EC Open data portal designed to be the Open Data Hub for European Institutions
The above video was recorded in the European Data Forum (EDF), Dublin 2013
Malte Beyer-Katzenberger, DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology (CNECT), European Commission presents the Open Data portal and the policy that lies behind it.
The EC Open Data Portal went online just before Christmas 2012. It is designed to be the Open data hub for the European Institutions, beginning with data from the European Commission.
To download the slides please click here
JSON-LD is added to the Gmail Service
JSON-LD harmonizes the representation of Linked Data in JSON by describing a common JSON representation format for expressing directed graphs; mixing both Linked Data and non-Linked Data in a single document. The format has already been adopted by large companies such as Google in their Gmail product.
Gmail, Search Answer Cards, and Google are at the moment relying on structured data in emails to work.
Schemas in Gmail support both JSON-LD and Microdata and the client can use either of them to markup information in an email. This means that Gmail will be able to recognize data objects such as events, places or people so Google can understand the fields and provide the user with relevant search results, actions, and cards.
Manu Sporny, instrumental in JSON-LD’s development and one of the authors of the draft, states “The JSON-LD community is excited about this development and looks forward to working with Google to improve the recent release of JSON-LD for Gmail.”
Click here to find out more about JSON-LD Algorithms.
29 May 2013. Tampere, Finland.
Open Date This month's Open Data Tampere Region meetup will cover open economic data in Tampere. This was previously planned topic for April but was changed at the very latest moment in favour of "visualization tools" theme.
The event is free, but registration is required: http://opendatatre3.eventbrite.com/.
More information (in Finnish) http://www.hermia.fi/opendatatre/
Date: 29 May. 17:00-20:00.
Place: New Factory / Uusi Tehdas - Väinö Linnan aukio 15, 3rd floor. Tampere, Finland.
28-30 May. Rome, Italy.
An Italian initiative on PSI and trasparency in Rome.
ForumPA fosters meetings and debates about innovation themes, smart cities, and PSI among public administrations, companies, and citizens. For 2013, ForumPA’s theme is “The country facing the transparency’s challenge”. It will take place from 28-30 May in Rome, and will feature conferences, meetings and workshops.
The Italian department for development and economic cohesiveness will speak about OpenCoesione’s creation, operation and results.
Last February the first Italian Open Data Day occurred. In light of this cornerstone event, Stati Generali dell'Innovazione e Regesta.exe will compare their experiences concerning Open Data Day in “Open data: an open work in progress”. They will also speak about Open Linked Data. Some interesting linked datasets, created for Open Data Day, are available on data.opendataday.it.
On Wednesday 29th, ForumPA will house a barcamp touching on innovation in PSI during economic crises thanks to InnovatoriPA. Also, a conference about open data’s opportunities and prospects will take place on May 29th.
CallPA 2013 is an initiative to highlight PSI best practices: what results have been achieved with public money? It’s about instituing a public award for trustful and meaningful relationships between public administrations and citizens/communities passionate about open data.
Data is changing the way we live!
The Generation Y workforce has a passion for social change however the social sector needs to boost its engagement with this generation.
Data informed social change is the road ahead according to the Karl Winding from Leading Social.
Dame Mary Marsh´s, first director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme, states that the voluntary sector should create a “data manifesto” that identifies who holds data about the sector and enables the sharing of data.
It should also provide focus on the future leadership of data and how to open it up, and should include the development of common reporting standards and tools that would facilitate sharing data, the report adds.
There needs to be a change in the way that some organizations think.
Russia withdraws its letter of intent to join the Open Government Partnership
An official communication that it would drop out from membership in the Open Government Partnership was received on May 17. The country signaled its intention of dropping out some time ago and did not attend the ministerial meeting in London last month, according to OGP-connected sources.
A draft national action plan was prepared, but was never completed or submitted. Most other members who joined around that time have completed their plans. Russia is the only country to join the partnership and then leave.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov assured the Kommersant that Russia was not scaling down work, but "adjusting the dates and the scope of its participation" in OGP.
According to the Minister for Open Government Mikhail Abyzov the country´s Open governance plan does not depend on OGP. Many of their decisions are implemented within the framework of presidential decrees.
The open data reuse portal wins first prize in Spain and makes it to the EU finals.
The Spanish government website aimed at providing open data and promoting its reuse, datos.gob.es, won first prize in the 'Public Administrations' category at the national Internet Day Awards Ceremony.
The event, created by the Spanish Association of Internet Users (AUI), was inspired by the World Information Society Day that the UN established in 2005. Its goal is to recognize (awards are celebratory, not financial) worthy projects and efforts that promote the use of the internet, in various categories. Winners are voted on by a jury and by internet users who vote online.
In this year's edition, the Spanish government's official national PSI data disclosure and re-use initiative datos.gob.es, was selected from among 16 candidates in Public Administrations' category as best initiative.
