Blog

Let’s defend Open Formats for Public Sector Information in Europe!

Following some remarks from Richard Swetenham from the European Commission, we made a few changes relative to the trialogue process and the coming steps: the trialogue will start its meetings on 17th December and it is therefore already very useful to call on our governments to support Open Formats! When we work on building all […]

Following Money and Influence in the EU: The Open Interests Europe Hackathon

This blog post is cross-posted from the Data-driven Journalism Blog. <img alt=”” src=”http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8199/8220416586_26ef2f90c6.jpg” style=”float: left;width: 250px;height: 375px;margin-left: 5px;margin-right: 5px” />Making sense of massive datasets that document the processes of lobbying and public procurement at European Union level is not an easy task. Yet a group of 25 journalists, developers, graphic designers and activists worked together […]

US Doctor Data to be “Open Eventually”

Here’s an interesting project using slightly unorthodox means to get data out into the open: crowdfunding the purchase of US healthcare data for subsequent open release. The company behind the project is NotOnly Dev, a Health IT software incubator who describe themselves as a “not-only-for-profit” company. Earlier this year they released a Doctor Social Graph, […]

Open Data Portal for Latin America

Sharing governmental information in open, accessible and structured formats could substantially increase transparency and accountability in public policy design and implementation. Furthermore, it enables broad social engagement in the process. Hence, opening data and acknowledging the demands of the population that arise from this is key to promoting social equality and effective public administration. Based […]

Data Bootcamps: Hands on data literacy workshops for the world

As governments around the world start implementing open data initiatives, establishing a critical public able to analyse and contextualise the data released is paramount. To facilitate this the African Media Initiative and the World Bank Institute started to collaborate on a program to bring Data Bootcamps to places with Open Government Data initiatives. Data itself […]

Hurricane Sandy and open data

It is not an immediately obvious partnership, and yet open data and crisis response go together incredibly well. As storms have lashed the East coast of the US in recent days, causing tragic loss of life and enormous financial damage, many of the tools which have helped citizens to track its path and stay safe […]

Hack4Health: London 2-4 November

In the first November weekend – 2-4 November – the UK Open Data Institute in London will host Hack4Health, organised by Coadec, Healthbox Accelerator, the Cabinet Office, NHS Hackday and the Open Knowledge Foundation. The event brings together entrepreneurs, developers and technical startups working on health and fitness data to create innovative solutions and products. […]

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 […]

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 […]

#OpenDataEDB 3

Amidst the kerfuffle and cacophony of the Fringe Festival packing up for another year, the Edinburgh contingent came together again to meet, greet, present and argue all aspects of Open Data and Knowledge. OKFN Meet-ups are friendly and informal evenings for people to get together to share and debate all areas of openness. Depending on […]

Building a data portal with CKAN

A while ago, Augusto Hermann wrote on this blog about a unique civic engagement project: the participatory process of building a government data portal in Brazil. The site, dados.gov.br, is still going strong, and Augusto has now written over on the CKAN blog about the process of building and deploying it using CKAN, the Open […]

Introducing the Declaration on Parliamentary Openness

This guest post is by Scott Hubli and Andrew G. Mandelbaum from the National Democratic Institute (NDI). NDI is partering with the Sunlight Foundation and the Latin American Network for Legislative Transparency to enhance networking among parliamentary monitoring organizations on issues of parliamentary openness and democratic reform, with the support of the Omidyar Network, the […]

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 […]

Development Data Challenge – London, August 25-26

Where Do Development Questions Meet Development Data? Where: The Guardian (Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1P 2AP) When: Saturday and Sunday, August 25-26 2012 This weekend in London, coders, designers, development experts, data wranglers and interested citizens and invited for the Development Data Challenge in London. Join us at the Guardian for a weekend […]

The very first Open Data and Democracy Initiative Hackathon, South Africa

If knowledge is power then data are the individual watts; one by itself is aesthetically pleasing, but functionally useless. It’s only when we add all the watts together that we produce enough power to move forward. Constitutionally we own this power, but the trickle of information provided to the public is practically useless – and […]

Call for research proposals: open data in developing countries

The Web Foundation and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) are looking to fund case study research on the emerging impacts of open data in developing countries. Open data policies are spreading across the world: but how does open data play out on the ground in different settings? What is needed for the potential transparency […]

