Open data

Freebase Shutting Down in 2015, Transferring All Data to Wikidata

freebaseA new release out of Freebase reports, “When we publicly launched Freebase back in 2007, we thought of it as a ‘Wikipedia for structured data.’ So it shouldn’t be surprising that we’ve been closely watching the Wikimedia Foundation‘s project Wikidata since it launched about two years ago. We believe strongly in a robust community-driven effort to collect and curate structured knowledge about the world, but we now think we can serve that goal best by supporting Wikidata — they’re growing fast, have an active community, and are better-suited to lead an open collaborative knowledge base. So we’ve decided to help transfer the data in Freebase to Wikidata, and in mid-2015 we’ll wind down the Freebase service as a standalone project. Freebase has also supported developer access to the data, so before we retire it, we’ll launch a new API for entity search powered by Google’s Knowledge Graph.” Read more

4 Open Source Machine Learning Projects

deepdiveSerdar Yegulalp of InfoWorld recently wrote, “Over the last year, as part of the new enterprise services that IBM has been pushing on its reinvention, Watson has become less of a “Jeopardy”-winning gimmick and more of a tool. It also remains IBM’s proprietary creation. What are the chances, then, of creating a natural-language machine learning system on the order of Watson, albeit with open source components? To some degree, this has already happened — in part because Watson itself was built in top of existing open source work, and others have been developing similar systems in parallel to Watson. Here’s a look at four such projects.” Read more

ODI Queensland joins the global open data community

Open Data Institute QueenslandQueensland, Australia, Dec. 2, 2014 (The ODI) — The Open Data Institute (ODI) today welcomes a new Node – ODI Queensland – to its international network.

ODI Queensland is being launched at the Queensland Government’s Open Data Awards Ceremony, which is being attended by a broad mix audience of researchers, students, business community and government.

The new Node and awards ceremony reflects a growing interest in open data across Australia, as Maree Adshead, the CEO of ODI Queensland reflects:

“Open data has been a high priority here in Queensland and right across Australia for some time now. We are therefore delighted to become a formal participant in the international ODI Node network, and look forward to contributing significant value both locally and globally.”

ODI Queensland will help to ensure that this broad commitment to open data is underpinned by in-depth understanding and expertise in how it is used and published, as Adshead explains:

“ODI Queensland will strive to foster a world class open data culture and capability in Queensland.  We will help make open data easier to publish, find, access and create with.  We will endeavour to quantify and demonstrate the tangible value of what can be generated using open data.”

“There are immediate challenges to be solved concerning quality, format and standards, as well as the need to prioritise publication of high value and interesting data,” Adshead explains. “ One of our first priorities will be education and awareness to address this challenge among both the public and private sectors. We need to get this part of the equation right in order to properly progress and realise the economic, social and environmental benefits of using open data.”

Gavin Starks, CEO at the ODI reflects on the launch of the new Node, “Queensland is now part of an international network that spans North America, South America, Europe and Asia: from Hawaii to Rio, Paris to Osaka. We look forward to working with the Node, to develop our shared vision, and to see it thrive and prosper.”

About the ODI

The Open Data Institute catalyses the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It unlocks supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues. Founded by Professor Sir Nigel Shadbolt and Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the ODI is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan company. http://www.theodi.org

How Health Startups are Using Big, Open Data

2837123918_f7308483d1_zJoel Gurin of Information Week recently wrote, “Watson‘s venture into healthcare is part of a new movement to data-driven medicine. The federal government has recently released large amounts of data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration, among other agencies. At the same time, several other trends — the use of electronic medical records, an explosion of data about the human genome, and advances in data analysis — have given us the potential for a revolution in healthcare. We can look forward to more data-driven diagnostics, treatment plans, and predictive analytics to determine the best treatments more scientifically.” Read more

How Chicago’s Former CDO Made the City Smarter

4064715098_40e1e10410Nicole Laskowski of SearchCIO recently wrote, “When Brett Goldstein was appointed as Chicago’s first chief data officer (CDO) in May 2011, he found himself in the middle of a classic IT struggle. The city’s data was spread across the municipality and mired in silos, making it difficult to get a holistic view… That needed to change — in a hurry. The city was set to host the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit in May 2012. The event would bring in heads of state — and throngs of protesters — to Chicago. Goldstein wanted to provide public safety officials with better ‘situational awareness,’ or the ability to understand what was happening in any given place at any given time. To do so, Goldstein, who became Chicago’s CDO/CIO in 2012, needed to break data out of silos in a cost-effective manner that didn’t require overhauling the city’s infrastructure.” Read more

Taking Open Data to the Next Level

2260844587_70aef23924Phil Richards of Research Information recently wrote, “The academic researcher tends to be a competitive animal who perhaps operates most naturally at this more individualistic scale. But scientists are a pragmatic bunch – and so, where needs must, larger groups of researchers set personalities and personal differences aside to tackle ‘big science’ problems such as genomics or the discovery of the Higgs boson… But now, digital technology is opening up new possibilities for research. A researcher can test a new hypothesis relatively quickly against a sizeable pre-existing set of open digital research data, originating from a whole range of different past experiments in which he or she had no direct involvement, but which can be repurposed at large scale. Could that herald a step-change in the rate of scientific discovery, and associated creation of new knowledge and economic value?” Read more

‘Heritage and Culture Open Data Challenge’ Launches

odi summitGRAND PRIZE UP TO £50,000 for the best product using heritage and culture open data

CHALLENGE ASKS: “How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people, in UK heritage and culture?”

With support from the British Museum, Nesta and the Open Data Institute(ODI) have today launched the ‘Heritage & Culture Open Data Challenge’.

As part of the Heritage & Culture Open Data Challenge, competing teams are tasked with developing products and services, which answer the question ”How can we use open data to engage more people, and more diverse people, in UK heritage and culture”. Read more

First ODI Open Data Awards given to Wikidata, Others

Wikidata representatives, Lydia Pintscher and Magnus Manske  receiving award from Nigel Shadboldt and Tim Berners-Lee.19:30 GMT Tuesday 4th November 2014 –Four organisations and one individual have been acknowledged for their contribution to the worldwide open data movement in the very first Open Data Awards, held at the Open Data Institute’s Annual Summit and Gala Dinner.

The awards were presented by the ODI’s founders, Sir Tim Berners Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt in a ceremony attended by leaders from the business, data and technology worlds. Nominations for the awards were open to everyone and judged by a team of six including panelists from the USA and Pakistan. Read more

EU Gets Behind Open Data with €14.4M for New Startups, Research & Training

ODINovember 4, 2014 — Building on the success of the Open Data Institute (“ODI”) startup programme, training business and research functions, and combining the skills of world-class partners, the EU has committed €14.4m (£11m) to three initiatives to catalyse open data innovation across the region. The funding is being announced today (4th November) at the ODI Summit in London.

1.    €7.8m Europe-wide incubator programme based on the ODI’s startup programme

2.     €3.7m Europe-wide web data research network

3.    €2.9m new academy to train the next generation of data scientists

This is the largest direct investment in open data startups in the world, to date. Read more

FLAX a Winner on the World’s Technology Stage

flax29 October, 2014 — Software designed at the University of Waikato and used all around the world has won a major international competition.

FLAX, which stands for Flexible Learning Acquisition, has taken first place at the Linked Vici Competition, held to acknowledge development in open and linked data for educational purposes.

The win was announced at the 13th International Semantic Web Conference, in Riva del Garda, Italy, with FLAX taking first place from 10 shortlisted candidates. Read more

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