The Open Knowledge Foundation have published a blog post with notes on a site they’re developing to gather together data from across Europe. The post notes that the growth of data catalogues at both a national level (mentioning the Digitalisér.dk data portal run by the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency) and “countless city level initiatives across Europe as well – from Helsinki to Munich, Paris to Zaragoza.” with many more initiatives “in the pipeline with plans to launch in the next 6 to 12 months.”
PublicData.eu will, it says:
“Provide a single point of access to open, freely reusable datasets from numerous national, regional and local public bodies throughout Europe.
“[It] will harvest and federate this information to enable users to search, query, process, cache and perform other automated tasks on the data from a single place. This helps to solve the “discoverability problem” of finding interesting data across many different government websites, at many different levels of government, and across the many governments in Europe.”
What is perhaps even more interesting for journalists is that the site plans to:
“Capture (proposed) edits, annotations, comments and uploads from the broader community of public data users.”
That might include anything from cleaner versions of data, to instances where developers match datasets together, or where users add annotations that add context to a particular piece of information.
Finally there’s a general indication that the site hopes to further lower the bar for data and collaborative journalism by:
“Providing basic data analysis and visualisation tools together with more in-depth resources for those looking to dig deeper into the data. Users will be able to personalise their data browsing experience by being able to save links and create notes and comments on datasets.”
More in the post itself. Worth keeping an eye on.
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I think thare are many synergic initiatives going on on Open data to overcome barriers on data reuse.
this is what you will find on the mentioned website on the barriers that this intiative wants to overcome.
1. Prevalence of open data that is published to application-specific, non-reusable formats that also lack terminology and data consistency.
2. Cost of provisioning and delivery. Data is most often stored on servers within public bodies, not readily available for external, scalable access.
3. Open data frameworks should be publicly available for developers in all developing languages, together with tools, sample code and documentation to make it easier to re-use the data.
4. More focus required on publishing open data to the Cloud to improve cost- efficiency, to enable re-use features and give non-discriminatory availability for developers and ISVs.
5. Data classification and potential reuse should be solved by government agencies actively engaging with ISVs.
And here is the technical part of the story, this toolkit makes it easy for developers to reuse data whatever programming language they use.(a dutch dataset example)
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I feel that soon enough, a storm of data Vs privacy issue will certain surface. And with different attitudes in the EU, I can foresee a problem despite some advantages. Look at the case when the German government tries to ban Google Analytics and even fine companies who use it, in the name of privacy protection. It’s hard to embrace all these data, when you know, at the back of your head that, it might be illegal.
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