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Open Gov and Open Data intro

  1. 1. Open Government and Open Data: an Introduction
  2. 2. This material is distributed under the Creative Commons "Attribution - NonCommercial - Share Alike - 3.0", available at .
  3. 3. Origins Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson (1813) If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea , which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation.
  4. 4. Origins 1966 : Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): consistent with the belief that people have the “right to know” about government records The Act gives the government a series of rules to allow anyone to know how to work the federal government, including the full or partial access to classified documents The measure guarantees the transparency of public administration towards the citizen and the freedom of the press and press freedom of the press
  5. 5. Origins Since the 80s campaign in favor of free access to information, decisive for the development and dissemination of new digital media. Key driver of these initiatives has been the movement for Free or Open Source Software (defined ecumenically FLOSS), through the work of Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds Stallman, founder of the movement, coined the definition of free software, by which expression includes the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study and modify a program. Stallman also introduced the copyleft concept, a term that literally means "permission to copy”, a license by which the author transfers to the public some rights giving its users the conditions under which can be used Torvalds, Linux creator, and the large community of programmers who have collaborated in its development, have shown the feasibility of the model conceived by Stallman
  6. 6. Origins Outside of software, the concept of copyleft has invaded the field of content (text, music, video) through Lawrence Lessig work, founder of Creative Commons , to invest the field of scientific research. The Open Access movement, born in 2004, has focused on the scientific literature In 2008, the European Commission stated that 20% research funded by the Commission inside FP7 must be published open access after an embargo of 6-12 months; action was followed by European Research Council ( ERC - open access publishing after 6 months), and then by the European Science Foundation ( ESF ) and the Head of European Research Council ( EuroHORCS )
  7. 7. Origins The advent of the so-called "social software", ie applications in which users become content producers, applications grouped under the banner of Web 2.0, has enabled the Internet to become a platforms that allows interaction between different users, producing and sharing contents freely These behaviors also engage the public sphere. In past two years, the instances of the movement for open access to knowledge are also addressed to the 'public sector information' (PSI) Encouraged by the changes underway and the results obtained, a new grassroots movement, known as the Open Government Data, is spreading in industrialized countries with the aim of achieving open access to data in a proactive and specific area: that of political institutions and public administration
  8. 8. Gov 2.0 pillars Government 2.0 three pillars: 1. Leadership, policy and governance to achieve necessary shifts in public sector culture and practice. Cultural change is at the heart of Government 2.0 and more important than the development of policy or the technical challenges of adopting new technologies. 2. Application of Web 2.0 collaborative tools and practices to the business of government As they are outside of government, these tools and practices can increase productivity and efficiency. Opportunity to make representative democracy more responsive, participatory and informed 3. Open access to Public Sector Information ( PSI )
  9. 9. Gov 2.0 links Top 10 gov 2.o web sites: Australian Government govspace platform: Victoria state (au) Gov 2.0 action plan: Cool gov 2.0 sites Lessons for Gov 2.0 from Web 2.0
  10. 10. from Gov 2.0 to Open Gov Gov 2.0 is a fundamental step along the way to Open Government bringing together the utilisation of emerging Web tools and mechanisms which enable multi-channel communications and information sharing. Much of the drive for “open” government comes from the “open organisation” and “open data” movements because essentially, as the Economist stated in February 2010 “the nation has always been a product of information management”
  11. 11. Open Government In 2008 Barack Obama’s use of social media during his election campaign: Obama won having 2x Web Traffic, 4x Youtube views, 5x Facebook friends and 10x Online staff than McCain First act of Obama as President: Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government that starts: “ My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency , public participation , and collaboration . Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government” Then Open Government Directive “to direct executive departments and agencies to take specific actions to implement the principles of transparency, participation, and collaboration set forth in the President’s Memorandum” In the website Open Government Initiative all the actions