The award follows on the heels of datos.gob.es being shortlisted as finalist (along with 17 other public authorities) for the European Commission's 'European prize for innovation in Public Administrations', announced on May 13th.
Finland's capital city has created a website geared specifically toward developers.
Helsinki aims to be most developer-friendly city in the world. As a way of promoting over 1,000 open data sets and APIs, as well as inspiring developers to participate and learn, Helsinki organizes "Helsinki<3 Developer" - events.
Along with these events, the city is also striving to create a knowledge base for Open Data developers, the Helsinki Developer Portal (beta). This website hosts information for developers wanting to leverage APIs such as Open Ahjo API, Issue reporting API, Tourism API and Geocoding API and open data sets provided by the City of Helsinki.
Furthermore, over a thousand data sets for application development have been made open through Helsinki Region Infoshare, a site that focuses on APIs and how to make it even easier for developers to use them.
The Helsinki Developer Portal contains:
- listing and information about Open Data APIs
- code samples and reference implementations
- events organised for the developer community by Helsinki<3Developers
- discussion forum
The citizen organization RegardsCitoyens assesses the status of Open Data in France.
One year into Prime Minister Ayrault's term, the association RegardsCitoyens takes a look at how France's open data policy is faring, from their position that favors open access to public data and its reuse, especially for citizen control of public institutions. According to their evaluation, indicators of progress include the large data sets now published, an overhaul of the platform data.gouv.fr and various new projects announced. They also underscore Etalab's role in helping impose no charge as the default, along with free licenses (Open Licenses), while cautioning that profound change is most often fruit of strong executive policies (as in the case of the U.S. and the U.K.).
The main challenge now, from RegardsCitoyens' point of view, is tackling technical barriers. The information referenced on France's main data portal, for examples, should be available in open formats. Moreover, those who produce data should be trained so that what they generate is already in formats that can be developed and identified by their descriptions. Finally, search engines should be improved so that finding data is a more intuitive process.
For RegardsCitoyens, which has just joined Etalab's expert advisory board, these changes—a centerpiece of their proposal for improving data.gouv.fr—must be implemented before offering services such as visualizations, comparisons or aggregations to increase production. They also make a number of suggestions to promote transparency and better public data service, including: the release of critical data such as legal data, procurement or businesses, French membership of the OpenGov Partnership,reform of copyright, review of the PSI Directive.
Another suggestion is a collaborative system based on ODbL to change the system of charging for data. DILA, INSEE, IGN or Shom, for example, feed important information to services like the Official Journal, law codes, the law, government procurement tenders (BOAMP), or base business (SIREN), but are still subject to royalties. RegardsCitoyens' contributory dual system model proposes allowing producers to keep their funding sources without creating economic barriers to re-use by the general public.
To read the full report, see here.
The Ventus Project invites citizens to locate and count all the Carbon Dioxide at the world's power plants!
Power plants burning fossil fuels constitute over 40% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the Earth’s atmosphere every year.
Carbon dioxide is the most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. Information regarding where the world’s power plants are located and how much each one is emitting is not well-known outside of the US and a handful of industrial countries. In order for basic research on climate change and the global carbon cycle to move forward, there is a need to capture this information.
The Ventus Project led by Dr. Kevin Robert Gurney at Arizona State University, is a unique opportunity to work with the scientific community by contributing to this power plant information. The participant's role can be as simple as providing the exact coordinates of a single power plant near their home or work. They may have information regarding a series of power plants including, not only location, but power generation, fuel type and CO2 emissions.
How does this work?
The approach is simple: the project asks participants to contribute information via simple pin placements on Google Maps and some simple form filling. Once registered, the participant can be part of the game, competing with others to supply the greatest amount of useable information.
Some initial information is available coming from the work of the Global Energy Observatory and the Center for Global Development’s CARMA effort among others. There is a need to check against local knowledge or, in cases where information is missing completely, ask citizens to include that new information when they have it.
This is in most cases of good quality. In some cases, it is clear that it is very incorrectly located, this is where the participants can make a difference with real, documented information. Hence, if they have any quantitative (or non-quantitative) information that will help the project locate, describe, and quantify power plant CO2 emissions, they should follow the steps outlined in the instructional videos.
The Game in detail
For each piece of useable information the participant provides, they receive a point. Rising through the ranks in the Citizen Scientist league tables. In 2014 the project will identify the individual with the highest total score.
The winner will receive an engraved trophy by a local artist, with their name and their most auspicious deed. With their permission, they will be highlighted on the project's website and the facebook page and tweeted out to the rest of the contributing network.
The participant will also be a co-author on the scientific paper planned on demonstrating the power of this crowd-sourcing approach.
For more information visit the projects official site
21-22 May 2013. Prague, Czech Republic.
