Announcing the Open Definition Licenses Service

We’re pleased to announce a simple new service from the Open Knowledge Foundation as part of the Open Definition Project: the (Open) Licenses Service. The service is ultra simple in purpose and function. It provides: Information on licenses for open data, open content, and open-source software in machine readable form (JSON) A simple web API […]

Dreams of a Unified Text

The following is a blog post by Rufus Pollock co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. I have a dream, one which I’ve had for a while. In this dream I’m able to explore, seamlessly, online, every text ever written. With the click of a button I can go from Pynchon to Proust, from Musil to […]

Two Open Knowledge Events in Cape Town: Africa@Home and Open Knowledge Meetup

The following post is by Francois Grey and Rufus Pollock. Francois is a recent Shuttleworth Fellow, visiting professor at Tsinghua University working and coordinator of the Citizen Cyberscience Centre. Rufus is a co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. There are two exciting open data and open knowledge events in Cape Town South Africa taking place […]

Scaling the Open Data Ecosystem

This is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. As reported elsewhere I’ve been fortunate enough to have my Shuttleworth Fellowship renewed for the coming year so that I can continue and extend my work at the Open Knowledge Foundation on developing the open data ecosystem. The following text and video […]

Open Data: Wishlist for the Next Year

In our closing session at Open Government Data Camp, we asked keynoters to reflect on what developments they would most like to see in the next year in relation to open government data and open data more generally. Here’s the resulting list: Open Government Data as a Right More Schemas (Knowledge APIs) – keep it […]

Omidyar Network support OKF to go global

The following is a post by Jason Kitcat, Foundation Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Last Thursday we were delighted with the news that the Omidyar Network (ON) have agreed to support the Open Knowledge Foundation with up to $750,000 over the next three years. This is part of a major $3m push by ON […]

Open Data: a means to an end, not an end in itself

The following is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. In almost all the talks I give about open data or content, I aim, at least once, to make the statement along the lines: “Openness for data and content is not an end in itself, it’s a means to an end” […]

We’re hiring!

The following post is from Jason Kitcat, Foundation Coordinator at the OKF Thanks to the incredible support and interest in our work, the OKF is growing. We have just refreshed our jobs page and on there you will find three new job openings have been posted: Community Coordinator Foundation Administrator Designer / Developer with UX […] let’s collect some tricks for data wrangling!

Friedrich Lindenberg, data wrangler and member of OKF Germany, advocates for the creation of Data Patterns book to complement the existing Open Data Manual. How do you scrape a massive online archive? How do you fix a broken CSV file? How do you normalize entity names in a large collection of records? There is a […]

OKCon 2011: Introduction and a Look to the Future

This is a blog post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder and Director of the Open Knowledge Foundation. OKCon, the annual Open Knowledge Conference kicked off today and it’s been great so far. For those not here in Berlin with us you can follow main track talks via video streaming: Below are my slides from my […]

Open Data – Louder Voices?

The following guest post is by Michael Gurstein from the Centre for Community Informatics Research, Development and Training in Vancouver. Micheal will be joining us at OKCon 2011 for his talk Open Data – Louder Voices? This post follows on from earlier posts on Michael’s blog here, here, and here. There is a great deal […]

Open Data Workshop and OpenCamp in Sofia, Bulgaria 4-5 June

On Saturday and Sunday (4th and 5th June) I was in Sofia, Bulgaria to run a Open Data Workshop on the Saturday and speak at the OpenCamp on the Sunday. Separate notes on the workshop are here: with results of mapping of Bulgarian gov data on CKAN wiki: Slides (fullsize): Open Data: What, […]

Expert Python & Javascript coders wanted!

The following post is from Jason Kitcat, Operations Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Open Knowledge Foundation is currently looking to hire more developers! In brief: What: Seeking top-notch Python and Javascript coders (do not have to be both!) to work on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s world-changing projects including CKAN and OpenSpending When: We […]

Building the (Open) Data Ecosystem

The following is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The Present: A One-Way Street At the current time, the basic model for data processing is a “one way street”. Sources of data, such as government, publish data out into the world, where, (if we are lucky) it is processed by […]

Bounties for scrapers: a new approach to opening global data

This is a guest post by Chris Taggart, co-founder of and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data. On Friday we at OpenCorporates announced an innovative (and frankly untested!) way for the open data community to work together in helping opening up one of the most important datasets there […]

As coder is for code, X is for data

For code we have the term coder, as in, “he’s a great coder”, but what do we use when talking about data? datanaut, datar, data wrangler, data hacker, data geek …? Suggestions (and votes) please in a comment or tweet! (@okfn or @rufuspollock) Would also be nice to have equivalents for the many variations that […]

Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint

The following is a guest post by James Harriman-Smith who is coordinator of the Open Shakespeare project. This weekend we’re holding the first Open Shakespeare Annotation Sprint — participate and help change criticism forever! We’ll be getting together online and in-person to collaborate on critically annotating a complete Shakespeare play with all our work being […]

