[okfn-discuss] Open Data in Iceland: Important legislation and a new data portal

Hjalmar Gislason hjalli at datamarket.net
Wed Jun 16 15:49:34 BST 2010

Hi all,

A couple of months ago I wrote this guest piece on the status of Open
Data in Iceland:
- http://blog.okfn.org/2010/03/26/iceland-from-the-financial-crisis-to-open-data/

Since then there have been at least two developments worth noting,
that may even have implications for Open Data outside our tiny

1. Icelandic Modern Media Initiative legislation passed

This one will be making the news rounds in the next couple of days I'm
sure. Late last night, the Icelandic Parliament put into law a
proposal that has been coined IMMI (Icelandic Modern Media
Initiative). In a way this makes Iceland a haven for journalism and
publishing, making several changes in legislation that strengthens
free speech, protection of journalists' sources and whistleblowers.
Key figures from Wikileaks, including the somewhat famous Julian
Assange, have been working with the lawmakers on this project.

Even though the legislation does not specifically talk about Open
Data, it has many implications that are related to the topic.

You can read a previous coverage of IMMI by the BBC here:
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8504972.stm

Or visit the initiative's web site on:
- http://immi.is/

2. DataMarket launches an portal with public and private sector data

This second one may be a little self promotional, but I'll throw it in
anyway. My company - DataMarket - has recently launched a data portal
that allows people to search, compare, visualize and download a lot of
statistics and structured data from various public and private data
sources. Currently the site holds only Icelandic data, but we're busy
integrating various international data sources and hope to launch an
international offering this autumn. As the site is in English and
there is already a lot of data available there, it may be interesting
to many of you to give the site a spin, even though you may not be
particularly interested in Iceland or Icelandic data. We'd obviously
love any feedback from you guys!

The site is here:
- http://datamarket.com/

...and here's a blog post detailing some of the vision and showing
several examples of possible uses for this:
- http://blog.datamarket.net/2010/05/15/datamarket-com-is-now-live/

Our philosophy is that data that is already open and free will still
be open and free through us, only easier to use, while payment may be
needed to access some of the premium data. I've promised Jonathan,
that I'll write another guest blog post on the OKFN blog with some
general observations about "The business of keeping Open Data open" in
the next couple of weeks.

Hope this is of interest to you all. Don't hesitate to contact me
directly if anything.

Hjalmar Gislason
Founder & CEO, DataMarket
Co-founder of Open Data site opingogn.net

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