[okfn-announce] The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, January - March 2012

Theodora Middleton theodora.middleton at okfn.org
Tue Mar 20 10:14:39 GMT 2012


*The Open Knowledge Foundation Newsletter, January - March 2012*

We've hit the new year running here at the Open Knowledge Foundation! Our
work is expanding in every dimension, with new groups and chapters popping
up all over the world, new projects and initiatives constantly emerging,
and existing projects growing. But the most crucial aspect of this growth
is making sure more people are being empowered by data, and that's why
we're focusing on things like our new School of Data, to share and develop
the skills needed for the Age of Open.

With so much activity across the organisation, we've decided to make our
updates to you a little bit more frequent, so you'll be hearing from us
again in a couple of months. You can also stay up-to-date with all our
activity on the blog <http://blog.okfn.org/> (which has just had a snazzy
new redesign!), and by following us on twitter -
@okfn<http://twitter.com/#!/okfn>.

The OKF is a not-for-profit organisation - all our services are provided
openly and for free. We rely on the generosity of our institutional and
individual supporters - and we need your help now more than ever. Please
visit <http://okfn.org/support/> to find out more about becoming an Open
Knowledge Foundation supporter.

You can check the online version of this newsletter on the
blog<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/20/open-knowledge-foundation-newsletter-january-march-2012/>
-
with pictures and stuff.

*(Some of) What we've been up to...*

*Back to School time kids! Announcing The School of Data*

The explosive growth of data available is leading to a rapid rise in demand
for data skills, and that demand isn't being met. We need flexible,
on-demand, shorter learning options for people who are actively working in
areas that benefit from data skills, particularly those who may have
already left formal education programmes. To make the dream a reality,
we're teaming up with Peer 2 Peer University <http://p2pu.org/> (P2PU), who
worked with Mozilla on the successful 'School of Webcraft' peer-to-peer
project. Visit the blog to find out how you can get
involved<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/08/announcing-the-school-of-data/>
!
*The Open Data Handbook*
And as part of our drive to put the power of data into the hands of as many
people as possible, we're pleased to announce the launch of The Open Data
Handbook v1.0 <http://opendatahandbook.org/en/> . The handbook explains the
why, what and how of open data - why to go open, what open is, and how to
open - check it out and let us know what else you'd like to see included!

*Panton Fellowships for the promotion of Open Data in Science*
Funded by the Open Society Institute <http://www.soros.org/> and
coordinated by the Open Knowledge Foundation, the Panton
Fellowships<http://pantonprinciples.org/panton-fellowships/>will be
awarded to scientists who actively promote open data in science. We
firmly believe that "open data means better science", and these fellowships
are designed to support scientists to explore this ideas and tackle current
barriers to greater openness. We announced them in
January<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/25/panton-fellowships-apply-now/>,
and the closing date for applications was in February. Keep an eye on the OKF
blog <http://blog.okfn.org/> and the Open Science
blog<http://science.okfn.org/blog/>to find out first about the new
Fellows.

*OKCon + OGD Camp = OKFest!*
Grab your woolly hat - we're off to Finland! We're all super-excited about
what is set to be the biggest, best, most open Open Knowledge Foundation
event yet so far - OKFest
2012<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/07/ogdcamp-okcon-open-knowledge-festival-2012-in-helsinki-finland/>!
Members from our brand new OKFN:LOCAL Finnish
chapter<http://blog.okfn.org/2011/11/17/finland-joins-our-global-open-data-community/>and
their mates have invited everyone over to Helsinki for a week which
will pack OKCon and the Open Government Data Camp into one amazing
celebration of all things open, September 17-22. Do come along!

*CKAN to power EC Data Portal*
The European Commission is  going to make its data publicly and openly
available through a new data portal, along the lines of those already used
by national governments such as data.gov.uk. Like data.gov.uk, the new site
will be based on our open-source CKAN Data Portal Software, and we're
getting involved in other ways too - find out more on the
blog<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/31/open-knowledge-foundationss-ckan-software-to-power-new-european-commission-data-portal/>
.

Other great developments from the CKAN gang: there are now over 3300
datasets available through CKAN and the Data Hub - check out our stats
page<http://thedatahub.org/stats>and the
Data Hub <http://thedatahub.org/> to find out more! And we're really
pleased to have rolled out CKAN v1.6 <http://ckan.org/2012/03/15/ckan-1-6>,
which includes live data previews and visualisations; major improvements to
datasets, resources, and groups; and a QA (quality assurance)
extension<http://ckan.org/2012/02/09/ckans-qa-extension-just-got-better/>,
which automatically calculates ‘5 stars of
openness'<http://lab.linkeddata.deri.ie/2010/star-scheme-by-example>scores
and keeps track of broken links.

