The Role of Open Data in Choosing Neighborhood

To what extent is it important to get familiar with our environment? If we think about how the world surrounding us has changed throughout the years, it is not so unreasonable that, while walking to work, we might encounter some new little shops, restaurants, or gas stations we had never noticed before. Likewise, how many […]

Call for action: Help improve the open knowledge directory

This is a guest blog post from Open Steps, an independent blog aggregating worldwide information around Open Cultures in form of articles, videos and other resources. Its aim is to document open knowledge (OK) related projects and keep track on the status of such initiatives worldwide. From organisations using Open Data, promoting Open Source technologies, […]

Open Knowledge Festival – the story so far…

It is hot hot hot here in Berlin, and the Festival is in full swing! In every corner, little groups are clustered, sharing ideas, plotting, and putting faces to profiles. From graffiti walls to linked budgets, from destroying printers to building a social contract for open data – the only problem is that you can’t […]

OpenCorporates invites you to join the launch of #FlashHacks

This is a guest blog post by OpenCorporates. OpenCorporates is now 3 years old. Looking back our first blog on the Open Knowledge (Foundation) blog about reaching 20 million companies, it is heartening to see that we have come a long way. We now have over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide making us […]

Open Knowledge Festival streams, pt. 2: The Society Stream

This is a cross-post from the OKFestival blog, see the original here. Read also about the first stream we presented, the Knowledge Stream. In this 3-post series, we turn the spotlight to the the narrative streams of this year’s Open Knowledge Festival. We’ve already highlighted the Knowledge stream; today’s stream of choice is Society. This stream is […]

Open Steps: Documenting open knowledge in South America

This is the fourth and (so far) final travel-guest blog post from Open Steps, an initiative by two young Berliners Alex (a software developer from Spain) and Margo (a graduate in European politics from France) who decided to leave their daily lives and travel around the world for one year to meet people and organizations […]

Open Knowledge Festival streams, pt.1 – Knowledge

To create societies where everyone has both access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives, we must build knowledge into the heart of all of our activities. This is a big task which requires not just a global shift in mindset, but also that we build the […]

Why secret contracts matter in aid transparency

The following guest post is by Nicole Valentinuzzi, from our Stop Secret Contracts campaign partner Publish What You Fund. A new campaign to Stop Secret Contracts, supported by the Open Knowledge Foundation, Sunlight Foundation and many other international NGOs, aims to make sure that all public contracts are made available in order to stop corruption […]

The 2013 Open Reader – Stories and articles inspired by OKCon2013

This is a guest post from Andreas Von Gunten, founder of the Creative Commons-based publishing house Buch & Netz and editor of the brand new “The 2013 Open Read – Stories and articles inspired by OKCon2013”. We all remember very well the fantastic OKCon / Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva last year. There were so […]

Creative Commons Version 4.0 Released

This is a guest blog post by Timothy Vollmer, Manager of Policy and Data at Creative Commons. Creative Commons has finally released Version 4.0 of the license suite. It’s been two years since we began the license update process, but now it’s done. The 4.0 licenses are the most global, legally robust licenses produced by […]

Opening the weather, part 2

See also “Opening the weather, part 1” I began paragliding a few years ago. It’s maybe the most weather-dependent sport in the world. We often fly in mountainous areas, very close to the ground. We need to know about local effects like thermal updrafts, clouds growth, mountain-breeze, foehn wind and all sorts of other micro […]

Opening the weather, part 1

Red sky at night, shepherd’s delight A cow with its tail to the west makes the weather best Onion skins very thin, mild winter coming in Humans have always wanted to know what the weather has in store for them, and have come up with a whole load of ways to predict what’s coming; some […]

Launching the Aid Transparency Tracker

Publish What You Fund has undertaken some initial analysis of aid donors’ plans to publish to the IATI component of the agreed common standard for aid information. Here, Mark Brough explains the process they went through to take a series of Excel files, convert them into a format suitable for analysis, and come to some […]

Content as Data: Towards Open Digital Publishing with Substance

I’m the maintainer of Substance, an open software platform for collaborative composition and sharing of digital documents. In this little essay, I’d like to sketch the challenges that modern publishing systems face today. I’d also like to come up with ideas for how the complexity can be handled with the help of specialized user-driven software. […]

