The OpenPompei, a project for transparency and Openness in public cultural spending
The objective of OpenPompei is to build an alliance of civic hackers, non-for profit organizations and the State which will monitor public spending, so as to fight corruption and increase efficiency.
As part of a greater initiative to protect cultural sites called the Great Pompei project, the Italian government decided in 2012 to launch the OpenPompei initiative for transparency, inquiry and mobilization. They see a need for protecting the expenditure on the cultural sector from criminal activity.
Public spending should be effective and efficient; therefore it was decided to release the spending data of the great Pompei project. Releasing data and encouraging public debate can help to discover errors suggest improvements and promote more effective administrations.
It mains objectives are:
- To promote a culture of transparency and open data: The idea is to have a small team ready to help Public administrations in the South that are willing to promote open data policies.
- To observe and investigate the area’s digital economy. Naples as an area is full of co-working spaces, new digital companies, social enterprises, social innovators that share similar economies. These initiatives are often fragile and isolated, but entail a futuristic ideology. The overall goal is to get to know them and encourage them to open up their success stories and weaknesses.
To guarantee its independence and objectivity, OpenPompei was set up as a European-funded project. Studiare Sviluppo, a Public private company from the ministry of the economy, was awarded the initiatives execution.
Source: Alberto Cottica's personal blog OpenPompei: open data and the hacker economy vs. the mob | Contrordine compagni
Main site: http://www.openpompei.it/ only in italian.
In April 2013, the ISA Programme launched the DCAT Application Profile initiative as part of Action 1.1 on improving semantic interoperability in European e-Government systems. The goal of the DCAT Application Profile is to become a common specification for describing public sector datasets and sharing these descriptions with data portals across Europe, since studies conducted on behalf of the European Commission show that businesses and citizens still face difficulties in finding and re-using public sector information.
The aim to ensure consistency in the description metadata published by data portals across Europe has a clear business case:
- Data re-users find it at times difficult to get an overview of which datasets exists and which public administrations are maintaining it, in particular if the datasets are in another Member State where language barriers may apply and the structure of government is unfamiliar. To address this problem, data publishers and portals, maintain catalogues of datasets that are made available by public administrations on their websites. The quality of the description metadata in these catalogues directly affects how easily datasets can be found.
- Data providers want to encourage reuse of their datasets by making them searchable and accessible. Here publishing description metadata of the datasets online can be at times more important than making it the actual data available. Especially in cases where the costs to publish datasets is high and the actual demand for it unclear, listing on one or more data portals can signal availability at low cost.
In its communication on Open Data of December 12 2011, the European Commission states that the availability of the information in a machine-readable format as well as a thin layer of commonly agreed metadata could facilitate data cross-reference and interoperability and therefore considerably enhance its value for reuse.
How can you help?
The public review period is open till 10 June 2013. The general public is invited to:
- Download the Final Draft of DCAT Application Profile from Joinup platform; and
- Provide your comments on the Final Draft page on Joinup (registration and/or login is required).
What happens with your feedback?
- All comments will be registered in an issues list that will be discussed by the Working Group on 12 June 2013.
- Resolutions of those issues will be shared on Joinup, and will lead to a final version of the specification that will be submitted to the European Commission for endorsement by the EU Member States.
To know more
1st International Summer School in Technologies and Applications for Open and Collaborative Governance
The 1st International Summer School (01/07/2013 – 06/07/2013 in Samos, Greece) focusing in Technologies and Applications for Open and Collaborative Governance (e-GOV Summer School) is organized by the University of the Aegean in Samos island, and provides a unique opportunity for participants to interact with internationally acclaimed scientists and researchers in the domain of ICT-enabled Governance, and to develop their skills in the areas of policy modelling, information management, social media in governance and more.
The e-GOV Summer School covers a wide span of information and communication technologies and social science issues, under the following thematic areas:
- Open and collaborative governance models and practices.
- Open and linked data acquisition, curation and publishing.
- Social media and web 2.0 platforms and services for governance.
- Policy modelling and electronic policy deliberation (e-participation).
- Citizens’ opinion mining and sentiment analysis.
- Electronic government infrastructures and services (e-government).
- Technical, semantic and organisational Interoperability.
- Legal, security and trust issues in open governance.
Courses will be offered in various ways, including lectures, tutorials, collaborative workshops and round table discussions.
24-26 May 2013. Barcelona & Madrid, Spain.
