Open Government & Open Data


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Open Government and Open Data. Exploration of Open Data examples, opportunities and relationship to PSI and INSPIRE directives.

Presentation to "Emerging Trends & Challenges in Public Sector ICT" Conference in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal on 8th June, 2011

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  • Today, I am going to talk about Open Government and the role that Open Data plays; give an overview of Open Data; share our experience with Fingal Open Data look at what needs to happen next.
  • Web 2.0 has enabled a fundamental shift in the way we communicate Blogs, Social Networking, Microblogs, Sharing sites are all based on concepts of sharing and dialogue
  • In the past Government communicated using a broadcast model We will tell you what we are doing Opportunities for feedback were extremely limited
  • Social Media is based on dialogue Everyone is equal – Government and Citizen Everyone should be able to have their voice heard on any issue
  • … rather than Controlled, Organised, Government-driven
  • The full movie is 1 hour long and free to view online.
  • Government 2.0 or Open Government enables a number of incremental levels of engagement.
  • Communicate Government can use Social Media as another broadcast communication channel Here Fingal County Council’s is using Twitter to inform citizens of events and service outages
  • Share We can share information such as images, data and video Dublin City Libraries share video via YouTube
  • Dialogue Government can engage in two-way conversations with citizens Here is an example of South Dublin County Council responding to a citizen’s enquiry on Facebook about their water supply
  • Participate Social Media can be used to facilitate participation Kilkenny County Council use Blogs to enable citizens to provide feedback on proposed Plans for their area
  • Collaborate Ultimately, Government 2.0 is about enabling a new approach to citizens and Government working together in a collaborative manner on matters of mutual concern Ideally, collaboration should be capable of being initiated by either Government or Citizen This is an example from North Sydney Council, Australia in which citizens can participate in determining budget priorities The citizen can choose to increase, decrease or not alter spending under the budget headings Their selections are totalled interactively so that they can see whether they are over or under budget and if over budget what the implications are for rates Citizens inputs are compiled into a report which feeds into the Councils decision-making process
  • Collaborate This example is from Melbourne, Australia Here the draft City Development Plan is published as a Wiki and the public can directly edit the Plan There is also a discussion page relating to each section of the plan where suggestions can be outlined or changes justified All versions are retained to enable comparison between versions of the Plan Once the public consultation phase is complete, the Council deliberates on the contributions to organise, refine and incorporate ideas in the most practical way
  • Collaborate In New York City, citizens can make suggestions about the provision of services The Bike Racks website enables citizens to identify a location where they believe bike racks should be provided, to include a photo of the location and to outline their reasons for the suggested location Other citizens can vote on the suggestions Citizens can also check whether their suggested location meets Bike Rack Location Guidelines to see racks provided sooner
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government In particular, it underpins collaboration Open Data is …
  • Public data Which is not subject to data protection or other limitations
  • Open Formats Available in non-proprietary formats e.g. CSV, XML, KML, RDF, open APIs
  • Machine Readable In a format that computers can process
  • Accessible Available to the widest range of people for the widest range of uses
  • Why would we publish Open Data?
  • Transparency To Open up Government and enable the Public to see the underlying information. What is the actual evidence-based reality as opposed to the perceived reality
  • Participation To increase citizen engagement with Government. If Government and Citizens are to cooperate, then Government can’t be the only ones with the information
  • Collaboration In addition to Citizen-Government collaboration outlined earlier, also - To enable the combination of data from different public sector agencies To enable other sectors to collaborate with Government.
  • Economic Opportunities Public sector data can be used as the basis for online services, mobile applications, analytics, etc.
  • Where did Open Data originate?
  • Open Data is based on the principles of Freedom of Information & Reuse of Public Sector Information. The 2003 EU Reuse of Public Sector Information Directive was designed to allow European companies to exploit the potential of Public Sector Data and to contribute to economic growth and job creation. In a 2009 report, the EU cited the value of EU Public sector data at an estimated €27B.
  • In the United States, Barak Obama promised Open Government during his election campaign. This website, was created in 2009 to share US Government data.
  • In 2010, the UK Government followed suit and established this website, to share UK Government data, with Tim Berners Lee, creator of the World Wide Web working on the project.
  • In 2010, the United Nations established the UN data website to share UN data
  • There are also many examples of Local Government Open Data websites around the world. In particular, the Greater London Authority have provided us with advice based on their experience with the London Data Store which was created in 2010.
  • What about Ireland? Up to now there have been no Government Open Data websites in this country. However, a growing number of people have been calling for Open Government Data. This Internet group has been established by interested people to discuss possibilities for Open Data in Ireland.
  • has been created by a collaboration of people from the Open Data Ireland discussion group and DERI research centre in NUI Galway takes data from Government websites, converts it to open formats and publishes it
  • The new Government has recognised the need for Open Data Both parties to Government have Open Government and Open Data policies The Programme for Government includes a number of objectives The EU eGovernment Action Plan also includes Open Data or PSI objectives
  • The 2007 EU INSPIRE Spatial Information Infrastructure Directive is designed to facilitate sharing of spatial environmental data The Directive requires public bodies to provide electronic discovery, view and download services The INSPIRE Directive therefore shares many characteristics of Open Data and Re-Use of Public Sector Information
  • The Greek Government recognised the commonalities in PSI and INSPIRE In Greece, INSPIRE legislation builds on the principles of their PSI legislation and the two are complementary