Hackathons: the How To Guide

Hackathons are a wonderful way to introduce people of all walks to the amazing possibilities of open data. Here in British Columbia we are fortunate to have a very active open data community which has organized and run 17 open data hackathons in the past two years. This year a few of us decided that […]

Code4Europe fellowships launched

Code for Europe is a new organization looking to enliven a culture of innovation in city government. This week they have launched a hunt for talented developers and app makers, “to help make a breakthrough in how government services its citizens.” The projects will take place in six European cities: Helsinki, Amsterdam, Rome, Berlin, Manchester […]

Elva – Texting for Security

  The 2008 war between Georgia and Russia has upturned the lives of thousands of citizens in the Georgian region of Shida Kartli. Four years after the intense five-day war, which saw Russia gain control over the neighbouring territory of South Ossetia, many inhabitants of Shida Kartli now find their villages lined by military checkpoints, […]

Cambridge Open Data Meet-Up!

The next #OpenDataCBG meet-up will take place this Monday 14th May, at 7pm in the Panton Arms. Sign up now! OpenDataCBG is back for its third bi-monthly meet-up! The previous two meet-ups have been a huge success, with almost thirty people squeezing into the function room of the Panton Arms for an evening of talks, […]

Join us on Monday 27th February for #OpenDataCBG!

The following post is by Laura Newman, a Cambridge based Community Co-ordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Interested in Open Data? Live in the Cambridge area? Join us for #OpenDataCBG! On Monday 27th February, the open data community will be gathering in the Panton Arms in Cambridge for the second #OpenDataCBG meet-up. The evening is […]

Season’s Greetings from the Open Knowledge Foundation

‘Tis the season to be jolly. This year when preparing your Christmas feast why not take some inspiration from Mrs Beeton and her legendary 1861 Book of Household Management…   Words of wisdom from Mrs Beeton… “In December, the principal household duty lies in preparing for the creature comforts of those near and dear to […]

#OpenDataCBG – Open Data Meetup in Cambridge 15th December

This post is by Lucy Chambers, Cambridge-based Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Cambridge, it has been too long… The #OpenData meetups are returning to Cambridge, following on from the success of the London meetups (#OpenDataLDN) and the recent Helsinki meetup (#OpenDataFi). The Details When: Thursday, 15th December, 7pm-9pm Where: 37 Panton St, Cambridge […]

Share Your African Knowledge

The following guest post is by Iolanda Pensa, the scientific director at WikiAfrica and Share You Knowledge. What about African knowledge? Where is it? Who has it? And what is African knowledge anyway? Defining “African knowledge” is so difficult that it probably takes less time to share it. Talking about African knowledge is to talk […]

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 […]

Montevideo: proud of our data

The following post is by Guillermo Moncecchi of Intendencia de Montevideo in Uruguay. Here, in Montevideo, we are proud of our data. The Intendencia de Montevideo drives the economic, social and cultural life of the city, producing data. Lots of data. The government has spent years developing its information services, almost all government processes produce […]

FTA: Teaching Free Technologies

The following guest post is by David Jacovkis and Wouter Tebbens from the Free Knowledge Institute. David and Wouter will be joining us at OKCon 2011 for their workshop on Building a master Curriculum on Free Technologies, and presentation on the Free Technology Academy and Shared QA for producing Free Educational Materials. The Free Technology […]

Sand dunes, civil society and legal structures in the cloud

The following guest post is by Charles Armstrong, social scientist, entrepreneur, and Founder of the One Click Orgs project, which the OKF supports. Charles will be joining us at OKCon2011 for his talk, One Click Orgs: simple democratic organisation Along the shoreline of the North Atlantic marram grass plays a vital role in the coastal […]

Open Quake and GEM Collaborative Effort

The following guest post is by Roberta Borgognoni and Ben Wyss, from the GEM Foundation. They will be joining us at OKCon 2011. We are involved in the global collaborative effort GEM. GEM is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to engage a global community in the design, development and deployment of state-of-the-art models and […]

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 design communities, entrepreneurial coalitions, and the partner state

This guest post is from Michel Bauwens, founder of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives. Michel will be joining us at OKCon 2011 for his talk No Open Society without Open Knowledge, no Open Knowledge without Open Infrastructures. To understand the reality or illusion behind projects claiming to practice co-creation or co-design, one must […]

