Ten years ago, Rufus started CKAN as an “apt-get for data” in order to enable governments and corporations to provide their data as truly open data. Today, CKAN is used by countless open data publishers around the globe and has become the de facto standard.
With CKAN as the technical foundation, Open Knowledge has offered commercial services to governments and public institutions within its so-called Services division for many years. Some of the most prominent open data portals around the world have been launched by the team, including data.gov, data.gov.uk, publicdata.eu, data.glasgow.gov.uk, and—most recently—opendatani.gov.uk.
Today, we’re spinning off this division into its own company: Viderum.
We’re doing this because we want to lend a stronger focus on further development and promotion of these services without distracting Open Knowledge’s core mission as an advocate for openness and transparency. We’ve also heard from our customers that they are asking for a commercial-grade service offering that is best realized in an organization dedicated to that end.
Viderum’s mission will be simple: to make the world’s public data discoverable and accessible to everyone. They will provide services and products to further expand the reach of open data around the world.
Says CEO of Viderum Sebastian Moleski:
I’m personally very excited about this opportunity to bring open data publishing to the next level. In all reality, the open data revolution has only just begun. As it moves further, it is imperative to build on core principles of openness and interoperability. When it comes to open data, there is no good reason to use closed, proprietary, and expensive solutions that tie governments and public institutions to particular vendors. Viderum will help prove that point again and again.”
As a first step in fulfilling their mission, Viderum is offering a cloud-based, multi-tenant solution to host CKAN that has been live since mid-November. This allows anyone to get their own CKAN instance and publish data without the hassle, cost, and learning curve involved in setting one up individually. By lowering technological barriers, we believe there are now even more reasons for governments, institutions, and local authorities to publish open data for everyone’s use.
Viderum have set up an office in Berlin and are currently hiring developers! If you know anyone who’s passionate about building software and the infrastructure for open data around the world, please pass the link along to them.