Two weeks ago London was host to the Open Government Partnership Summit in which government representatives and civil society from over 60 countries convened over three days to discuss among other government transparency, accountability and issues relating to the release and reuse of open data.
In the 2 weeks leading up to the first ODI Summit, 13 organisations from around the world, signed a contract to become an ODI Node. Their commitment: time, energy, and money. Our commitment: time, energy, and money. More on the money later…
The ODI provides training, research and development, and incubates startups. It bridges between commercial, public sector, research and third sector communities.
Nodes are attached to existing organisations (for-profit, non-profit, or academic), and not to individuals, in-part to reflect the ODI’s commercial focus.
Every time you hit a paywall is an isolated moment of frustration, that is unlikely to shake the ivory tower of academic publishing. By putting these moments together using the Open Access Button, we will capture your individual moments of injustice and frustration and display them, on full view to the world. Only by making this problem impossible to ignore can we change the system.
A few weeks ago, CC co-hosted an open education meetup in London with P2PU, the Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN), and FLOSS Manuals Foundation. We also led or participated in sessions and tracks on open science, makes for cultural archives, collaborations across the open space, and open education data at the Mozilla Festival immediately following the meetup. Several interesting projects have arisen from both the meetup and sessions, so we thought it worthwhile to mention here in case others would like to get involved.
Back at the last G8 summit in June of this year, the G8 member states signed on to the Open Data Charter, whereby all of the member states pledged their commitment to “open economies, open societies and open governments as the basis of lasting growth and stability”. France has moved quite quickly to demonstrate their strong commitment to the Charter and the cause of Open Data more generally by releasing (in French and English) their Action Plan for France.
Over the last decade there has been a rapid evolution toward increased scholarly publishing online. Much of it remains proprietary publishing available only through paid access, but there are now a number of peer-reviewed gold access online scholarly journals, and book publishers commonly make a table of contents and a sample chapter freely available. Google meanwhile has made the complete texts of millions of public domain books available for free. And there are countless websites devoted to more narrowly defined online publishing projects.
re3data.org is a global registry of research data repositories. The registry covers research data repositories from different academic disciplines. re3data.org presents repositories for the permanent storage and access of data sets to researchers, funding bodies, publishers and scholarly institutions. re3data.org aims to promote a culture of sharing, increased access and better visibility of research data.
In December 2012 re3data.org launched an alpha version. The registry will be continuously developed and improved together with relevant stakeholders.
re3data.org is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
As more and more funders and journals adopt data policies that require researchers to deposit underlying research data in a data repository, the question how to choose a repository becomes more and more important. Heinz Pampel is one of the people behind re3data.org, an Open Science tool that helpsresearchers to easily identify a suitable repository for their data and thus comply to requirements set out in data policies.
Efforts to put individual genome sequences and accompanying personal health information online in a freely accessible database just got a boost in the United Kingdom. On 6 November, Stephan Beck from University College London and his colleagues announced the establishment of a British Personal Genome Project (PGP-UK), which will recruit volunteers to provide DNA and health data with no restrictions on their use.
PGP-UK plans to sequence 50 British residents, age 18 or older, in its first year and ultimately hopes to enroll 100,000, Beck says. Some 450 people have already expressed interest, and the group has secured a year’s worth of funding and in-kind sequencing services.
In recent years, more and more municipalities have opened datasets related to crime, public transit, health and other areas. And the Obama White House issued an Executive Order and established an open data policy for federal agencies earlier this year. There is obvious optic value of creating greater transparency at a moment when many are concerned about government secrecy and surveillance.
If you have come to data.gov.uk wondering what open data is all about, this short guide will provide you with the basic information you need to start playing with government data and will point you to tools and resources that can help you further in working with open data.
The reasons why you are interested in open data can be many, you may be a student wanting to use data for research, a local campaigner or a charity looking for evidence to support your decisions or a business looking into how open data can enhance your products or inform your processes. Although this guide is aimed at taking the very first steps on the path to open data, those with a better understanding of data will find the resources section valuable.
DataViva is a Big Data platform created by the Strategic Priorities Office of the government of Minas Gerais and developed in collaboration with professors Cesar Hidalgo (Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT) and Ricardo Hausmann (Harvard Kennedy School) by the formation of a startup called Growth Ventures, located in Cambridge, MA. The online suite is innovative in the way that it makes a great volume of official data about exports and occupation in Brazil available, and enables – with its eight apps – access to more than 100 million interactive visualizations for over five thousand Brazilian municipalities.
The Chattanooga Public Library (CPL) is seeking a qualified candidate for a newly created Open Data Specialist (ODS) position. The successful applicant will join our fantastic digital projects team on The 4th Floor, a 14,000 sq ft public maker/hackerspace in Chattanooga’s city center. This is a unique library job that combines the diverse talents of a seasoned collection development specialist, a web developer, a data scientist, and a community outreach specialist. The ODS position is a year-long grant funded position awarded to the CPL as one partner in the Open Chattanooga collaborative. With demonstrated success, we intend to extend the position beyond the duration of the grant indefinitely.