‘En boca cerrada….’: open data in Catalunya today

There is a popular expression in Spanish that says, ‘en boca cerrada no entran moscas.’ Its equivalent in English is ‘loose lips sink ships,’ basically meaning that you are better off just keeping quiet. This culture of secrecy, some would say discretion, is particularly true in Spain’s public administration, being traditionally pervasive at all levels. […]

On the way to the new market of information in Russia

On June 5th at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow a round table conference took place, devoted to the opening of state-collected datasets. It was convened by the Higher School of Economics (HSE) together with the Russian Office of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Open data is the new trend in the state […]

Call for Papers: Open Data Academic Research at OKFest

At Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw last year, much discussion took place about academic research around Open Data. In response to these conversations, a specific ‘Open Data Academic Research’ session will be taking place at OKFest this year. The session will bring together a community of researchers from a variety of disciplines who are […]

UK Government Releases Open Data White Paper and new Data.Gov.UK

Today, the UK govenrment made a major announcement regarding Open Data and released a revamped Data.Gov.UK — its flagship open data site. Open Data White Paper The Cabinet Office is ushering in a new wave of open data releases with the publication of a new Open Data White Paper. The White Paper gestures at a […]

Taking “utmost transparency” to the next level – at4am for all!

What? When?? Where??? How?!?! were the questions that got me started some 10 years ago now, on my free software journey that’s taken me to the heart of the European Parliament. As a young Swedish musician, politically innocent and ignorant as the next, I got worked up together with a bunch of newborn stallmanites unleashing […]

International Open Legislative Data Conference, July 6-7, Paris!

While the newly elected French National Assembly gets ready to choose its president, the question of its modernisation keeps arising. From the academic research world to the hacktivist perspective, parliamentary monitoring and studies are flourishing in France and all over the world. Methods and techniques may differ, but all share one common need: larger transparency […]

Data Catalog Schema and Protocol – Draft Specification

Open Data is an idea that continues to gain momentum, and one of the signs of this is that the world has more and more data catalogs. This is great for many reasons but it also brings its own problem especially around interoperability and standardization — the lack of standard schema and interfaces is something […]

Aid Data: From XML to Visualisations – IATI data in OpenSpending

Are the World Bank and Department for International Development (DfID) spending money on projects in similar sectors and countries? Does all aid to Kenya go the North-East? How much aid in total did India receive last year? Until recently, it was impossible to know. But now, thanks to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), we’ve […]

What data can and cannot do

Mining for Information by JD Hancock on Flickr (CC BY) In the early days of photography there was a great deal of optimism around its potential to present the public with an accurate, objective picture of the world. In the 19th century pioneering photographers (later to be called photojournalists) were heralded for their unprecedented documentary […]

Technology for Transparent and Accountable Public Finance: Report Published

In early March, we embarked on a project to map out projects which use technology to further the aims of fiscal transparency, accountability and participation. Today, we are happy to announce the official release of the resulting report, Technology for Transparent and Accountable Public Finance. Preliminary findings were presented at last month’s GIFT meeting in […]

Infokultura and Apps4Russia

During recent years, the Russian Federation has undertaken a number of developments in its open data legislation strategy. This trend inspired a team of professionals to get together and start a non-profit organization, “INFOKULTURA”. Understanding that data availability is crucial for an information society and the development of an information culture, we emphasise the establishment […]

Launching YourTopia Italia: Progress in Italy, defined by You

​ How do we measure social progress? Academics and international institutions have struggled with employing measures of human development which go beyond GDP per capita: education, health the the economy, but then what values do we attach to these? In countries like Italy stark regional differences have dominated over time. Particularly in times of fiscal austerity […]

New Brazilian Data Portal dados.gov.br – powered by CKAN

Last Friday (May 4), the Ministry of Planning in Brazil launched the final version of the Brazilian Open Data Portal. In line with the federal government policy to promote the use of free software in public administration, the portal was made using only free and open source tools. Among them is the Open Knowledge Foundation’s […]

UK Open Standards Consultation

The following post is cross-posted from Jeni’s blog – http://www.jenitennison.com/blog/ Over the last few months, the UK Government has been running a consultation on its Open Standards policy. The outcome of this consultation is incredibly important not only for organisations and individuals who want to work with government but also because of its potential knock-on […]

Launching the Open Data Census 2012!

To take part in the Open Data Census 2012, please visit: http://opengovernmentdata.org/census/submit/. As government officials, civil society leaders and open data experts gather in Brazil this week for the Open Government Partnership, it is clear that Open Government Data has become a major topic on a global scale. In September last year, 8 governments founded […]

How open is corporate data in Open Government Partnership countries?