  12. 12. Open Government in Europe An Open Declaration on European Public Services propose three core principles for European public services: 1. Transparency : - public sector organisations “transparent by default” - clear, regularly-updated information on all processes - citizens able to highlight areas where increase transparency - open, standard and reusable formats 2. Participation : - citizens' input in all its activities - collaboration with citizens core competence of government 3. Empowerment : - public institutions as platforms for public value creation - data and services available in ways that others can build on - providing resources to enable citizens to solve problems - citizens as owners of their own personal data and enable them to monitor and control how these data are shared Declaration accepted inside 2009 Malmoe Ministerial Declaration
  13. 13. Open Government In Europe: Council of Europe Convention on Access to Official Documents, Tromsø, 18.VI.2009 (not yet signed ) Gov 2.0 examples: (see 10, 9, 2 , 1)
  14. 14. Open Government examples - - - - - - - - # -
  15. 15. Practical Steps for Government Agencies Recommendations by Tim O'Reilly: Government as a Platform (see) Issue your own open government directive Create “a simple, reliable and publicly accessible infrastructure that ‘exposes’ the underlying data” from your city, county, state, or agency Build your own websites and applications using the same open systems for accessing the underlying data as they make available to the public at large Share those open APIs with the public, using for federal APIs and creating state and local equivalents Share your work with other cities, counties, states, or agencies. Provide your work as open source software, work with other bodies to standardize web services, building a common cloud computing platform, or simply sharing best practices (see Code for America )
  16. 16. Practical Steps for Government Agencies Don’t reinvent the wheel: support existing open standards and use open source software whenever possible. (eg Open311 is a great example of an open standard being adopted by many cities) Create a list of software applications that can be reused by your government employees without procurement Create an “app store” that features applications created by the private sector as well as those created by your own government unit (see ) Create permissive social media guidelines that allow government employees to engage the public without having to get pre-approval from superiors Sponsor meetups, code camps, and other activity sessions to actually put citizens to work on civic issues
  17. 17. Value of the Data Opening data can have a big economic value and their value lies in the possibility of their use and reuse. What has real value is what you develop from them, and the fact that they are available. Data are so ubiquitous that are becoming a commodity, such as electricity and water. In the political field, the data have value only if it forms a critical mass of people who know them and use them to form opinions and participate in public activities. More data are used, the greater value because it increases the amount of decisions, goods, products and valuable services based on them.
  18. 18. Value of the Data 2006 European Commission MEPSIR Study (Measuring European Public Sector Information Resources) : estimates for the overall market size for public sector information in the European Union range from €10 to €48 billion, with a mean value around €27 billion Further Actions Needed: see 2010 EU Commission Consultation of stakeholders ( link ) Tim Berners-Lee : Raw Data Now! TED 2009
  19. 19. OECD PSI Principles OECD recommendations about PSI principles: 1. Openness. Maximize the availability of public sector information for use and re-use - openness as the default rule. 2. Access and transparent conditions for re-use. In principle all accessible information would be open to re-use by all. 3. Asset lists. Strengthening awareness of what public sector information is available for access and re-use. 4. Quality. Ensuring methodical practices to enhance data quality through cooperation of various government bodies 5. Integrity. Protect information from unauthorized modification or from denial of authorized access 6. New technologies. Storing technologies, open formats, multiple languages, technological obsolescence and long term preservation
  20. 20. OECD PSI Principles 7. Copyright. Intellectual property rights should be respected, exercising copyright in ways that facilitate re-use. Public sector information must be copyright-free. 8. Pricing. PSI provided free of charge, or information pricing transparent as far as possible 9. Competition. PSI open to all possible users and re-users on non-exclusive terms 10. Transparent Redress mechanisms 11. Facilitate public private partnerships 12. International access and use. Support international co-operation for commercial re-use and non-commercial use 13. Best practices. Encouraging the wide sharing of best practices and exchange of information on implementation, training, copyright and monitoring
  21. 21. From PSI to Open Data PSI in Europe: EPSIplus platform Public Sector Information (PSI) not necessarily open Many different rules (national/regional laws!) about PSI re-use For PSI to be open for re-use it needs to be - discoverable - legally open - technically open - free of charge Rules for Open Government Data: <ul><li>if it can’t be spidered or indexed, it doesn’t exist
