The OKFestival keynote excitement begins!

This is a cross-post from the OKFestival blog, see the original here The time is now. The time is today! If you haven’t already, it’s time to buy your tickets because today, we announce the names of our four amazing keynote speakers! This year, we have the pleasure of welcoming this stellar line-up of activists, […]

Financial aid allocation completed for OKFestival 2014

This is a cross-post from the OKFestival blog, see the original here Thank you to everyone who applied for Financial Aid this year – we so appreciate your patience while we’ve worked hard with various partners and sponsors to allocate funding. Over the past few weeks we’ve been reaching out to successful applicants so while […]

Save the date: OKFestival Community Session

Save the Date: We are thrilled to announce that the Open Knowledge community is organising a community session on Tuesday July 15th, 2014 from 1pm – 4pm, before the festival officially starts. This will be taking place at the OKFestival Venue, situated in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. We are delighted that so many […]

Open Knowledge Foundation Spain becomes an official Chapter

We are really pleased to announce that Spain has become the latest Chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Last night, during the inaugural I OKFN awards, organised by Open Knowledge Foundation Spain, the group announced to a packed room of open data advocates, government representatives, and community members that they have become an official Chapter […]

Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, December 2013

Sign up here for monthly news to your inbox. Welcome! Hello and welcome to our latest news update on what is happening in and around the Open Knowledge Foundation. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we are reflecting on the open movement over the last decade and planning for the opportunities and challenges ahead. We […]

Open Knowledge Foundation and BBC sign Memorandum of Understanding

On Monday of this week, the Open Knowledge Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding with the BBC. The BBC also signed separate memorandums with the Europeana Foundation, the Open Data Institute and the Mozilla Foundation. Laura James, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, signs the MoU with James Purnell, BBC Director of Strategy and Digital. […]

Global Community Stories #6 (a): Greece, Bangladesh, Argentina and Canada

It is once again time to take a trip around the world and hear a bit about some of the great things that are happening in our growing network of Open Knowledge Foundation Local Groups. Due to the sheer volume of activities and updates we want to share this month, our Global Community Stories post […]

Global Open Data Initiative moving forward

(This is a cross-post from the Global Open Data Initiative blog.) The Global Open Data Initiative is a coalition of civil society organisations working together in the area of open government data and open government. Our basic goal is that citizens will have full and open access to the government data that is needed in […]

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 […]

LAPSI Design Award Competition

The following post is by Claudio Artusio who works for LAPSI, the European Network on Legal Aspects of Public Sector Information. There is still 3 weeks left to apply to the 3rd LAPSI Award on the most user-friendly design of a PSI portal in the EU ( PSI (acronym for Public Sector Information) can be […]

The cost of closed data & the economics of open data

This guest post by Chris Taggart was originally published on his blog at Chris is co-founder of OpenCorporates,  founder of OpenlyLocal, and member of the OKF open government working group  Yesterday I received an email from a Cabinet Office civil servant in preparation for a workshop  tomorrow about the Open Data in Growth Review, and in it I […]

Open Commons Region Linz

The following guest post is by Thomas Gegenhuber, Naumi Haque and Stefan Pawel, who are involved in Open Commons Linz. In 2010, the City of Linz, Austria completed a year-long study of an “Open Commons Region” for government. The findings of the study introduce a framework for open government, with the goal of creating a […]

Freeing Train Data

The following guest post is by Peter Hicks, IP Network Engineer and Open Transport Data advocate. In the late 1990s, I decided to learn more about why my commute to and from London wasn’t always a smooth process. Having an inquisitive nature, I set about casually talking to people ‘in the know’ – friends inside […] OKF Deutschland launches new German FOI portal

The following post is from Friedrich Lindenberg and Stefan Wehrmeyer from OKF Deutschland. Today the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland is launching a new Freedom of Information (FOI) portal called “Frag den Staat”. The new site enables citizens, journalists and researchers to request information from over 830 federal agencies and institutions across Germany. Requests can be […]

JISC calls for all metadata to be publicly accessible

The following post is from Mark MacGillivray, who works with the OKF on our Open Bibliography project and other related projects. Today the JISC called for all metadata to be openly accessible, inviting all publicly funded organisations including universities, colleges, libraries, museums and archives to make the same commitment. The OKF is proud to have […]

New OKF T-shirt designs

Thanks to our smashing new designer Kat Braybrooke and the wit and design skills of the community, the OKF now have a new range of T-shirts (including women’s fit and re-adaptations of the old classics!) available via the OKF spreadshirt shop. Congratulations again go to Hans Overbeek for his winning “Yes, we’re Open” design. Thanks […]