“When data tells stories,” the first Data Journalism conference to be held in Spain, is organized by the Open Knowledge Foundation in Spain, and will take place simultaneously in Barcelona and Madrid. An accompanying weekend Hackathon will be held in Madrid, Seville, and Valladolid. See here for more information http://periodismodatos.okfn.es/
Date: 24-26 May 2013
Place: BCN, Madrid
22-24 May 2013. Krems, Austria.
The international Conference for e-Democracy and Open Government brings together e-democracy, e-participation and open government specialists working in academia, politics, government and business to critically analyse the innovations, issues, ideas and challenges in the networked societies of the digital age.
The CeDEM represents a continuation and development of the E-democracy conference initiated in 2007. The Centre for E-Governance at the Danube University Krems has been organising conferences on e-democracy and public administration since 2007. The CeDEM was first presented in 2011, and in the meantime also boasts a spin-off in Asia, held for the first time in November 2012.
There will be some sessions focused on Open Data and PSI re-use. The track "Open Data, Transparency and Open Innovation" will have experts in the legal field, economy of PSI re-use and technical frameworks for PSI re-use.
More information here.
Date: 22-24 May 2013.
Place: Krems, Austria.
The Open Humanities Awards feature technology projects that employ open data in furthering humanities research.
DM2E (Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana) has announced its Open Humanities Awards winners, Dr Bernhard Haslhofer (University of Vienna) and Dr Robyn Adams (Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, University College London).
Semantic tagging for old maps: Dr. Haslhofer's project proposes building an open source web application that extracts digitized historical maps from closed environments, add zooming functionality, and assigns Web URIs so people can discuss them online.
Joined Up Early Modern Diplomacy - Linked Data from the Correspondence of Thomas Bodley: Dr Adams' project will re-purpose the Diplomatic Correspondence of Thomas Bodley, using extra information encoded into the digitisation of early modern letters that took place at the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters. An earlier version of this project this data (which includes biographical and geographical information contained within letters) was not used, even though it was encoded.
The winners will receive financial support to help them run their projects, and will write about the project's development in a blog.
Read more here.
'Follow the Data' keeps tabs on oil and gas data and promotes openness in the extractives sector.
Follow the Data Blog was created in order to promote openness and transparency in the extractives industry. The hope is that, by creating a public demand for open data, this clamor will effect changes in the industry and in society that will then spill over into other sectors.
The project is run by several organisations, including: UK Department for International Development, World Bank Institute, Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Revenue Watch Institute, and Rewired State.
A series of related events will be held throughout 2013, and around the globe, in order to showcase the benefits of open, interactive and accessible extractives data. Those interested can keep track of what these organisations are up to and latest Follow the Data developments by tuning in to this blog.
Participants are invited to build an app from home that helps cities better handle tourism.
The Open Cities project, partially funded by the EU, promotes Open Innovation management in the public sector by conducting experimental driven research in Crowdsourcing, Open Data, Fiber to the Home and Open Sensor Networks in major European cities: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Helsinki, Paris, Rome and UK-NESTA (UK cities involved in the project through NESTA).
This Open Data Tourism Hack at home challenge is free and Open to all app creators (developers, designers, users with ideas etc.) to up with ways in which Open Data can help cities address challenges related to tourism. The competition begins on 13 May 2013 and runs until 13 November 2013, and offers a chance to win a variety of prizes, including a €3000 cash prize.
For more details, see the Open Data Tourism Hack at home website.
The deadline for submissions is 24 May 2013.
The Open Knowledge Conference bills itself as the "World's leading open data and knowledge event." This year's edition, OKCon 2013, will be held in Geneva (Switzerland) from the 17-18 September 2013 and will focus on six main topics:
Open Data, Government and Governance Open Development and Sustainability Open Science and Research Open Culture Technology, Tools and Business Evidence and Stories Proposals are currently being accepted, until 24 May 2013. The results will be published by 17 June 2013.
Find the call, FAQs and the submission form on the OKCon 2013 Call for Proposal webpage.
This new GCM includes information on using URIs to implement identifiers.
Version 3.4rc3 (release candidate 3) of the INSPIRE Generic Conceptual Model (GCM) has just been published on the INSPIRE web site. INSPIRE is the European Union (EU) directive that has established a spatial data infrastructure to better facilitate public access to spatial information across Europe.
The new GCM contains details and guidance on how to use URIs to implement identifiers within INSPIRE for spatial objects and resources like code list values and coordinate reference systems. This FAQ page supplies additional information.
Create an app using the Municipality of Milan's open data and get the chance to win cash prizes.
The App4Mi contest is sponsored by the city of Milan and open to adult citizens and micro-enterprises. It aims to encourage the development of innovative tools based on the use Milan's open data. The contest runs through the international platform ChallengePost, and offers a prize pool of up to € 20,000 to be divided by category and topic. The contest will be accompanied by the App4Mi Open Campus, a program of training sessions for developers, designers and small businesses.