  22. 22. if it isn’t available in open and machine readable format, it can’t engage
  23. 23. if a legal framework doesn’t allow it to be re-used, it doesn’t empower </li></ul>
  24. 24. Open Definition From : what is “open” ? 1. Access Available as a whole and at a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloading via the Internet without charge. The work must be available in a convenient and modifiable form. 2. Redistribution The license shall not restrict any party from selling or giving away the work either on its own or as part of a package made from derived work. License without royalty or other fee. 3. Reuse The license must allow for modifications and must allow them to be distributed under the terms of the original work. 4. Absence of Technological Restriction The work must be provided in such a form that there are no technological obstacles to the performance of the above activities (eg. open data format)
  25. 25. Open Definition 5. Attribution The license may require the attribution of the contributors and creators to the work. 6. Integrity The license may require as a condition for the work being distributed in modified form that the resulting work carry a different name or version number from the original work. 7. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups The license must not discriminate against any person or group of persons. 8. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor The license must not restrict anyone from use the work in a specific field of endeavor. For example, it may not restrict the work from being used in a business, or for genetic research
  26. 26. Open Definition 9. Distribution of License The rights attached to the work must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties. 10. License Must Not Be Specific to a Package The rights attached to the work must not depend on the work being part of a particular package. If the work is extracted from that package, all parties redistributed should have the same rights as the original package. 11. License Must Not Restrict the Distribution of other Works The license must not place restrictions on other works that are distributed along with the licensed work. For example, the license must not insist that all other works distributed on the same medium are open. Many items similar to Open Software Definition (see)
  27. 27. Open/Public (Government) Data Source
  28. 28. How to Open Up data? Key rules in opening up data: Keep it simple ( KISS ) Start out fast , small and simple . Not every dataset must become open right now. Moving as rapidly as possible is good because it means you can learn from experience Engage early and engage often with actual and potential users and reusers of the data: citizens, businesses, developers. Much of the data will reach ultimate users via infomediaries who take the data and transform and remix them – users don’t need a large vectors database but are interested in the map. Thus, the primary users to engage are the infomediary reusers. Address common fears and misunderstandings especially if you are working with large institutions such as government. In opening up data one encounters plenty of questions and concerns and it is important to (a) identify the main ones (b) address them at as an early stage as possible.
  29. 29. Steps to Open Data There are 4 main steps in making data open (unsorted, sometime recursive) <ul><li>Choose the dataset(s) you plan to make open, though note you may need to return to this step if you encounter problems especially at step 2. </li></ul><ul><li>Apply an open license , suitable for all rights existing on data (Legal Openness)
  30. 30. Make the data available - in bulk and in a useful format. (sometimes via API) (Technical Openness)
  31. 31. Make them discoverable : post on the web and perhaps organize a central catalogue to list your open datasets (or put them in existing catalogues) </li></ul>
  32. 32. How to choose the datasets <ul><li>Ask the ‘community’ (i.e. actual or potential users of the data) what they want
  33. 33. Put up a web-page with details of this request for data suggestions and a simple way to submit data requests (e.g. via email or a simple webform). Some tips: </li><ul><li>Avoid registration
  34. 34. Prepare a short (5-20 items) list of datasets as a prompt
  35. 35. This list should be a quick process that identifies what datasets could be made open </li></ul><li>Circulate the request to relevant mailing lists, forums and individuals pointing back to the main webpage
  36. 36. Run a consultation event — but make sure you run it at a convenient time where the average business person and ‘data hacker’ can attend </li></ul>
  37. 37. Apply an Open License If you are planning to make your data available you should put a license on it — and if you want your data to be open this is even more important For Licensing purposes must distinguish: <ul><li>Data (the collection)
  38. 38. Contents (individual items, part of the collection, rows/columns)
  39. 39. Structure (schema, metadata, Data Definition) </li></ul>
  40. 40. OpenData Licenses Many licenses proposed: OpenData Commons proposes three licenses: <ul><li>Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL)
  41. 41. Attribution License (ODC-By)
