Open Data Index reopens for submissions
Bloggers, hackers, designers, statisticians and other citizens interested in Open Data and technology for transparency will gather online and offline for the International Open Data Day on February 22, 2014. The Open Data day is a yearly event meant to encourage openness and government transparency.
The Open Definition sets out principles that define openness in relation to data and content. In brief, the definition states the data must be accessible to anyone and anyone must have the right to redistribute and reuse it without any legal or technological restrictions. Anyone is also free to use it in whichever purpose s/he sees fit. The party releasing the data may ask for attribution by those who use it, however they should not impose any restrictions on any person or group.
As a way to measure government openness and how much they adhere to the Open Definition, a yearly report is run by the Open Knowledge Foundation: the Open Data Index. The Index ranks countries based on the availability and accessibility of information in ten key areas, including government spending, election results, transport timetables, and pollution levels, and reveals that whilst some good progress is being made, much remains to be done.
The 2013 edition of the Index covered 70 countries, including six Arab countries (our press release). The six countries from the Middle East, featured in the Index, globally show very low openness. Israel, Tunisia and Egypt rank among or close to the average-open countries. Bahrain and Yemen are among the 10 least open countries worldwide showcasing perfect enclosure of fundamental government data.
The United Kingdom and the United States of America came first and second respectively. The two governments use CKAN, an open source tool to organize the release of their data. A list of the governments using CKAN can be found here.
Researchers, NGO’s and citizens do also release important datasets. The Frictionless Data project is working on a set of protocols to make it easier to package datasets in a machine readable format.Tarek Amr