The basic purpose of the Open Knowledge Foundation is to ‘promote open knowledge’. In particular we want to:

  • Get data out there — that’s why we’re developing KnowledgeForge
  • Make sure that data is open data (i.e. is properly licensed) — that’s why we’re developing open knowledge definition
  • Make sure that data can be found — that’s why we’re developing CKAN

But as Francis Irving recently pointed out to me you need to give people a reason to put data out there in a form that is discoverable. In particular, he suggested that giving people tools to do something with their data, such as visualize it, would be one of the best ways to encourage data sharing. To this end we’ve been putting together a very simple demonstration of a data store with some visualization capabilities at:

The data itself (along with any associated with metadata) is stored in a subversion repository here:

At present to add data to the store you just need to upload it to subversion but in future we hope to implement a web interface to do this.

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Rufus Pollock is Founder and President of Open Knowledge.

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