[open-government] Defining Open Government Data?
ton.zijlstra at gmail.com
Tue Oct 19 18:53:17 BST 2010
And maybe things like:
every idiot/crappy gov website is polite enough to point to an Adobe Reader
download link to be able to open the PDF-muck they throw on-line. Maybe part
of the 'socially open' definition stuff should be pointing to possible
useful tools for re-use (which data.gov.uk is moving towards, btw), such as
Gridworks or viz tools that are emerging.
But that's maybe asking too much already.
ton at tonzijlstra.eu
On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 7:49 PM, Ton Zijlstra <ton.zijlstra at gmail.com>wrote:
> I agree with keeping things simple.
> However, a minimalistic way of adding some 'social open' notions could be
> enough for now:
> - findability (such as datasets described in a way that my average self
> can find it, without learning Dept X particular lingo)
> - such as having a contactperson and e-mail address mentioned with a
> dataset e.g.,
> - a way of giving feedback on data sets etc,
> - showing contextual provenance other than 'Dept X published this' and
> more along the lines: this was collected for task x by body y, and used in z
> way, and things like when it will be next updated.
> none of those are tech-aspects or legal aspects, but important nonetheless
> to render a data set useful.
> the whole 'stay in touch with all your stakeholders' 'community building'
> 'being a platform for re-users' can be part of the natural growth path on
> top of the minimalistic definitions.
> >Also are we saying that governments should do social stuff on PSB
> My answer would be yes. It's called interacting with citizens, and a
> primary ingredient of having a public sphere at all. I'd say 'doing social
> stuff' is a core task of gov :)
> Also indications are pretty strong that it's the 'socially open' aspects
> that ultimately drive the adoption of re-use. As well as it seems the way to
> take away unarticulated fears of data holders.
> These data sets become objects of sociality, creating and sustaining
> conversations with and around gov. To not make sure there's a conduit for
> that interaction is setting it up to fail. As the example of opening
> landownership data in Bangladesh shows us.
> All in all, I think 'social stuff' is key.
> It may very well be that part of the resulting interaction need not be
> connected to a singular dataset but rather to a corpus of datasets, such as
> a data catalogue.
> Maybe my point is that if you posit this as a technology or legal driven
> thing only, gov's will miss why it's important and that will make the open
> definition become self-defeating to a certain extent.
> On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 7:29 PM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>wrote:
>> Yes agree this is very important, and we wrote about aspects of this
>> in several recent reports .
>> However, I strongly feel that for present purposes the definition
>> should be (i) *very very* simple (as easy as possible to determine
>> compliance) and (ii) unambiguous to evaluate. How would one determine
>> if something is socially open? Would it be clear cut in every case?
>> Also thinking of free/open source software definitions do we perhaps
>> want to separate between subject matter (data) and surrounding
>> processes (how it is published, social openness) for purposes of a
>> definition, even though both are important?
>> Also are we saying that governments should do social stuff on PSB
>> websites, or do also want to enable and encourage innovation from
>> outside government? A major point in Tom Steinberg/Ed Mayo's excellent
>> Power of Information report .
>>  cf. e.g. http://writetoreply.org/beyondaccess/4-1-discoverability/
>> and http://www.unlockingaid.info/3/
>>  http://www.opsi.gov.uk/advice/poi/power-of-information-review.pdf
>> On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 6:16 PM, Ton Zijlstra <ton.zijlstra at gmail.com>
>> > Hi Jonathan,
>> > Maybe we can add a component 'socially open' as well? Just this week I
>> > the results of a study about municipal websites in the Netherlands, that
>> > as a result that while information and service were nominally available
>> > the law dictates, it was all very well hidden deep in websites to the
>> > of uselessness. No 'social openness' in short, as in findable, connected
>> > contexts etc., and absence of dialogue with re-users, feedback
>> > for re-users towards PSB's etc.
>> > Those three components, legally open, technically open, socially open
>> > also the components that floated to the foreground while we were writing
>> > the Open Data Manual in Berlin earlier this month.
>> > best,
>> > Ton
>> > -------------------------------------------
>> > Interdependent Thoughts
>> > Ton Zijlstra
>> > ton at tonzijlstra.eu
>> > +31-6-34489360
>> > http://zylstra.org/blog
>> > -------------------------------------------
>> > On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 7:00 PM, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray at okfn.org>
>> > wrote:
>> >> We'd like to start a process to encourage key stakeholders in the
>> >> (rapidly growing!) world of open government data to have some
>> >> consensus on what 'open government data' means. This would be a 'bare
>> >> minimum' that would need to be complied with in order to be called
>> >> OGD, not a wish list in an ideal world in perfect conditions.
>> >> We already have several sets of principles , but many of these are
>> >> quite jurisdiction specific -- e.g. according to 8 principles the
>> >> Australian, New Zealand and UK governments don't have any open
>> >> government data as it isn't 'license free', and the UK principles are
>> >> clearly only intended for the UK (and it would be good not to have a
>> >> different set of standards for each country!).
>> >> We'd like something *really* simple that we can start to try to build
>> >> consensus around. Hence I'd like to start discussion around a basic
>> >> definition/standard that we can all start to encourage the adoption
>> >> of, to distinguish open government data from e.g. a bunch of PDFs
>> >> published on a website with no information about reuse, or an API with
>> >> I envisage this as having two key components:
>> >> (i) legally open (as in opendefinition.org)
>> >> (ii) technically open (i.e. machine readable, available to download in
>> >> bulk)
>> >> (i) would be to make sure that we don't start calling stuff 'open
>> >> government data' which:
>> >> * doesn't explicitly let the public reuse it for any purpose
>> >> (whether as a result of national copyright law, or departmental
>> >> policy)
>> >> * doesn't permit derivative works
>> >> * doesn't permit commercial reuse
>> >> (ii) would be to make sure that material is not *only*:
>> >> * available via an API
>> >> * available in non-machine readable formats, where machine readable
>> >> copies exist
>> >> I've started a draft along these lines at:
>> >> http://opengovernmentdata.okfnpad.org/definition
>> >> Any input/comments would be very much appreciated! We'd ideally like
>> >> something ready at or just before Open Government Data Camp in London!
>> >> http://opengovernmentdata.org/camp2010/
>> >> All the best,
>> >> Jonathan
>> >> 
>> >> http://resource.org/8_principles.html
>> >> http://razor.occams.info/pubdocs/opendataciviccapital.html
>> >> --
>> >> Jonathan Gray
>> >> Community Coordinator
>> >> The Open Knowledge Foundation
>> >> http://blog.okfn.org
>> >> http://twitter.com/jwyg
>> >> http://identi.ca/jwyg
>> >> _______________________________________________
>> >> open-government mailing list
>> >> open-government at lists.okfn.org
>> >> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/open-government
>> Jonathan Gray
>> Community Coordinator
>> The Open Knowledge Foundation
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