The ideal candidate for the ODS position is an open data evangelist and an expert who can work with representatives from city government as well as citizen groups like Open Chattanooga to coordinate contributions of data to a public platform or portal. This portal will be hosted by the library and accessed alongside our other digital collections. The portal’s exceptional construction, performance, and maintenance are all the responsibility of the ODS. The ODS will coordinate with partners to ensure that all data added to the portal is useful, useable, and accessible like all of our other public library collections. While this position does not require the candidate to be a degreed librarian, it is important that the candidate demonstrates an understanding of professional collection development principles, since this government-produced data will be treated as a library collection.
Many applications track and map governmental data, but few help their users identify the relevant local public officials. Too often local problems are divorced from the government institutions designed to help. Today, we're launching new functionality in the Google Civic Information API that lets developers connect constituents to their federal, state, county and municipal elected officials—right down to the city council district.
The Civic Information API has already helped developers create apps for US elections that incorporate polling place and ballot information, from helping those affected by Superstorm Sandy find updated polling locations over SMS to learning more about local races through social networks. We want to support these developers in their work beyond elections, including everyday civic engagement.
JournalMap is a scientific literature search engine that empowers you to find relevant research based on location and biophysical variables as well as traditional keyword searches.
Much of the published environmental research around the world is tied to specific places. But the ability to find out what is known about a specific ecosystem, species, or land type is hindered because the geographic information needed to find research by its location is locked in studies in way that is not searchable. JournalMap exploits the location information reported in scientific papers to search for literature based on geography to dramatically increase the power of traditional searching.
At the beginning of 2013, the Foreign Office launched a programme to identify potential global leaders of the future.
The programme brings a small group of potential leaders to the UK for a series of events, discussions, visits and briefings, and in October, a group of 10 international leaders came to the Guardian, to talk about the work of the Guardian and the Public Leaders Network. As the visit coincided with the Open Government Partnership summit, we took the opportunity to ask some of the leaders what open government means to them.
Due to the increasing availability of large urban datasets, it is now becoming easier to produce online visualisations that capture and help interpret the complex spatial dynamics of cities. Duncan A. Smith argues that as further open datasets are made available, a much wider range of interests and user groups are set to be represented and explored. These urban cartography projects allow users to ask questions about how city areas have changed and are likely to change in the future.
The Open Data Institute (ODI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Information Society Agency (NIA) of the Republic of Korea, in a bid to promote collaborative initiatives in the area of open data.
LHC data are exotic, they are complicated and they are big. At peak performance, about one billion proton collisions take place every second inside the CMS detector at the LHC. CMS has collected around 64 petabytes (or over 64,000 terabytes) of analysable data from these collisions so far.
Along with the many published papers, these data constitute the scientific legacy of the CMS Collaboration, and preserving the data for future generations is of paramount importance. “We want to be able to re-analyse our data, even decades from now,” says Kati Lassila-Perini, head of the CMS Data Preservation and Open Access project at the Helsinki Institute of Physics. “We must make sure that we preserve not only the data but also the information on how to use them. To achieve this, we intend to make available through open access our data that are no longer under active analysis. This helps record the basic ingredients needed to guarantee that these data remain usable even when we are no longer working on them.”
The Open Data Barometer is a piece of open research. All the data gathered to create the Barometer is published under an open license, and we have sought to set out our methodology clearly, allowing others to build upon, remix and reinterpret the data we have collected. Data collected for the Barometer is the start, rather than the end, of a research process and exploration.
Sir Nigel Shadbolt has spent the last 30 years at the forefront of some of the most important and historic developments of the Web. He has published more than 400 articles on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to cognitive psychology, and is credited with popularising the emerging field of Web Science.
Last December, together with Sir Tim Berners-Lee, he co-founded the Open Data Institute (ODI) – a UK non-profit that aims to create new business models around huge amounts of data collected by the public sector.
At the first ever ODI summit last week, TechWeekEurope had a chance to talk to Shadbolt about what it is data scientists do, the digital skills crisis and the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) research on analytics.
There are a lot of extremely good arguments to defend the fact that Science (as a whole) should be more open. To summarize them very roughly: it's the ethical thing to do as it allows everyone to access information, it's easier for scientists to access information, it's faster than the traditional peer-review system when you need to get your work noticed, and it's much less expensive than closed-source science.
The Open Government Platform (OGPL) is a joint product from India and the United States to promote transparency and greater citizen engagement by making more government data, documents, tools, and processes publicly available through a freely available, open source platform. By making this available in useful machine-readable formats it allows developers, analysts, media, and academia to develop new applications and insights that will help give citizens more information for better decisions. In using an open source method of development, the OGPL community will provide future technology enhancements, open government solutions, and community-based technical support. OGPL has become an example of a new era of diplomatic collaborations that benefit the global community that promote government transparency, citizen-focused applications, and enrich humanity.
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