An International Standard for Open (Source) Hardware

The following guest post is by Jürgen Neumann, from the Open Source Hardware and Design Alliance. Jürgen will be joining us at OKCon 2011 as part of a panel on Open Hardware and Open Standards As the free open source paradigm is shifting towards open everything, there are still a few obstacles to completely shift […]

Openness as Strategy: Leading Open Knowledge Communities

The following is a guest blog post from Prof. Philipp Mueller about his talk on Openness as Strategy at the Open Knowledge Conference, June, 30th & July 1st 2011 in Berlin. We live in a world where information and communication technologies have confronted us with new logics of collective action that allow new forms of […]

Opening up data on the European parliament

The following guest post is from Niels Erik Kaaber Rasmussen, Founder of and member of the OKF’s Working Groups on EU Open Data and Open Government Data. Most people are unaware that the political parties they know from their national parliaments behave differently in an European context. Two Danish parties for example belong to […]

One week left for early bird tickets for OKCon

There is only one week left to get early bird tickets for OKCon, so please hurry if you want to make use of this offer! Early bird applications will close on June 1st. OKCon 2011 in Berlin will include keynotes, panel discussions and workshops on topics ranging from open data’s role in democracy and culture, […]

OKCon 2011: Travel Bursaries & Early Bird Tickets Available

OKCon 2011 is now just over one month away. Registration is ongoing at so you can still book your tickets online here. Early bird prices will be available until 1st June 2011 only, so book early! The official deadline for submissions has passed (but if you’ve missed it – please contact us and we will […]

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 […]

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, […]

A Wikipedia of English law

Writing in Times Online in April 2006 the eminent Professor Richard Susskind, legal tech guru and adviser to the great and good, spelt out his vision for a “Wikipedia of English law”: This online resource could be established and maintained collectively by the legal profession; by practitioners, judges, academics and voluntary workers. If leaders in […] and – two new open services!

Over the past few days Evan Prodromou of Wikitravel and Vinismo launched two new open services: and Evan got in touch to make sure that both services were compliant with the draft Open Service Definition and we’re pleased to say that they are both fully open services! is a neat little service […]

SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals

SPARC Europe (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) have just announced a new SPARC Europe Seal for Open Access Journals. In order for journals to be approved, they must use a Creative Commons Attribution license – which is compliant with the Open Knowledge Definition. It is great […]

Open Textbooks Statement to Make Textbooks Affordable

Make Textbooks Affordable, a campaign composed of Student Associations and Public Interest Research Groups from across the US, yesterday released a statement in support of open textbooks signed by 1000 academics. From the press release: Open textbooks are complete, reviewed textbooks written by academics that can be used online at no cost and printed for […]

Free Knowledge Institute is launched

Today the Free Knowledge Institute is officially launched in the Netherlands: The Free Knowledge Institute (FKI) is a non-profit organisation that fosters the free exchange of knowledge in all areas of society. Inspired by the Free Software movement, the FKI promotes freedom of use, modification, copying and distribution of knowledge in four different but highly […]

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 […]

Eduserv study on open content licensing in cultural heritage sector published

Just a quick note to say that the study of usage of and attitudes towards open content licenses in cultural heritage organisations (which we blogged back in August) has now been published. The final report is available here. 107 organisations responded to the survey. The executive summary lists the following key findings: Only 4 respondents […]

Give Us the Data Raw, and Give it to Us Now

One thing I find remarkable about many data projects is how much effort goes into developing a shiny front-end for the material. Now I’m not knocking shiny front-ends, they’re important for providing a way for many users to get at the material (and very useful for demonstrating to funders where all the money went). But […]

Libraries for Lesotho

Richard Wright, Archive Technology Manager at BBC Future Media & Technology, has asked us to mention his Libraries for Lesotho project which he is currently raising funds for. In summary: A million books for a thousand students – in Lesotho! Richard Wright, audiovisual archive technology manager at the BBC, is taking three months off to […]

Summer of Content launch

Tomorrow is the first day of the Northern Summer of Content 2007. The Summer of Content is an initiative of WikiEducator and the One Laptop Per Child project. Inspired by Google’s Summer of Code, the programme aims to match creators with mentors and stipends to “develop open content and run free culture events throughout the […]

The Nature of Information

“We are moving towards a world in which all information is software and all software is information.”