Today, the day before the Open Government Partnership meeting starts in Brasilia, OpenCorporates is publishing a major new report into access to company data in OGP countries, and the picture is not good. Out of a total of a possible 100 points, the average score was just 21, with several major countries (including Spain, Greece […]

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 […]

The public examination of draft laws: Lawmaking 2.0 for Russia

Although “democracy” means “rule by the people”, history has known few cases of such a form of government. In the vast majority of cases “democracy” is used to refer to a representative form of a government, in which citizens delegate their political rights to elected officials. As a result, representative democracy leads to bureaucratic establishment. […]

Being Open About Data

A more detailed version of this post can be found on the Finnish Institute blog. The Finnish Institute in London has recently completed a five-month research project on the British open data policies. The report looks at how the open data ecosystem has emerged in the UK and what lessons can be drawn from the […]

ePSI Platform Conference 2012

On Friday the 16th of March, the European Public Service Information (ePSI) Platform conference was held in Rotterdam. More than 300 guests from all over the world gathered for what turned out to be a very busy and interesting day. In 15 sessions 60 speakers gave an overview on a wide variety of open data […]

Will technology boost the fight against corruption in the Post-Soviet region?

Having come across the recent UNDP study on the role of social media for enhancing public transparency and accountability in Eastern Europe (download here), one cannot help feeling optimistic about the potential to raise the level of civic empowerment and to fight corruption in the post-Soviet countries. Looks like the Transparency Works event jointly organized […]

Technology for Fiscal Transparency – Where Next?

Who is using technology to follow the money? The hunt is on… Over the last month, we have been working on a report entitled “Technology for Transparent and Accountable Public Finance” for the Global Initiative on Fiscal Transparency. We are hoping to identify the most promising projects around the world that are using technology (web, […]

Applying Austrian Open Data Experiences in the Czech Republic

Open data in Austria enjoys support from various levels of the public administration, and as a result Austria is one step ahead of the Czech Republic. Last month, we held a seminar to learn from each other’s experiences. Austrian initiatives promoting greater openness of government data, such as the Open Knowledge Forum Österreich, have managed […]

Open Knowledge Forum Austria (OKFO) – activities around openness in Austria

Austria is one of our incubating OKFN:LOCAL chapters in its last stage before full incorporation. Its core group of organisers in Vienna are planning an OGD BusinessDay2012 on March 22nd in Vienna and the OGD2012 Conference on June 26th in Linz, Austria. For updates and more information, go to http://gov.opendata.at/okfo/index.html. The OKFO – the Open […]

Open Knowledge Foundation hits the Med – Greek group launched!

Greece is our first Open Knowledge Foundation Local group in the Mediterranean, and just had their first meetup in Thessaloniki with regular public meetups and events to follow, including a public meetup with staff from the OKFN, Wikimedia, Creative Commons and other organisations on April 5th at the Aristoteleian University of Thessaloniki. For updates and […]

Does Switzerland have no need for Open Government Data?

Switzerland is one of our incubating OKFN:LOCAL chapters in its last stage before full incorporation. Its core group of organisers, a talented collaboration from Geneva and Zürich who also founded http://OpenData.CH, are planning an Open Data Conference in Zürich on June 28th. Here’s a hello from Hannes Gassert and Andreas Amsler regarding the state of […]

Announcing the Open Data Handbook version 1.0

The Open Knowledge Foundation are proud to announce the launch of version 1.0 of the Open Data Handbook (formerly the Open Data Manual): Read the Open Data Handbook now! » The Handbook discusses the ‘why, what and how’ of open data – why to go open, what open is, how to make data open and […]

ePSIplatform Conference 2012

The following post is by the organisers of the ePSIplatform Conference 2012 and is cross-posted from epsiplatform.eu. 16 March 2012, Rotterdam, Netherlands With the progress the open data movement has made in the past few years, and the announcement of the European Open Data Strategy by the European Commission, we are reaching a new maturity level […]

Opening Government Data in Bulgaria

The following guest post is by Boyan Yurukov, blogger and open government data activist. In the beginning of 2011 some open data was released by the Bulgarian government on www.parliament.bg. Visitors could export information of bills and members of parliament as XML or CSV. They could also download the votes of individual MPs or parliamentary […]

European Commission launches Open Data Strategy for Europe

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. This morning Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda announced a new Open Data Strategy for Europe. I wrote a bit of background on the announcement on Friday for the Guardian Datablog, discussing what this […]