Posts Tagged ‘transparency’

The Economic Benefits of Open Data Graphs


James Kobielus of our sister site DATAVERSITY recently wrote, “Openness, transparency, and agility are where the world is headed. However, these trends are problematic for those of us who have intellectual property – including software, data, and other products – that we seek to control access to for many legitimate reasons (e.g., our livelihoods depend on being paid for them). Open access to free data is happening everywhere, regardless of whether it’s convenient to those of us who own copyrights. Open data is an important trend, and, regardless of what the cynics may say, it’s not an ideological cover for intellectual proprietary pirates. In fact, it’s a core principle of the emerging world economy.” Read more

Introducing the Sovereign Credit Risk Open Database

Marc Joffe of the OKF reports, “Throughout the Eurozone, credit rating agencies have been under attack for their lack of transparency and for their pro-cyclical sovereign rating actions. In the humble belief that the crowd can outperform the credit rating oracles, we are introducing an open database of historical sovereign risk data. It is available at where community members can both view and edit the data. Once the quality of this data is sufficient, the data set can be used to create unbiased, transparent models of sovereign credit risk. The database contains central government revenue, expenditure, public debt and interest costs from the 19th century through 2011 – along with crisis indicators taken from Reinhart and Rogoff’s public database.” Read more

Gavin Starks on Making Data More Accessible

Gavin Starks, the recently appointed CEO of the Open Data Institute, has shared his insights on how to make open data more accessible. He writes, “‘Data as culture’ is a phrase new to many, but its roots will be familiar. We live in an age of data-driven decision-making: decisions that impact every aspect of our lives. Whether it’s the prime minister reviewing data about our economic growth, or your sister checking your FourSquare check-ins, data is ubiquitous and pervasive. Since the early days of the internet, and the web, we have seen more data becoming available. Mobile phones, smart meters and sensors, store cards, and social media are all generating data that simply didn’t exist before. This is in addition to the huge amounts of information that already exists; health records, transport routes, maps, spending information, are now all digital – but rarely accessible.” Read more

Defining Open Government Data

Anupama Dokeniya has written an article for the World Bank blog discussing open government data. Dokeniya writes, “Even as the language of ‘Open Government’ has picked up steam over the past couple of years – driven initially by the ‘Obama Open Government Directive’, and further boosted by the multi-lateral Open Government Partnership –  the use of the term has tended to fairly broad, and mostly imprecise, lacking a shared, consistent definition. As Nathaniel Heller of Global Integrity, a key player in the OGP, cautioned in a recent blog: ‘The longer we allow ‘open government’ to mean any and everything to anyone, the risk increases that the term melts into a hollow nothingness of rhetoric’.” Read more

Open Government Partnership Launches with 8 Nations

The Open Government Partnership has launched with the hope of making government data more transparent. According to the article, “The idea is to encourage governments to make concrete promises to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption, and harness new technologies to strengthen governance. Eight nations (Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, South Africa, United Kingdom, and the US) have formally endorsed a broadly-worded Open Government Declaration, all of them openly asserting that their goal is to achieve ‘greater prosperity, well-being, and human dignity in our own countries and in an increasingly interconnected world.’” Read more

Benefits of UK’s Broadening of Open Data Resources

A new article comments on the recent announcement by UK Prime Minister David Cameron regarding “the broadening of the publicly available government data with the publishing of key data on the National Health Service, schools, criminal courts and transport. The background to the announcement was a celebration of the preceding year of activity in the areas of transparency and open data, with many core government data sets being published. Too many to list here, but the 7,200+ listed on gives you an insight. The political guide to this is undeniable, as Mr. Cameron makes clear in his YouTube speech for the announcement (below) ‘Information is power because it allows people to hold the powerful to account.’” Read more

The State of Open Data

A recent article discusses the proliferation of open data sets over the last several years and how these sets are being utilized. The article begins, “More than two years after President Obama’s memorandum on his open government initiative, thousands of public authorities and organizations worldwide have embraced the main idea behind it. Opening up data and making them publicly available on the Web has been recognized as a key to fostering transparency and collaboration within public administrations and with citizens. From census data, to cadastrial maps, everyday a new data set pop ups on the Web.” Read more

CLOUD Works Toward a Contextual Markup Language

The Consortium for Local Ownership and Use of Data (CLOUD) is advocating for a contextual markup language (CTML). According to a recent article, “CLOUD is an open source effort to rebuild the Internet around people, not web pages. Much like we tag categories on Flickr, CLOUD tags digital identities with a ‘Who tag’.  This tag would connect you to everything, dropping barriers to entry everywhere, because you’d be tagged in every existing and future database. In the physical world, people are connected by a contextual layer. Why shouldn’t it be the same in the semantic web?” Read more

Phase2′s OpenPublic Goes Public

Phase2 – a company that has been in our headlines recently – yesterday announced the public demo and beta release of OpenPublic, “a Drupal platform that enables government to publish content and engage constituents more easily and securely online.” Jeff Walpole, CEO of Phase2 Technology, stated, “We designed, built, and released OpenPublic to help government and other public-policy groups to more easily support their mission-critical content and interact with citizens… We wanted to do our part to encourage technology innovation, further the nation’s participation in civic endeavors, and generate new open source tools that can propel our nation forward.” Read more

Improving Lives with Open Data

A new article from the New York Times discusses the multitude of improvements that transparent data can have on our everyday lives: “Governments have learned a cheap new way to improve people’s lives. Here is the basic recipe: Take data that you and I have already paid a government agency to collect, and post it online in a way that computer programmers can easily use. Then wait a few months. Voilà! The private sector gets busy, creating Web sites and smartphone apps that reformat the information in ways that are helpful to consumers, workers and companies.” Read more