  42. 42. Open Database License (ODC-ODbL) - Like the GPL (or CC Attribution Share-Alike) requires public reusers of your data to share back changes (and attribute) </li></ul>Opendefinition gives a list of licences conformant or not to “open” definition Many national licenses: <ul><li>Canada
  43. 43. UK
  44. 44. Norway
  45. 45. Italy </li></ul>
  46. 46. Open Data organisations Open Knowledge Foundation : “From sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata” Founded in 2004, a not-for-profit organization promoting open knowledge: any kind of data and content – sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata – that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed. OKF created standards like the Open Definition, organizes events like OKCon and Open Government Data Camp , runs projects like “ Where Does My Money Go ” and Open Shakespeare and develops tools like CKAN to help people create, find and share open material Other Italian organisations: SpaghettiOpendata and
  47. 47. CKAN CKAN (Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network) is open-source “data hub” software designed to make it easier to find, share, reuse and collaboratively develop data and content, especially open data and content The core of CKAN is a powerful registry / catalog system designed for machine interaction so that tasks like registering and acquiring datasets can be automated (though it’s also easy for humans to use too!) Used for and many others: For Italy:
  48. 48. CKAN features <ul><li>Free/Open-Source software, written in Python
  49. 49. Core catalog based around Resources (Files and APIs) and groupings of those (Packages) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tagging
  50. 50. Package Groups
  51. 51. Ratings
  52. 52. Arbitrary metadata
  53. 53. Package relationships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Web user interface (WUI) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Package adding, editing, listing etc
  54. 54. Wiki features such as “Recent Changes”, edit histories, purging of changes etc
  55. 55. User management and user home pages </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Full JSON -based REST API with clients in Python, PHP, Perl … </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RDF version also available
  56. 56. CKAN is easy to use as your “catalogue” backend </li></ul></ul><ul><li>An Extension and Plugin system </li></ul>
  57. 57. Make the data available Tim Berners-Lee: Linked Data as part of a continuum of web publishing activities associated with gold stars, like the ones you got in school. Here they are: ★ make your stuff available on the web (whatever format see here ) ★★ make it available as structured data (e.g. excel instead of image scan of a table) ★★★ non-proprietary format (e.g. csv instead of excel) ★★★★ use URLs to identify things, so that people can point at your stuff ★★★★★ link your data to other people’s data to provide context
  58. 58. Make the data available Open data needs to be ‘technically’ open as well as legally open. Specifically the data needs be: <ul><li>Available - at no more than a reasonable cost of reproduction, preferably for free download on the Internet. Publish your information on the Internet wherever possible
  59. 59. In bulk - the data should be available as a whole (a web service may also be useful but is not a substitute for bulk access)
  60. 60. In an open, machine-readable format - machine-readability is important because it facilitates reuse (eg figures in a PDF are read easily by humans but are very hard for a computer) </li></ul>The key point to keep in mind here is: keep it simple, move fast and be pragmatic. In particular it is better to give out raw data now than perfect data in six months time.
  61. 61. Make the data discoverable <ul><li>Tell the world! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contact prominent organisations or individuals interested in this area
  62. 62. Contact relevant mailing lists or social networking groups
  63. 63. Contact prospective users you know may be interested in this data </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Getting folks in a room: Unconferences , Meetups and Barcamps : face-to-face events can be a very effective way to encourage others to use your data
  64. 64. Making things! Hackdays, prizes and prototypes, conferences, barcamps, ... </li></ul>
  65. 65. Open Linked Data Linked Data: a method of publishing structured data, so that it can be interlinked and become more useful Built upon standard Web technologies (HTTP and URIs ) - but it extends them to share information in a way that can be read automatically by computers (this enables data from different sources to be connected and queried) Tim Berners-Lee, W3C director, coined the term in a design note discussing the Semantic Web project 4 rules: <ul><li>Use URIs as names for things
  66. 66. Use HTTP URIs so that people can look up those names
  67. 67. When someone looks up a URI, provide useful information, using the standards ( RDF , SPARQL )
  68. 68. Include links to other URIs, so that they can discover more things </li></ul>
  69. 69. Open Linked Data A site that exists to provide a home for, or pointers to, resources from across the Linked Data community: Extended: Example: DBPedia - dataset from Wikipedia, see Dataset description DBPedia full Ontology and example DBPedia SPARQL example: query
  70. 70. OpenData Examples:,%20UK#crimetypes !! Standard Next generation opendata