal blog. Some thoughts which I hope may be helpful in advance of the ‘follow the data‘ hack day this week-end: The open data sector has quite successfully focused on socially-relevant information: fixing potholes a la, adopting fire hydrants a la […]

Open Knowledge: much more than open data

We’ve often used “open knowledge” simply as a broad term to cover any kind of open data or content from statistics to sonnets, and more. However, there is another deeper, and far more important, reason why we are the “Open Knowledge” Foundation and not, for example, the “Open Data” Foundation. It’s because knowledge is something […]

What Do We Mean By Small Data

Earlier this week we published the first in a series of posts on small data: “Forget Big Data, Small Data is the Real Revolution”. In this second in the series, we discuss small data in more detail providing a rough definition and drawing parallels with the history of computers and software. What do we mean […]

Frictionless Data: making it radically easier to get stuff done with data

Frictionless Data is now in alpha at – and we’d like you to get involved. Our mission is to make it radically easier to make data used and useful – our immediate goal is make it as simple as possible to get the data you want into the tool of your choice. This isn’t […]

Forget Big Data, Small Data is the Real Revolution

This is the first in a series of posts. The next posts in the series is What Do We Mean by Small Data There is a lot of talk about “big data” at the moment. For example, this is Big Data Week, which will see events about big data in dozens of cities around the […]

Open Data & My Data

The Open Knowledge Foundation believes in open knowledge: not just that some data is open and freely usable, but that it is useful – accessible, understandable, meaningful, and able to help someone solve a real problem. A lot of the data which could help me improve my life is data about me – “MyData” if […]

4 Ideas for Defending the Open Data Commons

The following post was written by Simon Chignard, author of L’Open data: Comprendre l’ouverture des données publiques. The post was originally posted on Simon’s blog following the launch of the Open Knowlege Foundation French national group, and has been translated by Samuel Goëta from OKFN France. ##Open data and the commons: an old story? There […]

Open Data and Privacy Concerns in Biomedical Research

Privacy has long been the focus of debates about how to use and disseminate data taken from human subjects during clinical research. The increasing push to share data freely and openly within biomedicine poses a challenge to the idea of private individual information, whose dissemination patients and researchers can control and monitor. In order to […]

Is Open Access Open?

This post is cross-posted from Peter’s blog I’m going to ask questions. They are questions I don’t know the answers to – maybe I am ignorant in which case please comment with information, or maybe the “Open Access Community” doesn’t know the answers. Warning: I shall probably be criticized by some of the mainstream “OA […]

The future of Open Access

At the start of this week, which is Open Access week, we heard from Martin Weller about some of his fears for the future of Open Access. We’ve been collecting a few opinions from around the OKFN on the future of OA. Here’s a selection. What do you think? ###Ross Mounce: The future of publicly-funded […]

The great Open Access swindle

This week is Open Access week, and we’ll be running a few pieces mulling over where Open Access has got to, and where it’s going. Here Martin Weller discusses some reservations… The Cunning Thief, by Chocarne-Moreau. PD Just to be clear from the outset, I am an advocate for open access, and long ago took […]

Video: Julia Kloiber on Open Data

Here’s Julia Kloiber from OKFN-DE’s Stadt-Land-Code project, talking at the OKFest about the need for more citizen apps in Germany, the need for greater openness, and how to persuade companies to open up.

Managing Expectations

We’re big on promoting open information: be that sonnets, statistics, genes or geodata. We’re big on it because we think it has the potential to improve the welfare of peoples around the world in a variety of ways, from making governments more accountable to improving research on cancer. At the same time I think it […]

Science, data and the public

Earlier this week the European Commission released a package of documents related to their nascent policies on access to scientific information. What will these mean for science and for public engagement with science? New open access policies have been in the headlines quite a bit recently, as politicians and policy makers respond to the wave […]

Why Open Data isn’t enough.

The debate around data in our community has been densely concentrated around the question of openness. That’s not surprising. Words like “free” and “open” have dominated the conversations in the digital commons for most of its existence, mainly because most of the digital commons has been centered on copyrightable works. Software, text, photos, videos, music […]

Talk at LIFT 2012: Open Data – How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going

I’m pleased to announce that the video of my talk, Open Data: How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going, that I gave a few weeks ago at the LIFT 2012 conference has now been published: Over the past few years, there has an explosive growth in open data with significant uptake in government, research […]

From CMS to DMS: C is for Content, D is for Data

This is a joint blog post by Francis Irving, CEO of ScraperWiki, and Rufus Pollock, Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. It’s being cross-posted to both blogs. Content Management Systems, remember those? It’s 1994. You haven’t heard of the World Wide Web yet. Your brother goes to a top university. He once overheard some geeks […]

Dreams of a Unified Text

The following is a blog post by Rufus Pollock co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. I have a dream, one which I’ve had for a while. In this dream I’m able to explore, seamlessly, online, every text ever written. With the click of a button I can go from Pynchon to Proust, from Musil to […]

Season’s Greetings from the Open Knowledge Foundation

‘Tis the season to be jolly. This year when preparing your Christmas feast why not take some inspiration from Mrs Beeton and her legendary 1861 Book of Household Management…   Words of wisdom from Mrs Beeton… “In December, the principal household duty lies in preparing for the creature comforts of those near and dear to […]