*Open Economics WG activity*

Exciting news from the Open Economics Working Group<http://openeconomics.net/>,
who have secured funding from the Albert P Sloan
Foundation<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/23/alfred-p-sloan-foundation-funds-open-economics-working-group-at-the-open-knowledge-foundation/>!
In the words of Daniel L. Goroff, Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation, “Open datasets have the potential to revolutionize economics as
a discipline and accelerate breakthroughs in the field ... Support for the
Open Knowledge Foundation’s work will not only help advance empirical
research by academics, but also improve everyone’s understanding of
important economic processes and trends.”
Evidence of the importance of work in this field was further provided by
the nomination of two related OKF projects to the LivingLabs
awards<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/08/living-labs-global-award-2012-two-okfn-projects-nominated/>:
OpenSpending.mobi – Participatory budgeting through augmented reality,
and CityData
– Making Cities Smarter <http://www.llga.org/project.php?idP=445> – A
central entry point to all your city’s data. The Working Group also
organised this month's Energy and Climate Hack, with some excellent
results<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/13/energy-and-climate-post-hack-news/>
.

*Let's make OpenPhilosophy.org*
An idea that's been brewing round the Open Knowledge Foundation for some
time, OpenPhilosophy.org has secured funding from
JISC<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/10/lets-make-openphilosophy-org/>!
We're super excited about getting this one off the ground, creating a site
where users can transcribe, translate, annotate and create collections of
philosophical texts which have entered the public domain.Find out more on
the blog or follow @OpenPhilosophy for updates.

*Public Domain Day 2012, and PDR's 1st birthday posters*
One year old this January, the Public Domain
Review<http://publicdomainreview.org/>has had a fantastic
year <http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/15/the-year-in-public-domain-review/>exploring
the rich terrain of the Public Domain, surfacing unusual and
obscure works, and offering fresh reflections and unfamiliar angles. To
celebrate, PDR released a set of
posters<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/09/public-domain-review-posters/>for
your delight! The first year of the Public Domain Review was made
possible by seed funding from the Shuttleworth Foundation. We are now,
however, relying solely on support from our readers to keep the project
going, so please, if you enjoy the site and wish to see it continue and
grow do consider becoming a patron <http://publicdomainreview.org/support/>.

*The Open Knowledge Foundation expands...*

Local and regional groups have been springing up all over the place in the
last few months! There are now 14 incubating or incorporated OKFN:LOCAL
groups and chapters <http://okfn.org/chapters/> across the globe from
Finland to Australia to Bosnia and Herzegovnia to India. Check out recent
updates on the blog from
Austria<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/07/open-knowledge-forum-austria-okfo-activities-around-openness-in-austria/>,
Greece<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/05/okf-hits-the-med-greek-group-launched/>,
and Switzerland<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/02/does-switzerland-have-no-need-for-open-government-data/>.
And we also held our first Meet-Up up in
Scotland<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/16/opendataedb-the-results/>!
If you'd like to know more about setting up a local group or chapter in
your area, check out the OKFN:LOCAL info page <http://okfn.org/chapters>!

*Musings*

Just in case you missed them, here's a few ofthe things people have been
thinking about on our blog. If you've got thoughts and ideas to share, do
get in touch with blog [at] okfn [dot] org.
  * In their post From CMS to DMS: C is for Content D is for
Data<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/09/from-cms-to-dms-c-is-for-content-d-is-for-data/>,
Scraper Wiki's Francis Irving and our very own Rufus Pollock foresaw the
future of Data Management Systems
  * Rufus also told us of his Dreams of a unified
text<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/24/dreams-of-a-unified-text/>,
"a concrete instantiation in an immaterial realm of the cultural
achievement of mankind as expressed in the written word." Cor blimey...
  * Sam Leon gave us an intro into How to find great Public Domain Works
online<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/25/a-guide-to-finding-interesting-public-domain-works-online/>
  * And we heard COMMUNIA's response to new EU Public Sector Information
directive<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/02/communias-response-to-the-proposed-amendments-to-psi-directive>,
who see many advances, but much left to do.

*Upcoming Events*

There are so many events and meet-ups going on all over the place at the
moment, you really must keep your eye on twitter and on our Meet-Ups
site<http://www.meetup.com/OpenKnowledgeFoundation/>to stay right
up-to date! Here are a few choice picks from the next few
months...
  * 30th-31st March - OpenData.ch: Switzerland's second Open Data
Camp<http://make.opendata.ch/>brings together thinkers and makers
around the topic of data-driven mobility
  * 10th April, everywhere - Closing date for the Data Journalism
Awards<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/20/data-journalism-awards-call-for-entries/>
!
  * 25th-29th April, Perugia - Data Journalism
School<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/02/20/data-journalism-awards-call-for-entries/>
  * 2nd-3rd May, Rio - Living Labs Global
Awards<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/03/08/living-labs-global-award-2012-two-okfn-projects-nominated>
  * 13th-15th June, details tbc - OpenBiblio hackathon<http://openbiblio.net/>
  * 6th-7th July, Paris - Open Legislative Data
Conference<http://blog.okfn.org/2012/01/25/open-legislative-data-conference-paris-july-6th-7th>

-- 
Blog Editor
The Open Knowledge Foundation
http://blog.okfn.org/
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