Otakar Motejl Fund organizes another workshop within the framework of its education program 'Watchdog academy'. This time the workshop focuses on working with data. The seminar will take place on May 21-22 at Prague’s National Technical Library. It starts at 9:30am till 5pm and will be led by Michael Bauer (School of Data) and Anna Kuliberda (Fundacja Techsoup). Above all they will mainly focus on practical skills for improving daily work with data (for example: finding, sorting, analyzing, visualising data etc.) as well as on data-driven campaigns for watchdog organizations. The main aim of this workshop is to offer a practical lesson tailored to the needs of its participants, who will have a chance to consult their data and develop their projects under the supervision of foreign experts.
Besides this workshop, Otakar Motejl Fund will provide another opportunity to meet Anna Kuliberda and Michael Bauer in more informal way, i.e. on the 6th meetup of Czech open data community called “Open data pivo #6 - open data maker night”. The meetup will be held on May 21 from 8pm at Café Lajka and is planned for a more tech-friendly audience. Inspired by the concept of open data maker night, the sixth meetup of Czech open data community will focus on “making” with data - whether that’s creating apps or insights.
For more information and RSVP at meetup.com
Date: 21-22 May 2013, 9:30 - 17:00.
Experts in the fields of Open Data and Open Government will comprise the panel.
Etalab, the French public data service that runs data.gouv.fr, has just created an Open Data and Open Government advisory board. The network of experts, formed on Tuesday, May 14, falls in line with the French government's roadmap on openness and delivery of public information.
Professionals from the worlds of research, business, open data and citizen associations will compose this panel, combining expertise in information science, computer science, data-science innovation, economics, law, philosophy and experience in the field of open government and sharing or reuse of public data.
Its purpose will be to inform Etalab, based on its strong technical expertise, and advise Etalab and other departments on the opening and sharing of data, in accordance with the national strategy for open data and open government.
For a preliminary list of board members see here.
20 May 2013. Tampere, Finland.
The Open Democracy Idea meeting, a free event organized by the Open Knowledge Finland in Open Democracy working group, will address and foment the discussion of the following issues and topics:
- open preparation and decision-making at all levels
- participatory budgeting
- open preparation of legislation
- decision-making follow-up
For more information, please see here.
Date: 20 May 2013. 9:30-11:30 & lunch.
Place: Tampere, University of Tampere, Pinni B lobby. Finland.
This open database collects carbon footprint data in Spain.
The database, launched by the Spanish non-profit ECODES, provides open data on the carbon footprint left by companies, products, and events. Carbonpedia promotes the collection, reporting, and dissemination of carbon footprint as a way to measure carbon footprint, thereby improving the transparency of public and private entities in relation to climate policy. The site has been developed by ECODES with the support of the Biodiversity Foundation and the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment. On the technical side, the database has been implemented in MySQL, with XML and JSON (API) systems that facilitate the dissemination of the information recorded.
OpenData Latinoamérica hopes to become a major, central, repository for reliable datasets from the region.
Very often after hackathons and meetings where groups of experts come together to analyze, compare and understand a particular set of data, a unique location where the successive conclusions are stored is not defined.
Data journalism is based on obtaining reliable data: An accurate data source is just as important to data journalism as a reliable human source is to a reporter’s interview. There is a need for a central repository where reliable data can be shared: OpenData Latinoamérica has this as its primary objective, the portal is led by the ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellows.
The initiative was inspired by the Open data portal created by THE ICFJ Knight International Journalism Fellow Justin Arenstein in Africa. OpenData Latinoamérica aims to improve the use of data in this region where data sets too often fail to show up where they should, and when they do, are scattered about the web at governmental repositories and multiple independent repositories where the data is not available for a sufficient time period.
The portal will create a data repository for storing information that comes systematically from governments throughout the region, from non-governmental organizations or from journalists and hackers who have obtained data themselves. This way, the portal will be able to quickly group invaluable information resources around a community interested in using open data, and promote the release of new data.
To find out more information about this portal please click here.
Source: Mariano Blejman and Miguel Paz on behalf of Ijnet.
The tool will enable visual reporting on the status of telecommunications in Spain.
Inspired by EU Digital Agenda Scoreboard tool for indicators' data graphing, the Spanish telecommunications regulator "Comisión del Mercado de las Telecomunicaciones" (CMT) has opened up a space on its own public data portal CMTDATA for data visualization. The aim is to provide visual reporting on telecommunications services and infrastructure in provinces and autonomous regions. The data used for each graph is provided in the annual Sectoral Economic Report, and can also be downloaded in CSV, XLS and PDF file formats.
The 'Shakespeare Review' suggests how Public Sector Information in the UK could improve.
The independent report known as the 'Shakespeare review', led by the Chair of the Data Strategy Board Stephan Shakespeare, has just been published, and examines the current status of Public Sector Information (PSI) in the UK.