Python Web Expert Jobs

This is a joint post by James Gardner, the lead developer on CKAN and Rufus Pollock, creator of CKAN and project lead for Where Does My Money Go. The Open Knowledge Foundation is looking for really good Python web developers to join our organisation to work on CKAN, our open source web-based catalogue system built […]

Open Biblio Principles Announced

The following post is by Mark McGillivrary, a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. Last week the Open Biblio Principles were launched by the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. The principles are the product of six months of development and discussion within the working group […]

Introducing Our New Project Coordinator: Jason Kitcat

Hello, my name is Jason and I’m OKF’s newest addition to the team. I’m filling a new role at the OKF to keep an overview of live projects, liaise with the Board of Directors and the Coordination Committee plus doing some direct project management. The first major piece of work I’m diving into is OKF’s […]

OpenCorporates: the Open Database of the Corporate World

This is a guest post by Chris Taggart, a member of OKFN’s open government working group and creator of OpenlyLocal, who today launched a new website OpenCorporates in collaboration with Rob McKinnon (a project they first demoed at the Open Government Data Camp in November). Why OpenCorporates? Like most open data/open source projects, it was […]

CKAN v1.2 Released together with Datapkg v0.7

We’re delighted to announce CKAN v1.2, a new major release of the CKAN software. This is the largest iteration so far with 146 tickets closed and includes some really significant improvements most importantly a new extension/plugin system, SOLR search integration, caching and INSPIRE support (more details below). The extension work is especially significant as it […]

Open Bibliographic Data: How Should the Ecosystem Work?

The following guest post is from John Wilkin who is Executive Director of the HathiTrust, a Librarian at the University of Michigan and a member of the OKF’s Working Group on Open Bibliographic Data. In the conversations about openness of bibliographic data, I often find myself in an odd position, vehemently in support of it […]

Where Does My Money Go: 25k Spending Data

As announced on the Where Does My Money Go? blog the UK government has released a new and interesting set of spending data. As Anna Powell-Smith reports: Today, the UK government published its spending items over £25,000. From now on, every month you’ll be able to see just what each central government department spent, with […]

Open-Source Annotation Toolkit for Inline, Online Web Annotation

This is a post by Rufus Pollock, a long-time Open Knowledge Foundation member and coordinator of the Open Shakespeare project. We’ve been working on web-annotation — inline, online annotation of web texts — for several years. Our original motivation was to support annotation of texts in so we can collaboratively build up critical notes […]

Elektrischer Reporter Video on Open Data

This is a post by Rufus Pollock, co-Founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation and a member of the Board. The “Elektrischer Reporter” team in cooperation with the second channel of German television (ZDF) have just released a great video about Open Data. I’m interviewed in it along with Daniel Dietrich (OKFN Germany and Open Data […]

Open Data Manual Book Sprint

This weekend, following hot on the heels of the Government 2.0 Camp, members of the Foundation’s Working Group on EU Open Data will be meeting up in person for a 2-day book sprint to create an Open Data Manual. Full details on the wiki page: More background from Ton Zijlstra’s notice on EPSI Platform: […]

Open Data Talk at PICNIC 10 in Amsterdam

This week I’m going to be in Amsterdam at PICNIC ’10 speaking about open data — what it is, why it’s good and how we can go about growing the open data ecosystem. If you’re in Amsterdam — at PICNIC or otherwise — and interested in open data we’d love to hear from you. Update: […]

Jordan Hatcher talk on Open Data Licensing at iSemantics

Last week, the Foundation’s legal expert Jordan Hatcher, was at iSemantic conference in Graz to give a session on open data licensing (especially for linked data). Here are the slides: Linked Data Licensing: Introduction – I-Semantics 2010 View more presentations from jordanhatcher.

Beginnings of an Object Description Mapper

The analogue to an Object-Relational Mapper for RDF. Helping to make OWL Description Logic accessible from Python in a way that will seem familiar to people who are accustomed to things like SQLAlchemy and Django.

About Inferencing

Inferencing, or machine reasoning has a slightly unsavoury reputation perhaps stemming from the failure of Strong AI and its association with science fiction. This is a bit unfortunate and it could be argued that it has led Semantic Web technologies to be underdeveloped. With the Semantic Web and RDF we are concerned with simple statements, […]

We Need Distributed Revision/Version Control for Data

In the open data community, we need tools for doing distributed revision/version control for data like the one’s that already exist for code. (Don’t know what I mean by revision control or distributed revision control? Read this) Distributed revision control systems for code, like mercurial and git, have had a massive impact on software development, […]

The open spending data that isn’t

The following guest post is from Chris Taggart of OpenlyLocal, who advises the Where Does My Money Go? project on local spending data, and is a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation‘s Working Group on Open Government Data. This is a cross-post — Chris’ original post here. When the coalition announced that councils would have […]

