Open data can be freely used by anyone – which means that data users can help to fix, enrich or flag problems with the data, leading to improvements in its quality.

The Open Knowledge Foundation is currently looking to collect the best examples and stories we can find about how open data can lead to better data.

We’re particularly interested in hearing about stories about how open government data has been checked, corrected and enhanced by citizens, civil society groups and others.

So far we have some really great examples – including:

  • Russian open data advocates trawling for errors in over 20 million procurement documents leading to fixes from the Treasury
  • Open Street Map volunteers correcting the locations of 18,000 bus stops in the UK and over 1,800 street names in Denmark
  • Data quality reports from the OpenSpending project leading to rapid improvements in the quality of UK government expenditure data

You can see the full list in progress at:

If you know of any more good examples, please send them our way and we’ll add them to the list.

We hope this will become a powerful piece of evidence that we can use to encourage public bodies and other data publishers to open up.

Edits to OpenStreetMap
Map showing history of edits to OpenStreetMap in London by Mapbox.

This initiative started life on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s open-government mailing list, which we encourage you to join if you are interested in open government data and how it can be used to increase accountability around the world.

Website | + posts

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 and he tweets at @jwyg.

1 thought on “How can open data lead to better data quality?”

Comments are closed.