Welcome to the sixteenth Open Knowledge Foundation newsletter! For a plain text version for email please see Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter No. 16 – on our main okfn-announce list.



  • Open Government Data Camp 2010
  • Launch of PublicData.eu
  • Europe’s Energy
  • CKAN keeps on growing – new releases, and launch of NosDonnees.fr
  • Open Bibliographic Data: Workshop, Principles, and 3 million new records from the British Library
  • The Big Clean, Spring 2011
  • Introducing… Our New Project Coordinator!
  • OKF is recruiting! WLTM Python Web Experts
  • Keeping up with the OKF board
  • News in Brief
  • Other News in Brief
  • Thanks to our volunteers!
  • Support the Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Further Information

The Open Knowledge Foundation is a community-driven not-for-profit organisation, and volunteers are behing everything we do. All our services are provided openly and for free: your support can help ensure we can continue and expand our work. To find out more about supporting OKF, visit http://www.okfn.org/support.


The first ever international Open Government Data Camp in November was a great success! Hundreds of people interested in open government data from around the world got together in London for two days of workshops, talks, planning, and coding. You can find all the post-event material, including videos, notes, musings and pictures, here:

We were delighted that the UK government took the occassion to release a massive new tranche of government spending data, which we’ve started to crunch over at WhereDoesMyMoneyGo? Find out what you can do with it all here.

Thanks so much to all the participants, who made it a hugely productive and exciting couple of days. We’re looking forward to Open Government Data Camp 2011, to be organised by our friends over at the Open Data Network in Germany!


We’re really excited about the recent launch of publicdata.eu, the project to create an EU-wide open government data registry. The last 18 months has seen a huge surge in interest in opening up official data for public reuse, but at the moment it is scattered across different data catalogues, portals and websites, in different languages and formats. Publicdata.eu will provide a single point of access to this data, as well as offering visualisation tools and basic data analysis to enable non-technical users to get the most out of the data available:


One of the exciting new projects that LOD2 has made possible is this hot-off-the-press mini-app, analysing and visualising energy production and consumption across Europe:

It was born out of work started at our Eurostat Hackday in December, and is based largely on the Eurostat datasets which you can access through the CKAN portal. Thanks to all who took part in that exciting and productive day, and if you’ve got ideas for other projects in this area we’d love to hear from you!


It’s unstoppable! Our CKAN open data registry software keeps on spreading, supporting new open data registries accross the world. We’re excited to announce the launch of NosDonnees.fr, a new community-driven open data portal in France, powered by CKAN and developed from ideas shared at the Open Government Data Camp.

We’ve also brought out a major new release of CKAN, v1.2, with some really significant improvements and extension work. Check it out at / – and as ever, if you’re interested in setting up an instance of CKAN in your own country, we’d love to help! Get in touch, on the CKAN discuss list:


It’s been a busy few months in the world of open bibliographic data! In October, we held a workshop in Berlin, which brought together the movers and shakers from the fields of bibliographic data and public domain work.
You can get the notes at http://okfnpad.org/pdobd.

Then in November a major milestone was passed, with the British Library opening up 3 million new records, in collaboration with the OpenBib project of which OKF is a partner. Find out more at https://blog.okfn.org/2010/11/23.

You can get the data as a CKAN package, or search it via our Bibliographica portal.

With all this activity, it seemed about time for the formulation of some principles for Open Bibliographic Data. After six months of discussion and planning, our Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data has formulated a set of principles to help producers of data publish in a truly open way. So far, you can read the principles in English, and in German.

Help spread the word! We’d especially love to hear from people interested in translating the principles into other languages – drop a line to the list to get involved:


We’re excited to announce that we’re helping to organise an international series of events to convert not-very-useful, unstructured, non-machine-readable sources of public information into nice clean structured data. We’d love to have your help! If you’re interested in organising an event in your area, add your name and location to the wiki

And you can join in with the discussion and preparations on our Open Government Data list!


We’d like to say a warm welcome to Jason Kitcat, who’s just joined us here at the Open Knowledge Foundation in the new role of Project Coordinator! He’ll be overseeing all our live projects, as well as doing some direct project management. Find out more about him in his own words on the blog.


