Open Data Monthly Review 05/2012

A review of latest news and blog posts in the field of open data. 


Open Data Powers New Citizen Engagement Strategies
Code for America recently launched Engagement Commons to bring together information and solutions from across the country on innovative new strategies for government engagement with citizens. The landscape of tools and strategies for engaging citizens is changing rapidly, as more and more governments implement new ways for citizens to make their voices heard in the governance process.

Open source enables high-volume searches
Computerworld – Twitter, Facebook, the Library of Congress — all of these institutions have mind-numbing amounts of structured and unstructured data that must be indexed and searched quickly. In Twitter’s case, that’s about 300 million new pieces of information to index every day.

Why the “Open Data Movement” is a Joke
A government can simultaneously be the most secretive, controlling Canadian government in recent memory and be welcomed into the club of “open government”. The announcements highlight a few problems with the “open data movement”

What Does It Take to Make Open Data Really Open?
While I was thinking about this post, I have seen Tom Slee’s one titled “Why the Open Data Movement is a Joke”, which has raised some discussion and understandable outrage in the open government circles.

Open data bridging hard-to-reach gap
Open data is an internet thing. It’s all about building more and better apps to deliver digital public services. So what use is open data for people who aren’t online?

Open Data for (Big) Kids?
This afternoon Emma Mulqueeny asked on twitter if anyone had any ideas about fun, exciting datasets to inspire kids new to Open Data hacking. I asked whether she was interested in downloadable datasets or just APIs, or both. The answer was both. 

U.K. Leads Europe on Open Data says Web Founder
The U.K. is leading Europe in opening up government data, and the opening of an Open Data Institute [ODI] will cement that lead, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, president of the Institute said Tuesday.

Best bits: Open data for charities
We round up our experts’ advice on how open data could help your charity and the voluntary sector more widely. 

Open Data, Open Standards, and Community Activism
Over at the United State Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) blog there was a great piece posted a few days ago, “Using the Toxic Release Inventory to Build Power in Communities.


Open Data and The New Divide
Over the last four years open government and open data have been at the forefront of the debate on how governments can become more transparent, participative and efficient. The theory is well known: rather than (or alongside) providing the government’s interpretation or packaging of public data, this data should be made available in raw, open format for people to build their own views and applications.

Open Data and Mapping for Disasters and Development
“Openness is critical for inclusive development and a thriving civil society”
The above words from Suzanne Kindervatter of InterAction underscored the theme running through a unique gathering at World Bank headquarters in Washington on May 3, 2012.  

Unleash the power of open financial data – join the Development Data Challenge!

The World Bank wants a “world free of poverty.” Facebook wants a world that’s more “open and connected.” Can we help realize both these dreams with open financial data? With ever more open data on the finances and activities of development organizations and governments available (and with much of that data becoming available in standard formats like IATI), how do we go beyond transparency and get to development impact?

Get started with research data management using open source applications
Researchers generate ever-increasing amounts of data when performing their research and they need to find new ways of managing this data properly. This process is accelerated by the research councils and other funders in the UK, who are increasingly requiring bids to indicate how they will manage the data that is part of the research that is to be funded.

Open data: solutions for problems
t’s been a while since I blogged about open data, but there’s been lots going on. I was very excited to take part in a Guardian Voluntary Sector network Q&A this afternoon, with lots of really interesting people on the panel.

Mapitude: Open Data, Open Platforms, Open Communities?

I was fortunate to be invited to give a talk at Mapitude. Unsurprisingly I spoke about community mapping, spatial data infrastructures in developing nations and Taarifa. I also touched upon open data and how services and platforms using open data need to be developed. I think that open data is great – for more info watch this TED talk by Tim Berners-Lee – however I believe open data is only the beginning not the end point of data development.

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