Blog

WorldMapper: Is Its Data Open?

WorldMapper produces a whole variety of illuminating cartograms to show the distribution of various statistics across the world from royalties to the level of military spending. While looking at the site I immediately started to wonder about the openness both of the maps themselves and the underlying data (to my mind while the maps are […]

AMEE – an exemplary open service

The people behind AMEE, the ‘world’s energy meter’ (which we blogged about back in May), have been busy forging ahead into new areas of open service development. As well as ensuring AMEE conforms to the draft Open Service Definition (in short, open data plus open software) they’ve recently published a Memorandum of Understanding with terms […]

Open Database License

Jordan Hatcher (Open Content Lawyer) and Dr. Charlotte Waelde (University of Edinburgh) have just published the first draft of the Open Data Commons, or the Open Database License. The new license was inspired by the Talis Community License (a draft open license for data from 2006) and its development has been sponsored by Talis. The […]

DBpedia 2.0

DBpedia recently released the new version of their dataset. The project aims to extract structured information from Wikipedia so that this can be queried like a database. On their blog they say: The renewed DBpedia dataset describes 1,950,000 “things”, including at least 80,000 persons, 70,000 places, 35,000 music albums, 12,000 films. It contains 657,000 links […]

Articles in CTWatch Quarterly

As some of you many have seen, Open Knowledge Foundation advisory board members Peter Suber and John Wilbanks recently wrote two interesting articles in CTWatch Quarterly. Peter Suber’s Trends Favoring Open Access is a broad-ranging overview of developments in publishing, research, and technology that look to support Open Access. As well as looking at how […]

The Open Library and Versioned Data

The Internet Archive has recently launched a beta version of The Open Library. A demo can be found here and the Open Library book can be read here. It is inspired by the idea of a “library that makes all the published works of humankind available to everyone in the world”. Initially it will consist […]

The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) Launched Today

After a year of (off and on) development we are delighted today to announce the official launch of the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN for short): http://www.ckan.net/. CKAN is a registry of open knowledge packages and projects — be that a set of Shakespeare’s works, a global population density database, the voting records of MPs, […]

Guide to Open Data Licensing

Over the last month we’ve been working to produce a Guide to Open Data Licensing. As the name should make clear this is a guide to licensing data aimed particularly at those who want to make their data open. The guide is currently located on the wiki so that anyone can edit and update it: […]

AMEE: The Open CO2 Emissions Platform

One of the highpoints of XTech last week was the presentation of Gavin Starks about AMEE (Avoiding Mass Extinction Engine). AMEE is a “a platform for collaboration on Climate Change and Energy Efficiency”. It combines together a whole bunch of CO2 emissions data (including data from the UK government) with modelling code and assumptions to […]

What Do We Mean by Componentization (for Knowledge)?

Background Nearly a year ago I wrote a short essay entitled The Four Principles of (Open) Knowledge Development in which I proposed that the four key features features of a successful (open) knowledge development process were that it was: Incremental Decentralized Collaborative Componentized As I emphasized at the time the most important feature — and […]

PlanningAlerts.com — Opening up UK Planning Application Data

Back at the Civic Info forum in November Richard Pope presented his initial work on scraping planning application data from local council websites. This was a classic case where the original providers of the data did not make it available in an open form that was easy to use and reuse (it was often just […]

Storing and Visualizing Open Data: II

Back in June last year we posted about a demo site we’d put together to experiment with storing and visualizing open data. Recently several new sites have appeared doing web-based visualization, the most prominent of which are Many Eyes from IBM’s visualization research department and swivel. In both cases it appears that the code isn’t […]

Open Knowledge 1.0 Nearly Here

Open Knowledge 1.0, which takes place on Saturday March the 17th at Limehouse Town Hall in London, is now just over a week away. While there are still some places left we are nearing capacity so, if you would like to come, we advise you to register as soon as possible via: http://www.okfn.org/okcon/register/ Open Knowledge […]

8.4 Million Grant to University of Manchester to Expand Semi-Open Data Repository

According to a press release yesterday the University of Manchester received a further 8.4 Million GBP of funding from the ESRC to continue and expand its MIMAS service which provides students and researchers with free access to social science data: The billions of data items managed by the School of Social Sciences and Manchester Information […]

Collaborative Development of Data

$ This version: 2007-02-15 (First version 2006-05-24) $ We already have some fairly good working processes for collaborative development of unstructured text: the two most prominent examples being source code of computer programs and wikis for general purpose content (encyclopedias etc). However these tools perform poorly (or not at all) when we come to structured […]

Open Context Officially Launched

The Open Context project, “a free, open access resource for the electronic publication of primary field research from archaeology and related disciplines”, was officially launched back on January the 29th: In April 2006, we proudly launched the Beta version of Open Context, our new open access publication system that enables researchers to distribute their primary […]

Open Knowledge Web Buttons: Get Them Now

Over the last couple of years we’ve done a lot of work to get a clear and clean definition of what open knowledge is in the form of the Open Knowledge Definition. This provides a core set of principles defining openness independent of any particular set of licenses similar to the way the open source […]

Open Data Discussion on SPARC List

I was recently involved in some interesting discussion with John Wilbanks on the SPARC open-data list and thought it worth excerpting some of this here. Email 1: Reply to a message from John Wilbanks Source: https://mx2.arl.org/Lists/SPARC-OpenData/Message/100.html Hi all, chiming in here…just joined the list. The lack of international consensus on data makes use of CC […]

Storing and Visualizing Open Data

The basic purpose of the Open Knowledge Foundation is to ‘promote open knowledge’. In particular we want to: Get data out there — that’s why we’re developing KnowledgeForge Make sure that data is open data (i.e. is properly licensed) — that’s why we’re developing open knowledge definition Make sure that data can be found — […]