The following guest post is from Nagarjuna G. from the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education in Mumbai. Nagarjuna will be joining us at OKCon 2011 for his workshop on ###About is a collaborative workspace for shaping up education and research inspired by free software philosophy and open science. Here we design and […]

Apps4Russia and Open Government Data in Russia

The following guest post is from Ivan Begtin, founder of, and member of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Government Data. I know that not too many people know about Russian open government projects. To be honest we don’t have many of them. But, at the same time, they do exist, and we have […]

Survey of Civic Hackers

The following guest post is by David Osimo, European policy analyst and member of the OKF’s Working Groups on Open Government Data and EU Open Data Who are the civic hackers? What are their motivations and barriers? What impact are government 2.0 initiatives having? And most importantly, what policy choices should the EU make? To […]

Open Government Groups Urge Congress to Restore Funding for Transparency Projects

In a letter presented to Congress last week, signed by individuals and organisations including the Open Knowledge Foundation, the US government has been urged to restore funding to the Electronic Government Fund, “which provides critical support for the construction of a more transparent and efficient government and serves as a building block for private-sector innovations […]

Open Data talk at Census Microdata workshop

Jo Walsh, Service Manager at EDINA and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation board, writes: Yesterday I gave a last-minute talk on open data, the work of OKF and EDINA to a Census Microdata workshop in Edinburgh. The slides consist of screenshots with links and cover the following. CKAN – the Data Hub and […]

Your stories here!

Want to share your tales of openness with the world? Got a cool project you’d like to tell people about? Or perhaps some interesting ruminations about open knowledge? The OKF blog is a fantastic place to tell your story, open up conversations, and make sure all your hard work is getting noticed. We want to […]

“Should Britain flog off the family silver to cut our national debt?”

The following post is from Francis Irving, CEO of ScraperWiki. ‘Should Britain flog off the family silver to cut our national debt?‘ — that’s the question the UK current affairs documentary Dispatches tackled last Monday. ScraperWiki worked with Channel 4 News and Dispatches to make two supporting data visualisations, to help viewers understand what assets […]

A Kafkaesque Data-trail: the Hunt for “Europe’s Hidden Billions”

The following guest post is by Cynthia O’Murchu, investigative reporter at the Financial Times, and previously their deputy interactive editor. She is a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data At its inception, “Europe’s Hidden Billions”, a joint investigation by the Financial Times and the then newly formed Bureau of […]

Open Data in Brighton and Hove

The following guest post is from Greg Hadfield, a former Fleet Street journalist and internet entrepreneur, and founder of the Open-data Brighton and Hove group. Greg is also director of strategic projects at Cogapp, and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data. Brighton and Hove is a special place. […]

Experts to underpin Wikipedia’s open wisdom? Turning anecdotes into data.

The following guest post is from Dr Panagiota Alevizou, member of the Wikimedia Research Committee, Research Fellow in Education and Educational Technologies at the Open University, and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Science. Wikipedia’s 10th anniversary last January was followed by a frenzy of media coverage in the mainstream and […]

Navajo Nation Water Quality Project

The following guest post is by Arlen Parsa, who works for Groundswell Educational Films, an American non-profit. In collaboration with the Northwestern University chemistry department, they’ve produced a brilliant example of how opening up data can have a real impact on people’s lives. ##The problem Many parts of the Navajo Indian reservation in the south-western […]

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 […]

Art Open Data

The following guest post is by Rob Myers, artist, hacker, writer, and member of the OKF Working Groups on Open Data in the Humanities and Cultural Heritage. Art Open Data is Open Data that concerns art institutions, art history, the art market, or artworks. Using this data, we can examine art history and contemporary art […]

Open Public Data: Then What? – Part 2

The following guest post is by Daniel Kaplan, Director of Fing (the Next-Generation Internet Foundation, France). On Friday he mapped three possible futures for Open Public Data, and today he suggests ways to ensure we will avoid some of the dangers he highlighted. ###What triggers what? One may believe that one of the three scenarios […]

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 […]

Eurostat Hackday, 16th December 2010

We’re currently organising a ‘hackday’ on the Eurostat data, which will take place on Wednesday 16th December 2010: If you’d like to get involved, please get in touch on the euopendata mailing list, or drop us a line on eurostat at okfn dot org. From the website: Eurostat Hackday What is Eurostat? Eurostat is the […]

Where Does My Money Go: 25k Spending Data

As announced on the Where Does My Money Go? blog the UK government has released a new and interesting set of spending data. As Anna Powell-Smith reports: Today, the UK government published its spending items over £25,000. From now on, every month you’ll be able to see just what each central government department spent, with […]

Norwegian data catalogue to be based on CKAN!

