For three days the International Open Government Data Conference (iogdc), in Washington, D.C., gathered the community of data owners, developers and policy makers from around the globe to share lessons learned, stimulate new ideas, and demonstrate the power of democratizing data. For two days London was the meeting place for a more European focused audience in the Open Government Data Camp (ogdcamp).
Alexander B. Howard from O’Reilly Media published a great blog post the second day in Washington that very well summarizes the whole week: Open data: accountability, citizen utility and economic opportunity.
In both conferences Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web, described his “five star system” for open government data. From "one star" for making data available, often in pdf format. To "five stars" for linked data using the semantic web standard RDF (Resource Description Framework). What is required to get the ratings stars? See this excellent page: Linked Open Data star scheme by example.
In a five minute interview on YouTube with David Eaves, Public Policy Entrepreneur in Canada, on Open Government Data, gives his view on why is it important, what are the benefits, what should government do?
Two examples of what is happening in the Open Government sphere.
- In UK every postcode has got a global identifier, e.g. http://data.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/id/postcodeunit/SO164GU, which in a web-browser is de-referenced to a page presenting the linked data describing postcode SO164GU. This linked data service is provided by the Ordnance Survey, Great Britain's national mapping agency.
- In US, one application being showcased on the www.data.gov give you a detailed view of the nationwide obesity epidemic, and the factors that influence it, using National Obesity Comparison Tool