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Tue Aug 10 11:35:35 BST 2010


In my opinion, only the first 8 truly describe "open government data".
Everything else is icing on the cake --- how to do openness well, but
beyond at least the first hurdle of making it minimally open. That's
why I call these best practices for open government data, rather than
simply principles of open government data. So despite all of what I
listed, I don't find a compelling reason to actually "revise" the
original 8 Principles when we're looking for a definition of openness
that's suitable for government. (The OKD is great but I think the bar
is too low for government.) But, clearly, there is a long list of
things a data publisher can do to make the data better and better for
reuse, and so there are a lot of potential best practices.

Since the Sebastopol meeting there had been a few attempts on the
related mail list and wiki to make the 8 Principles more reader
friendly. The results weren't terribly good IMO, which is why I went
off and wrote the doc above. (Thanks go to Gunnar, btw, for some help
with that.)

If others can make it even friendlier, great. (Am I going to get
involved in rehashing the details again? Probably not.) But, I would
like to suggest we avoid further fragmentation on this. We
accidentally fragmented when the Sebastopol meeting went forward
without knowledge of the work of the Open Knowledge Foundation in the
UK. And lo and behold today there are two sites on this topic,
www.opengovdata.org which came out of Sebastopol (and which I'm
stewarding since no one else is) and www.opengovernmentdata.org (!!)
from the OKF guys. Plus the OpenMuni Wiki, and Daniel's wiki page.

There are some legitimate reasons for keeping some of these things
separate. There's a real cultural difference between openness in the
US and openness in the UK and in what seems to be a European tradition
--- and so I don't think we here in the US will be able to reconcile
exactly with the OKF guys. But otherwise it would be a great idea to
try to keep these sorts of resources unified.

- Josh Tauberer
- CivicImpulse / GovTrack.us

http://razor.occams.info | www.govtrack.us | civicimpulse.com

"Members of both sides are reminded not to use guests of the
House as props."

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