Fruit of the government’s Open Data White Paper: Unleashing the Potential, the document suggests nine ways in which PSI could better be used to improve government services and boost economic growth, based on a market assessment of PSI produced by Deloitte.
The UK government will publish its response to the review in summer 2013.
Latest OpenLink Virtuoso more space efficient, flexible and expressive
An improved version of the Virtuoso Database Management System has just been released by OpenLink.
This includes improvements on graph data, a reworked scale-out support and three times more disk and RAM space than its predecessor, Virtuoso 6.
OpenLink Virtuoso was initially developed as a row-wise transaction oriented Relational Database Management System with the Structured Query Language (SQL) federation. It was subsequently re-targeted as a Resource Description Framework (RDF) graph store with built-in SPARQL and inference.
According to OpenLink, Virtuoso 7 is capable of running an operation on thousands or hundreds-of-thousands of values, then the next one on the results of this, and so on.
For more information about the latest version of Virtuoso please click here
U.S. government data will be made available in open formats from now on.
The White House has taken further steps in favour of open government data, through an Executive Order and a new Open Data Policy that give teeth to President Obama's 2009 Open Government Initiative. Signed on 9 May 2013, the unprecedented Executive Order requires that information generated and stored by the U.S. Federal Government be made available in open, machine-readable formats (even while safeguarding privacy, confidentiality, and security). Along with the Open Data Policy, the move is hailed as a way to make previously inaccessible or unmanageable data easily available to entrepreneurs, researchers, and others who can use those files to generate new products and services, build businesses, and create jobs.
As the Sunlight Foundation points out, these policies address some of the unresolved questions that have lingered despite past resolutions to foster open data: How can we reset the default to openness when there is so much data? How can we take on managing and releasing all the government's data, or as much as possible, without negotiating over every dataset the government has? How can the public (or policymakers) request what they don't know exists? How can CIOs manage what they haven't surveyed?
The way these policies seek to solve these issues is by going to the root of how information is collected. Agencies will now be required to collect or create data in a way that facilitates later processing and dissemination, which means using open formats, data standards, common core and extensible metadata for all new information creation and collection efforts, and open licenses. Along with the method of creating and collecting data, agencies will also be obliged to publicly list all their data. Until now, many agencies have been handling data that hasn't been fully reviewed, without public oversight, and advocates, journalists, policymakers and citizens have not had a clear idea of what agencies know or what they could release.
The Obama administration points out that the new policy will bring both financial and social benefits. Along with "operational efficiencies" and improving services, the hope is that more data online will spark new jobs, said President Obama: "We’re making even more government data available online, which will help launch even more new startups. And we’re making it easier for people to find the data and use it, so that entrepreneurs can build products and services we haven’t even imagined yet.”
The U.S. government will also implement the following actions in the upcoming months:
• A new Data.Gov. In the months ahead, Data.gov, the central hub for open government data, will launch new services that include improved visualization, mapping tools, better context to help locate and understand these data, and robust Application Programming Interface (API) access for developers.
• New open source tools to make data more open and accessible. The US Chief Information Officer and the US Chief Technology Officer are releasing free, open source tools on Github, a site that allows communities of developers to collaboratively develop solutions. This effort, known as Project Open Data, can accelerate the adoption of open data practices by providing plug-and-play tools and best practices to help agencies improve the management and release of open data. For example, one tool released today automatically converts simple spreadsheets and databases into APIs for easier consumption by developers. Anyone, from government agencies to private citizens to local governments and for-profit companies, can freely use and adapt these tools starting immediately.
• Building a 21st century digital government. As part of the Administration’s Digital Government Strategy and Open Data Initiatives in health, energy, education, public safety, finance, and global development, agencies have been working to unlock data from the vaults of government, while continuing to protect privacy and national security. Newly available or improved data sets from these initiatives will be released today and over the coming weeks as part of the one year anniversary of the Digital Government Strategy.
• Continued engagement with entrepreneurs and innovators to leverage government data. The Administration has convened and will continue to bring together companies, organizations, and civil society for a variety of summits to highlight how these innovators use open data to positively impact the public and address important national challenges.
The data management system sheds its beta skin.
Novel features include a new sleek default design, and easier theming to build custom sites, as well as a completely redesigned authorisation system that allows different departments to control their own workflow. It also has more built-in previews, and publishers can add custom previews for their favourite file types. News feeds and activity streams enable users to keep up with changes or new datasets in areas of interest. A new version of the API enables other applications to have full access to all the capabilities of CKAN. And there are many other smaller changes and bug fixes.
To install your own CKAN, or to upgrade an existing installation, you can install it as a package on Ubuntu 12.04 or do a source installation. Full installation and configuration instructions are at docs.ckan.org.