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January 12 2011

12:24

A portal for European government data: PublicData.eu plans

The Open Knowledge Foundation have published a blog post with notes on a site they’re developing to gather together data from across Europe. The post notes that the growth of data catalogues at both a national level (mentioning the Digitalisér.dk data portal run by the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency) and “countless city level initiatives across Europe as well – from Helsinki to Munich, Paris to Zaragoza.” with many more initiatives “in the pipeline with plans to launch in the next 6 to 12 months.”

PublicData.eu will, it says:

“Provide a single point of access to open, freely reusable datasets from numerous national, regional and local public bodies throughout Europe.

“[It] will harvest and federate this information to enable users to search, query, process, cache and perform other automated tasks on the data from a single place. This helps to solve the “discoverability problem” of finding interesting data across many different government websites, at many different levels of government, and across the many governments in Europe.”

What is perhaps even more interesting for journalists is that the site plans to:

“Capture (proposed) edits, annotations, comments and uploads from the broader community of public data users.”

That might include anything from cleaner versions of data, to instances where developers match datasets together, or where users add annotations that add context to a particular piece of information.

Finally there’s a general indication that the site hopes to further lower the bar for data and collaborative journalism by:

“Providing basic data analysis and visualisation tools together with more in-depth resources for those looking to dig deeper into the data. Users will be able to personalise their data browsing experience by being able to save links and create notes and comments on datasets.”

More in the post itself. Worth keeping an eye on.

November 10 2010

16:51

Announcing The Big Clean, Spring 2011

We’re very excited to announce that we’re helping to organise an international series of events to convert not-very-useful, unstructured, non-machine-readable sources of public information into nice clean structured data.

This will make it much easier for people to reuse the data, whether this is mixing it with other data sources (e.g. different sources of information about the area you live in) or creating new useful services based on the data (like TheyWorkForYou or Where Does My Money Go?). The series of events will be called The Big Clean, and will take place next spring, probably in March.

The idea was originally floated by Antti Poikola on the OKF’s international open-government list back in September, and since then we’ve been working closely with Antti and Jonathan Gray at OKFN to start planning the events.

Antti and Francis Irving (mySociety) will be running a session on this at the Open Government Data Camp on the 18-19th November in London. If you’d like to attend this session, please add your name to the following list:

If you can’t attend but you’re interested in helping to organise an event near you, please add your name/location to the following wiki page:

All planning discussions will take place on the open-government list!


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