Would YOU like to join the OKF team? We’re currently looking for brilliant python coders who’d like to join a small and dynamic team working on CKAN and on our WhereDoesMyMoneyGo? project. To find out more, see:


You can now find out all about the inner workings of the Open Knowledge Foundation board from our minutes, which have just been published online going back to May 2009:

In the spirit of openness, we hope this will help strengthen the OKF community and encourage as much dialogue as possible over the way the organisation is run. This year we’ll be focussing on how to get the community more involved with strategic decision-making – we’ll keep you posted!


  • Congratulations to everyone who helped organise and took part in the International Hackathon on 4th December 2010. Check out some of the new datasets and projects. We can’t wait for the next Open Data Day, coming up in May!

  • We were proud to be joint organisers of the first Design Meets Data event, in Berlin. We’re really excited about seeing more of these days for “visualization junkies” to get together and build things!

  • We’re chuffed to learn that our proposal, Spending Stories, has made it into the “Full Proposal” stage of the Knight News Challenge. Connected with our Where Does My Money Go? project, the idea is to use datasets and visualisations to contextualise news stories about public spending, and if you’d like to get involved, get in touch!

  • One of our favourite mini-projects from the past few months has been Where are the cuts?, which is mapping what the government’s cuts mean at street-level. Since there’s no central list of what’s being axed, we need your help to build up the picture!

  • If you’ve ever wondered what our Public Domain projects are all about, or if you’ve ever tried to explain it all to someone else, try our new microshort film on Public Domain calculators. We’re hoping to make a whole series of films like this, exploring and explaining all the different projects here at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

  • We’re really excited by the launch of the new OpenCorporates website, first announced at our Open Government Data Camp in November. The aim is to catalogue the URL for every single company in the world, and match it up with the government data for all the jurisdictions in which that company operates. Read more from its makers on our blog. It’s simple, but massive, and they’d love to have your help!

  • The pace is picking up south of the alps, with the Italian instance of CKAN blossoming, and recent events including the Turin Cloud Camp. Two new Public Sector Information projects, LAPSI and EVPSI, are being led from Italy, and we’re looking forward to their continued growth.


  • We’ve heard of loads of exciting developments from our friends at Pro Bono Publico in Spain, including ongoing consultation on developing PSI reuse, and the Data Driven Journalism Barcamp, on Febrary 15th in Madrid!

  • Over at OpenlyLocal, they’ve been collecting up all the newly released Local Spending Data, standardising it to match companies and charities, and they’ve got over £7billion worth of payments ready to download as a single open data dump! Check it out at http://openlylocal.com/councils/spending.

  • The CityCamp network has just celebrated its first birthday, and had a fantastic year bringing together local stakeholders to share ideas and plans for making their cities and communities more open. The most recent addition to the fold came in December, with the CityCamp Colorado unconference – we’re sure the new year will see many more such initiatives!

  • The 2010 Open Data Masterclass Series, organised by a coalition of groups including universities around the country and data.gov.uk, gave hundreds of people around the country the chance to get a better understanding of the opportunities around open data. We look forward to ODMS 2011, starting in March!

  • We were pleased to note that the US National Science Foundation, in its guidance on fulfilling its new “data access and management requirements,” has linked to Open Context, the online research publication service which works to secure openness in research data, including technical and legal interoperability. We hope this move will encourage many researchers to start publishing more openly!


As usual, a big thank you to our volunteers and to our extended virtual community for all of their valuable input! We’d like to give special thanks to the new Working Group on Open Economics for their amazing work on the YourTopia project.


A donation to the Open Knowledge Foundation would greatly help us with our overhead costs, including hosting and project development. To find out more about supporting our work, please visit:


If you would like to know more about what we are up to, please take a look at our active projects page.


If you are interested in participating in any of the OKF’s projects, please see our participate page, or join the OKF discuss list.


For further news and comments, see our blog:


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The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. It is incorporated in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee with company number 5133759. The registered office is 37 Panton Street, Cambridge, CB2 1HL, UK.

Newsletter compiled by Theodora Middleton, theodora.middleton[at]okfn.org

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Dr. Jonathan Gray is Lecturer in Critical Infrastructure Studies at the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London, where he is currently writing a book on data worlds. He is also Cofounder of the Public Data Lab; and Research Associate at the Digital Methods Initiative (University of Amsterdam) and the médialab (Sciences Po, Paris). More about his work can be found at jonathangray.org and he tweets at @jwyg.

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