The competition begins on 8 May 2013 and runs until 31 July 2013. For more information, see http://www.app4mi.it/details/english.
This new interactive database plots Chinese development finance to Africa from 2000 to 2011.
AidData's that tracks Chinese development finance flows to Africa from 2000 to 2011.
AidData, a partnership between the College of William and Mary, Development Gateway, and BYU, has launched a new interactive database that tracks Chinese development finance to Africa based on data from 2000 to 2011. AidData has already employed a media-based data collection (MBDC) methodology, that has uncovered more than 1,600 Chinese-financed projects amounting to over $75 billion.
The data is open and allows users to filter, manipulate, and visualize it. Journalists, researchers, policymakers, development practitioners, and the general public can provide additional information about specific projects, such as media reports, documents, videos, and photographs, as well as suggest new projects not previously identified.
The data will help provide a stronger empirical foundation for analysis of China's overseas development finance activities in Africa.
15 May 2013. Seville, Spain.
Halfway through the project, HOMER's (Harmonising Open data in the Mediterranean through better access and Reuse of public sector information) 19 partners will meet in Seville to disseminate the benefits of Open Data for governments, the private sector, and citizens of Mediterranean countries. The event is open to all those interested in Open Data—companies, institutions, universities, citizens, all are invited to attend to learn more about this topic.
To view the programme and for more details, please see here. Date: 15-16 May 2013.
Place: ONCE building (Spanish organisation for people with blindness or severe visual impairment), located on the island of la Cartuja in Seville, Spain.
What happens when netizens share culture online?
The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision aims to measure the impact of opening cultural datasets through Open Images, an open media storage space for audiovisual archive material that foments reuse. Along with providing access to existing audiovisual archive collections under the Creative Commons licensing model or Public Domain Mark, anybody can upload their own material to Open Images (with an open license) to encourage reuse. The platform also facilitates an API that helps developers reuse the material and create mash-ups.
What Open Images' infrastructure enables is the distribution of open content by combining open source software components, open media formats, open standards and an open API. The nature of the platform has already led to external reuse — Sound and Vision videos from Open Images are also available on Wikimedia Commons and Europeana, for example.
As this case study from Europeana Professional highlights, Sound and Vision and Kennisland for Open Culture Data will perform impact analysis research based on the Open Images experience, the results of which will be made public during 2013.
10 May 2013. Zaragoza, Spain.
The Zaragoza Municipal Government will host a day-long event dedicated to Quality, Free, Public Information. Jose Manuel Alonso (Open Data Programa Manager. World Wide Web Foundation.) will deliver the keynote address, which will be followed by various round table panel discussions ('Removing Legislative Barriers to Information' and 'Data is the New Oil') and the presentation of the project 'How to improve your neighborhood.'
Panelists and moderators include: Emilio García García, José Felix Muñoz Soro, Lorenzo Cotino Hueso, Javier Badal, Fermín Serrano, Alicia Asín, Mar Cabra, and Marc Garriga. For more information and to see the full schedule, please see here.
Date: 10 May 2013.
Place: Museo Pablo Gargallo, Pza. de San Felipe, 3. Zaragoza, Spain (Phone: 976 724922)
10 May 2013. Dublin, Ireland.
The Future Internet Assembly (FIA) conference will take place 8-10 May 2013, and will feature an Open Data session in the "Entrepreneurship pathways" stream on the last day of the event, at 10:00. This session will address the following questions:
- What is the definition of Open data ?
- Who are their providers ?
- Which are their access APIs ?
- Which are the key issues for their utilization ?
- Which are the most suitable business models?
The targeted audience is:
- Researchers and developers from industry and academia engaged in Future Internet programs and projects, e.g. FI PPP program, FP7 Media projects, etc.
- Innovation leaders and entrepreneurs interested to know more about Open data and the usage
- Open data providers and stakeholders such as cities, ministers, local government and relevant authorities.
For more information and registration, see here.
Date: 10 May 2013. 10:00.
Place: Helix DCU Conference Center, Collins Avenue, Glasnevin. Dublin, Ireland.
How does PSI reuse fare in Spain? April's Report assesses free access, public fees, and prices.
This report has been drawn up by Spain's public data website datos.gob.es, and analyses factors that condition the cost exemption and pricing of PSI. Upon reviewing applicable regulations in this area, the different models for Spanish and European public bodies, it establishes a set of recommendations and techniques that can serve as a reference. The report is structured as follows:
- Analysis of currently applicable Spanish and European legislation and specific provisions relating to the charging of fees for PSI.
