The following guest post in by Brigitte Lutz from the City of Vienna.

The city of Vienna wants to open governmental data to be freely accessible for further use. The “Open Government Data (OGD) – initiative” is part of the coalition agreement. The open data catalog was presented to the city in a press conference with Mayor Michael Häupl and the Executive City Councillor Mrs Sandra Frauenberger

At the moment the data portal is available only in German, but we are considering the possibility of an English version.

###Data set

Thus the city shares data for population, economics and science. Relevant data comes from around the areas of statistics, geospatial, transportation and economics. Personal data are not affected. An essential prerequisite for the usability of the records is as open as possible in their machine readable formats.

The Data Catalog started with more than 30 machine-readable data sets and is continuously expanding. The entries are geo-referencing data, statistics and budget data. The starter pack included for example old material collecting points, kindergartens, hospitals, or short-term parking zones as geo-referenced data as well as a set of population statistics and data on accounts and financial affairs of the city.

The data is published under a Creative Commons Licence (CC by), so it can be used without any further restrictions, provided that the source is stated clearly (e.g. data source / Datenquelle: Stadt Wien –” (detailed conditions of use here).

###User requests are collected online

In the opening of additional data, the city also responds to the needs of users. For this purpose, in the summer an online survey is conducted. There is a competition with awards for innovation and development coming out from the data of the city.

###Open forum and communication platform

The open data portal includes an open forum to communicate with the experts of the city. For users who seek direct talks, there are monthly information sessions: The next meeting will be held on July, 28.2011 and is also available as a live stream.

For more, see “Open Government” in Wien

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Theodora is press officer at the Open Knowledge Foundation, based in London. Get in touch via