Blog

Open Data talk at Census Microdata workshop

Jo Walsh, Service Manager at EDINA and a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation board, writes: Yesterday I gave a last-minute talk on open data, the work of OKF and EDINA to a Census Microdata workshop in Edinburgh. The slides consist of screenshots with links and cover the following. CKAN – the Data Hub and […]

Sustaining open data business

Jo Walsh, who works as a project manager at EDINA and sits on the Open Knowledge Foundation board, writes: These thoughts on sustaining open data business were provoked by ORCID, a not-for-profit business set up by a group of large academic publishers and a few leading universities. Its aim is to provide a central directory […]

Notes and reflections from #ScotGovCamp

Yesterday I went to ScotGovCamp in Edinburgh and had a lovely time. Spent more of it chatting in the hallway than participating in the sessions; but have detailed notes from the Open Data session led by Chris Taggart of Openly Local, and scatterings from elsewhere. Open Data Chris cites his membership of OKF’s Open Government […]

Dig the new breed, Part III – wrapping it all up

This is the third in the amazing series of guest blogs from Ant Beck on the impact of linked open data for archaeology. Part 1: New approaches to archaeological data analysis, as seen in the DART and STAR projects Part 2: Considering the ethics of sharing archaeological knowledge OK, to recap we have: A scientific […]

Dig the new breed, Part II – open archaeology and ethics

The second in this great series of three guest blogs by Ant Beck. See Part 1 for applications of linked data and remote sensing in archaeology. Part 3 will wrap things up and talk about the disruptive implications of linked open data for impact of archaeology. Open Science provides the framework for producing transparent and […]

Open Knowledge Scotland, this Thursday May 13th, 3-7pm Edinburgh #okscotland

After having a good look at Inspace set up for a talk session, decided to up the maximum capacity, so there’s no longer a waiting list for OKScotland. If you’re planning to attend on Thursday afternoon then please do register now. Here’s the draft OKScotland schedule for the afternoon – note that there is coffee […]

Open Knowledge Scotland, May 13th, 3-7pm, Edinburgh

Open Knowledge Scotland “brings together interested parties from across the open knowledge spectrum based in Scottish educational institutions, Scottish research organisations, Scottish local and national government, and members of the public for the purposes of teaching, learning and discussion”. OKCon in London is now in its fifth year. It seemed like time to put together […]

A free software model for open knowledge

Notes describing the talk on the work of the Open Knowledge Foundation given last week at Jornadas SIG Libre. I was happily surprised to be asked to give this open knowledge talk at an open source software conference. But it makes sense – the free software movement has created the conditions in which an open […]

Response to the consultation on opening access to Ordnance Survey data

The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, founded in 2006 is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) is a not-for-profit organization founded in 2004 and dedicated to promoting open knowledge in all its forms. What follows is […]

The cake test of freedom

At last week’s Jornadas SIG Libre in Girona, Ivan Sanchez of the Spanish OpenStreetmap community told me about the cake test of data freedom. What is the cake test? Easy: geographic data, or a map, is open only if someone can make you a gift of a cake with your map on it. The cake […]

Book Search, Museum View, and Exploitation

Read today a Google Books PR piece on the Guardian website. Of out-of-print or hard-to-get books, it says, “Although copies may be available in libraries, they are effectively dead to the wider world.” Also heard today that Google Street View is proposing inside views, museum interiors. Last week, I and some OKF people heard a […]

Some facts about UK postcodes

Recent BBC news coverage stated that UK postcode data will be made freely available under an open licence from April 2010. Colleagues at EDINA pointed out that some of the coverage assumes that the open data will be the same as that contained in the Royal Mail’s Postcode Address File – but this is uncertain. […]

New business models for subscription services?

There are a lot of subscription based models around for access to data services. I notice this more since I’ve been working for UK HE/FE. One example of such a service is the SCRAN image archive, another is the Statistical Accounts of Scotland. The subscription-based model has to expose something to prove it’s worth subscribing […]

INSPIRE Directive heading towards UK law

INSPIRE, the directive establishing a spatial data infrastructure for environmental information in Europe, is heading into UK law at last. DEFRA is doing a consultation on the transposition of the law and OKFN will hopefully co-submit a response by 26th May with the Open Rights Group, a summary of the responses is on the okfn-discuss […]

Dispatches from Digistan

Chris Puttick of OpenArchaeology sends news of the Digital Standards Organisation: A new group is being formed to promote open digital standards, starting with a declaration regarding the importance of digital standards being truly open. Part of Digistan’s effort to promote understanding, development, and adoption of open digital standards implies a clear definition of what […]

On data transport through payment networks

I recently ran across the Cruickshank Report, a review written in 2000 of the state of payment information systems in the UK, and enjoyed what it had to say about “money transmission” (Think ATM networks, point-of-sale networks in shops, credit card networks, as well as intra-bank schemes for larger sums.) A lot of value is […]

Keeping “Open” Libre

Last week I attended the Jornadas gvSIG, the developer/user gathering for the open source GIS project supported by the regional government in Valencia. There seems to be a very supportive climate towards free software and open licensed data in Spain. I was impressed to hear people from commercial consultancies and local government information and infrastructure […]

Copyright not applicable to geodata?

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve heard new questions and opinions about open licensing of geographic information, coming from several different directions. Specifically: Local and regional authorities in Italy and in New Zealand among others, have been looking into whether it is appropriate to use a Creative Commons license for geodata. Richard Fairhurst of […]

The Tragedy of the Enclosed Lands

Normally I don’t like to blog things solely in order to propagate them, adding no commentary. But The Tragedy of the Enclosed Lands is about the most lucid, personal and usefully social explanation of the consequences of the lack of open access to geodata in the UK, that I have ever read online. There are […]

Mashing up is hard to do

Mashups, what. Two or more data sources or works combined to become a new data source or work. A media cultural term (cf Steinski) now applied to web applications; comparable to the tradition of data overlay in cartography and analysis mapping. Mashup is also a curious marketing phenomenon. Interoperability, what. The exchange and reuse of […]

Collaborative and public geodata

Chris Holmes’ words on “Why isn’t collaborative geodata a big deal already” got me thinking about how some properties of the world can be observed – like street shapes and names – others can’t, but have to be transmitted – like postal codes and administrative boundaries. A GPS unit and a lot of goodwill will […]

Why open geodata in an open source software foundation?

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the pre-OSCON meeting of FLOSS Foundations – a group of people too-intimately involved in the management of free and open source software foundations – representing OSGeo. I gave a short talk on the subject of why a free and open source software foundation finds itself engaging […]

Public Geospatial Data and the OSGeo Foundation

I admit that I vacillated for a while over being nominated to the board of the Open Source Geospatial Foundation. The idea clicked for me when I realised that I would want to put at least as much time into the Public Geospatial Data Project there as into a board membership role; and the PGDP’s […]

Access to Knowledge Conference at Yale, April 21-23rd

There seems to be a nexus of academic open knowledge efforts at Yale University. I just heard about a big Access to Knowledge conference that is happening there next month, on the 21st-23rd April. The first goal of the Yale A2K Initiative is to come up with a new analytic framework for analysing the possibly […]

Open Letter from Public Geodata

An Open Letter regarding the INSPIRE Directive to Members of the ENVI Committee in the European Parliament was published by Public Geodata yesterday. OKFN has been providing support resources to Public Geodata as part of the Open Geodata awareness raising effort, and Rufus has been doing a fantastic job of sanitising our rhetoric for official […]