ORDF – the OKFN RDF Library

Some months ago we started looking at how we might possibly use an RDF store instead of a SQL database behind data-driven websites — of which OKF has several. The reasons have to do with making the data reuseable in a better way than ad-hoc JSON APIs. As we tend to program in Python and […]

Open Data Commons – Attribution License released

Open Data Commons has released a new Open Data Commons attribution license (ODC-By). Jordan Hatcher, Chair of the Open Data Commons Advisory Council, writes: Thanks to everyone for their feedback on the licenses and their help with the project. We can now announce a new license to the Open Data Commons family, the ODC Attribution […]

Why Share-Alike Licenses are Open but Non-Commercial Ones Aren’t

It is sometimes suggested that there isn’t a real difference in terms of “openness” between share-alike (SA) and non-commercial (NC) clauses — both being some restriction on what the user of that material can do, and, as such, a step away from openness. This is not true. A meaningful distinction can be drawn between share-alike […]

Emergency Budget, Deficit and Cuts: Visualized

Today in the UK the Conservatives/Liberal Democrat coalition presented their Emergency Budget. Collaborating with David McCandless, Where Does My Money Go? have created a simple visualization to help you understand and contextualise the budget, and answer some basic questions such as: How much impact will the emergency budget have on the £156bn budget deficit? And […]

Can You Close the Deficit Gap?

Where Does Your Money Go? challenges you to beat the Chancellor to it before tomorrow’s budget and close the UK’s financial deficit. Will you increase taxes, make cuts or a mix of both? No decision is going to be popular but are some more palatable than others, you decide. More information: Closing the Deficit Gap […]

Dig the New Breed: How open approaches can empower archaeologists- Part I

Very happy to post the first in an amazing series of OKFN guest blogs by Ant Beck, a member of the Open Archaeology working group. Ant discusses the DART project and the STAR project, both of which employed Linked Data in a heritage context. Later we’ll get into the ethics of open heritage, and a […]

Opening up government finances

The following guest post is from Chris Taggart of OpenlyLocal, who advises the Where Does My Money Go? project on local spending data, and is a member of the Open Knowledge Foundation‘s Working Group on Open Government Data. With a string of announcements this week and the COINS database (the UK’s biggest source of information […]

Greater London Authority Spending and Where Does My Money Go

We’ve done a quick-and-dirty import of the GLA spending data (ckan package) into a Where Does My Money Go Data Store: For example, here is what they paid to Vodafone: Big hat-tip to Donovan Hide and scraperwiki who scraped the data into a usable form. It’s running at a different URL from the […]

Bibliographica, an Introduction

It’s time to talk a bit about Bibliographica, a new project of the Open Knowledge Foundation. Bibliographica is designed to make it easier for scholars and researchers to share and collect information about work in their field. It provides an open source software platform to create and share semantically rich information about publications, authors and […]

CKAN v1.0 Released

We are pleased to announce the availability of version 1.0 of the CKAN software, our open source registry system for datasets (and other resources). After 3 years of development, twelve point releases and a several successful production deployments around the world CKAN has come of age! As well as being used to power and […]

World Bank Opens Up Development Data

Today, the World Bank announced that it’s making a large portion of its development data open and available from a dedicated new website at: The excellent set of new term and conditions are so this is real open data, available under an explicit license which allows for use, reuse and redistribution by anyone! […]

Comments on the Panton Principles and Data Licensing

These comments were originally written a few weeks ago as part of an interesting thread on John Dupuis’ blog post about the Panton Principles. What’s “Open” and Why Do the Panton Principles Recommend PD-only The Open Knowledge Foundation’s general position is one of supporting open data where “open” data includes data made available under licenses […]

Great News for Open Government Data in the UK

Today, in a speech on “Building Britain’s Digital Future”, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced wide-ranging plans to open up UK government data. In addition to a general promise to extend the existing commitments to “make public data public” the PM announced: The opening up of a large and important set of transport data (the […]

Talking at Open Up the City in Helsinki

This Thursday (11th March) I’m speaking at the Forum Virium’s Open Up the City event in Helsinki. This year their focus is on “open data, design, interfaces and innovation” and I’m speaking under the title “Open Data: What, Why, How?”. It looks like this will be a very interesting event and it’s also a chance […]

OKFNer Jo Walsh Speaking at IV Jornadas de SIG Libre

The IV Jornadas de SIG Libre is taking place this week from the 10th-12th of March in Girona, Spain. This is the premier spanish F/OSS GIS event and OKFNer Jo Walsh will be speaking:

Introducing Datapkg: A Tool for Distributing, Discovering and Installing Data “Packages”

Datapkg 0.5 has been released! This is the first release deemed suitable for public consumption (though we are still in alpha)! This announce therefore serves as both introduction and release announcement. Introduction From the docs: datapkg is an user tool for distributing, discovering and installing data (and content) ‘packages’. datapkg is a simple way to […]