Although there are large differences between countries in terms of the maturity of their strategies and levels of implementation, open (government) data has really taken off. After the initial phase of publishing as many datasets possible, attention is now shifting to the actual use of open data and the value that can be created. These new perspectives on open data were one of the main topics at the Digital and Open Government conference in Amsterdam last week.
Barbara Ubaldi, Senior Project Manager/Senior Policy Analyst Digital Government and Open Data at the OECD, emphasised the shared problems of countries with regard to open data, even though their objectives are the same:
- growth and competitiveness in the wider economy,
- fostering innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in government services (internal and external);
- promoting citizens' self-empowerment, social participation and engagement;
improved governance value:
- improving accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and democratic control.
Open Data 2.0
Noud Hooyman, leading the Department for Geo Information within the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, identified several new developments in thinking about open data ("Open Data 2.0"):
- from "data as is" towards reusable data, i.e. a data market;
- making government data useful, i.e. from supply to demand-driven;
- privacy constraints, e.g. of location information;
- from providing data towards using available data, i.e. a change of value chains;
- GIS-specific: from maps to data, i.e. not only GIS standards, but also APIs and web standards.
Three trends from France
- The French Parliament is currently discussing the Digital Republic Bill. This bill uses a fairly wide definition of public data: all data financed by public funds, and data in the energy, transport, judicial and real estate sectors.
- Public agencies should open up their data on the national open data portal, and build an international community around these open datasets.
- After a citizen asked for the source code of the French income tax software, the Committee on Access to Administrative Documents (CADA) forced the tax authority to release it.