- Analysis of existing pricing techniques, developing the model recognised by the EU and Spanish legislation as fair and recommended: marginal cost.
- The development of other PSI re-use financing techniques through public-private partnership models.
- Analysis of real cases of Spanish and European public bodies which have applied different strategies regarding the cost exemption or pricing of PSI.
- Final conclusions and a practical guide for analysis of and reflection on the application of charges for certain PSI services.
Read the complete report here.
How data can be used to prevent murky voting strategies in Parliament.
Last year, the Czech Republic released its voting records as open data, a move which has facilitated reuse in favour of transparency. A very specific example was recently highlighted by Kamil Gregor, from Koho Volit (a Czechoslovak non-profit that promotes political transparency), at OpeningParliament.org.
Deputies from the Czech Republic's lower chamber in parliament meet for 60 days per year, but must submit many more roll-call votes than in other countries. Deputies sometimes vote more than once every minute, and often don't know what they're voting about. As proxy voting is not permitted, “blind” voting sometimes produces outcomes that parties don't desire, and so party leaders employ a number of strategies to get the votes they want.
Every deputy can invalidate his or her vote, after which voting is immediately repeated. Although the voting machine is often blamed for erroneously recording the vote, Kamil Gregor's analysis of 121 cases of this kind of invalidated votes suggests otherwise. His findings have been made possible because of access to open data, he says. In his words: "Thanks to Open Data, I did not have to scrape the records to make this analysis. It only took me few hours with a spreadsheet to get all the results."
Read on for his take on 'dirty tricks' in the Czech Parliament:
"What strikes me is that a deputy that invalidates a vote is usually not the only one who made a mistake. Many more deputies vote differently the second time. This suggests that invalidation is used as a strategy to remind deputies what they’re voting about. In one of the cases, 88 out of 163 deputies present voted differently after a vote was invalidated!
Sometimes, transcripts of the plenary debate provide amusing evidence. In this case, we read: “Was it the senatorial one? Oops, I messed up. (Other confused voices).” Interestingly, an audio recording of that particular debate is missing. Maybe it’s to prevent us from hearing those “other confused voices.”
Occasionally, only deputies of a single parliamentary group switch sides. For example in 2011, a deputy of a senior government party had to remind members of a junior government party how to vote: “Of course, I would never oppose a proposal that concerns the Coalition agreement…” And miraculously, all but one deputies of the junior government party changed their mind (the one somehow got it right the first time).
The most obvious evidence of these “dirty tricks” is a situation when the very deputy who invalidated a vote votes identically the second time. For example in 2012, a government deputy invalidated a vote on opening a discussion about a topic uncomfortable for the government. In 2 minutes that passed before voting was repeated, the number of deputies present almost doubled and the floor agenda change was dismissed. It seems government deputies were just returning from lunch.
Simple statistical analysis of the data shows both opposition and government parties engage in these strategies just about equally often. A list of deputies who has invalidated a vote in the current term shows several people who do it regularly. These deputies are probably party “whips” who are in charge of monitoring what’s going on so that other can take a nap or read tabloid."
Click here to read the full post.
June 2013. Rome, Italy.
The course in Open Data Journalism, by the 'Association Openpolis and the 'Association of Investigative Journalism', will teach journalism students how to access open data and use data journalism techniques to produce reports, analysis, and infographics.
The course is divided into 2 modules, to be followed by an internship or final project at a national or local newspaper. Registration is open until 17 June 2013, or until the maximum limit of 30 students is reached. The course costs 2,000 euros.
For more information and to register, see: http://www.opendatajournalism.net/
Date: Registration open until 17 June 2013. Courses run June-September 2013.
Place: Via Ofanto 33. Rome, Italy.
This in-depth study will examine how open data could be used in 14 developing countries.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) and inventor of the Web, has announced ‘Exploring the Emerging Impacts of Open Data in Developing Countries’ (ODDC), a research study that will address how open data can be used to tackle social challenges in the developing world. According to Berners-Lee, the results will "help to ensure that Open Data initiatives in the developing world will unlock real improvements in citizens’ day-to-day lives.”
The initiative will also help train developing world researchers and workers to "to understand and apply open data for themselves,” said José M. Alonso, WWWF program manager.
The study is funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and will be overseen by the Web Foundation’s world-leading open data experts. An interim progress update will be made at an October 2013 meeting of the Open Government Partnership, with in-depth results expected in 2014.
Further details on the project, including case study outlines, are available here.