Ideas for

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It is cross-posted from For several years I’ve been meaning to start, which would be a collection of open resources related to philosophy for use in teaching and research. There would be a focus on the history of philosophy, […]

Carla’s Open Data Collage

Check out this great collage from 9 year old Carla, sent over to us by her Dad, Martin Kaltenböck! This makes Carla our youngest Open Data Ambassador yet ;-) Martin says: I had a chat with my daughter Carla (9 years old) after the Warsaw Camp 2011 about the idea of Open Government Data, as […]

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 […]

A translation fund for public domain texts

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. It was originally posted on his blog. If a text is widely known and published more than a century and a half ago, chances are that it will be freely available on the web to read and download. Every person with […]

Scaling the Open Data Ecosystem

This is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. As reported elsewhere I’ve been fortunate enough to have my Shuttleworth Fellowship renewed for the coming year so that I can continue and extend my work at the Open Knowledge Foundation on developing the open data ecosystem. The following text and video […]

Dear Internet, we need better image archives

The following guest post is by Nina Paley, cartoonist and blogger. Nina is a member of the OKF’s Working Group on the Public Domain. Dear Internet, You know what should be really easy to find online? Good quality, Public Domain vintage illustrations. You know, things like this: I found this on Flickr, where someone claims […]

Open Data: a means to an end, not an end in itself

The following is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. In almost all the talks I give about open data or content, I aim, at least once, to make the statement along the lines: “Openness for data and content is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end” […]

Data-Driven Journalism In A Box: what do you think needs to be in it?

The following post is from Liliana Bounegru (European Journalism Centre), Jonathan Gray (Open Knowledge Foundation), and Michelle Thorne (Mozilla), who are planning a Data-Driven Journalism in a Box session at the Mozilla Festival 2011, which we recently blogged about here. This is cross posted at and on the Mozilla Festival Blog. We’re currently organising […]

Forthcoming Series of Open Articles on Open Shakespeare

This is a cross-posting from Open Shakespeare to announce the culmination of a project run over the summer to encourage greater participation in the website and greater awareness of its goals of promoting open critical commentary. From Monday 12th September to Monday 10th October, Open Shakespeare will host a series of articles on the topic […] let’s collect some tricks for data wrangling!

Friedrich Lindenberg, data wrangler and member of OKF Germany, advocates for the creation of Data Patterns book to complement the existing Open Data Manual. How do you scrape a massive online archive? How do you fix a broken CSV file? How do you normalize entity names in a large collection of records? There is a […]

Sand dunes, civil society and legal structures in the cloud

The following guest post is by Charles Armstrong, social scientist, entrepreneur, and Founder of the One Click Orgs project, which the OKF supports. Charles will be joining us at OKCon2011 for his talk, One Click Orgs: simple democratic organisation Along the shoreline of the North Atlantic marram grass plays a vital role in the coastal […]

Building the (Open) Data Ecosystem

The following is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Present: A One-Way Street At the current time, the basic model for data processing is a “one way street”. Sources of data, such as government, publish data out into the world, where, (if we are lucky) it is processed by […]

Keeping Open Government Data Open?

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. An unprecedented amount of freely reusable government information is currently being released by public bodies around the globe. This is being consumed and reused by numerous stakeholders – including civic developers, data literate citizens, data journalists, NGOs, researchers, and companies. There […]

As coder is for code, X is for data

For code we have the term coder, as in, “he’s a great coder”, but what do we use when talking about data? datanaut, datar, data wrangler, data hacker, data geek …? Suggestions (and votes) please in a comment or tweet! (@okfn or @rufuspollock) Would also be nice to have equivalents for the many variations that […]

Playing around with Open Linked Data:

The following guest post is by Christopher Gutteridge, a Web & Systems Programmer and Open Data Architect at the University of Southampton. When he was young he wrote the “coffee stain” filter for GIMP, and is the developer of Graphite RDF PHP library & tools. He is a member of the OKF Working Group on […]

Europe’s Energy: a new mini-app to put the European energy targets into context

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. If you hang around any of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s many mailing lists, or if you follow us (or any of our people) on Twitter you may have noticed that we’ve been quietly working very hard on something recently. That ‘something’ […]

Support in the Worldbank Apps competition!

The following post is from Guo Xu, economics researcher, member of the OKF’s fledgling Working Group on Open Information in Economics, and member of the Yourtopia project. Two weeks ago, we announced the project, a simple web application that allows anyone to say what kind of world, what “YourTopia”, they would like to live in. […]

Open Public Data: Then What? – Part 1

The following guest post is by Daniel Kaplan, Director of Fing (the Next-Generation Internet Foundation, France). Today he explores three possible futures for Open Public Data, and on Monday he will suggest ways to ensure that we are moving in the best direction. We tend to assume that the opening up of public data will […]

Spending Stories

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. We submitted a proposal for a project called Spending Stories to the Knight News Challenge back in December but in the rush before Christmas we didn’t get a chance to post about here! The News Challenge aims to “advance the future […]

Who wants to build an open social bookmarking service?

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. As you may well have heard, in December there were rumours that the Delicious social bookmarking service may be discontinued. This has caused a flurry of activity in the online world to back up bookmarks and to look for alternative similar […]