We’re very pleased to see that the Norwegian government will be using our CKAN software, an open-source registry of open data, to build their national data catalogue! From their announcement: During the next few months, will be set up as a national data catalog using CKAN, Drupal, and the integration module used by […]

Beginnings of an Object Description Mapper

The analogue to an Object-Relational Mapper for RDF. Helping to make OWL Description Logic accessible from Python in a way that will seem familiar to people who are accustomed to things like SQLAlchemy and Django.

Cataloguing Bibliographic Data with Natural Language and RDF

In the grand tradition of W3C IRC bots, I’ve started some speculative work on a robot that tries to understand natural language descriptions of works and their authors and generates RDF. It is written in Python and uses ORDF, the NLTK and FuXi. Before going into implementation details, here’s an example of a session: 12:41 < […]

About Inferencing

Inferencing, or machine reasoning has a slightly unsavoury reputation perhaps stemming from the failure of Strong AI and its association with science fiction. This is a bit unfortunate and it could be argued that it has led Semantic Web technologies to be underdeveloped. With the Semantic Web and RDF we are concerned with simple statements, […]

Bad Science on Open Data

The following article is from Guardian columnist Dr Ben Goldacre and was originally published on his blog as “Nullius in verba. In verba? Nullius!”. He kindly allowed us to reprint it here. It discusses the pros and cons of publishing data in the context of investigative medical journalism. Ben Goldacre, Not In The Guardian, Saturday […]

Understanding COINS

Something amazing has happened since the government spending recorded in the COINS database was made openly available to everyone. I’m talking about the impressive range of free, and in many cases open source, products to display the COINS data. So far there are COINS search engines from The Guardian and The Open Knowledge Foundation, graphs […]

Dig the new breed, Part III – wrapping it all up

This is the third in the amazing series of guest blogs from Ant Beck on the impact of linked open data for archaeology. Part 1: New approaches to archaeological data analysis, as seen in the DART and STAR projects Part 2: Considering the ethics of sharing archaeological knowledge OK, to recap we have: A scientific […]

COINS: A Users Guide

At 0930 BST today the UK government released the COINS database, one of the biggest sources of information on UK public spending. Open Knowledge Foundation Director Rufus Pollock says: The release of this data marks another milestone in the opening up of public data – in which the UK leads the way. While this is […]

UK Government commits to open up new spending data!

It’s exciting times right now for people in the UK interested in how public funds are being used. The new government has proposed to publish unprecedented amounts of spending data in unprecedented detail. In the new Coalition Programme for Government (PDF), the PM has committed to the following, which is very similar to the Conservative […]

Great News for Open Government Data in the UK

Today, in a speech on “Building Britain’s Digital Future”, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced wide-ranging plans to open up UK government data. In addition to a general promise to extend the existing commitments to “make public data public” the PM announced: The opening up of a large and important set of transport data (the […]

Talk at Chaos Computer Congress on “CKAN: apt-get for the Debian of Data”

Last week OKFNers including myself attended the 26th Chaos Computer Congress (CCC). As previously announced I was giving a talk entitled “CKAN: apt-get for the Debian of Data”. Slides from the talk are now up here: CCC was an amazing experience — a great venue, a great bunch of people and lots of interesting […]

Ernest Marples UK postcode site has been taken down

Ernest Maples, a free service providing postcode data which we blogged about in July has recently been taken down due to legal action from the Royal Mail. Harry Metcalfe, one of the directors of the project, writes: On Friday the 2nd October we received correspondence from the Royal Mail demanding that we close this site […]

New business models for subscription services?

There are a lot of subscription based models around for access to data services. I notice this more since I’ve been working for UK HE/FE. One example of such a service is the SCRAN image archive, another is the Statistical Accounts of Scotland. The subscription-based model has to expose something to prove it’s worth subscribing […]

Open Database License (ODbL) v1.0 Released

Open Data Commons have released v1.0 of the Open Database License (ODbL), a share-alike license for data and databases. This is really big news for anyone working on open data as there are very few open data licenses available and none that provide for share-alike. From the announce: We are delighted to announce the release […]