  • Tim Berners-Lee has proposed five incremental levels of Open Data deployment Level 1 – just publish it with an open licence Level 2 – publish it in a structured format e.g. excel rather than PDF Level 3 – non-proprietary formats Level 4 – provide a method for assigning an identified to data items enabling linking directly to the data Level 5 – link the data to other data on the web
  • Linked Data essentially turns the World Wide Web into one huge database The BBC are making extensive use of linked data behind their website It looks like a normal website but there is separate identifier for each component of the page and this enables contextual links to other resources on the web
  • The Biography section of BBC’s Kate Bush page comes from Wikipedia
  • The BBC’s Kate Bush page links to MusicBrainz which is an online music encyclopaedia, also built with Linked Data
  • Previously, like most sites on the Web, individual BBC pages were created separately and linked manually, and then linked manually to the wider Web By adopting Linked Data, the BBC is joined to the rest of the Web in a meaningful contextual manner
  • How can Open Data be applied in a practical manner? Applications can be built using Open Data to provide information and services to the public.
  • Examples from around the world include the Melbourne Public Transport App for iPhone. Like Dublin, Melbourne has a number of different transport operators. This app pulls together data from all the operators to enable journey planning from origin to destination. You can see the different forms of transport that you need for your journey, display them on a map and see when the next bus, train or tram is due.
  • In the U.K., Openly Local is a website that collates information from Local Authorities, presents it in a standardised manner and allows comparison between Authorities.
  • Ottawa Parks and Recreation App enables citizens to find Parks and recreation facilities on a map, and then find out information about the facility.
  • This website provides a visualisation of the German Federal Budget. The coloured blocks provide a visual representation of the comparative sizes of different Government Departments expenditure. You can drill down to see the components of a Departments expenditure and compare expenditure from year to year.
  • From the U.S. we have the County Sin Rankings website This shows U.S. Quality of Life indicator comparisons by County
  • What about Fingal? The Fingal area covers North County Dublin – north of the Liffey and the M50 including Blanchardstown, Howth, Swords, Balbriggan. It is the 4 th largest Local Authority area by population as per Census 2006 It is the youngest area in the country And it is the fastest growing
  • Between 2002 and 2006 the population of Fingal grew by 22% Our estimate is that Census 2011 will show an increase of a further 12%
  • To cope with and plan for the ever-increasing demand for services, Fingal has relied heavily on data for service planning. Fingal has built up considerable experience of data sharing. The Fingal Data Hub was created by the Fingal Development Board in 2009.
  • The website and the published data is the result of significant research and cooperation between 9 partner agencies. It was designed for sharing of anonymised data between partner agencies, to enable interagency cooperation and service planning. In 2010 the data was made publicly available.
  • The Fingal Data Hub partners agreed a Data Sharing Protocol which provides a framework for the partners to work together to share data.
  • Fingal Open Data has evolved from the principles of the Fingal Data Hub and the Open Data movement. It is the first Open Data website in this country. It is available at
  • The website, which you can see on screen, provides public access to source data from Council systems. There are over 70 datasets, some of which can be seen here in the centre of the screen These are grouped into the 12 categories on the left-hand side of the screen.
  • Detailed information is provided about each dataset, such as Planning Applications shown here, including description, date published and available formats.
  • The data is made available for download in Open, Machine Readable formats that can be processed by computers.
  • The data is subject to the Irish PSI Licence, drawn up by the Department of Finance, which allows for fair use of the data.
  • Earlier I outlined possible services that could be provided to the public based on Open Data. The datasets now available on Fingal Open Data enable the services illustrated here to be developed. Two services had already been developed
  • This is the first service that has been developed with Fingal Open Data. It was built as an added feature on the ‘Hit The Road’ website It displayed all polling Stations for the 2011 General Election and allowed a user to search for a Polling Station and get directions to that Polling Station using Public Transport It showed data from all 4 Dublin Authorities, but the data was scraped from the other 3 Local Authority websites.
  • This is an iPhone App that has been built with Fingal Bring Bank data It displays all Bring Banks It allows filtering on the type of recyclable material – glass, cans or textiles It displays information about the selected Bring Bank It also identifies the nearest Bring Bank to your location and will provide directions to Bring Banks
  • Fingal County Council is also working with its sister authorities in the Dublin Region on a regional Open Data Initiative (Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, South Dublin) Coordination Identify opportunities for use of public sector data Address technical, legal & commercial issues Collaboration between partners Facilitation Release & sharing of data in an open & free manner Services Provide data catalogue service to facilitate data discovery Provide service to access data
  • What are the next steps?
  • We need apps & services built with Irish Open Data Initially this might be Fingal Open Data, but these apps should be built to consume Open Data from any Government agency Beyond that, apps could consume data from other European countries – the EU wants to encourage cross-border apps and services Apps can be developed by business, 3 rd level, volunteers, etc If we are to demonstrate the value of open data and encourage the release of more data, we need to be able to show the practical benefits through practical applications and services
  • We need to have more Irish Open Data Local Authorities, Government Departments and Agencies should all start to release Open Data They should also examine whether usage restrictions can be removed from data already released There are also opportunities for Open Academic Data, Open Scientific Data, Open Bibliographic Data, etc And why not Open Business Data? Open Product Catalogues; Airline Flights and Fares; etc.
  • Worldwide, the Open Data Movement has a number of challenges to address
  • There is a need to make Open Data attractive to developers who will build apps with the data. This can be done through incentivising the development of apps. There is also a need to identify what the potential market is for Open Data apps, so that developers build apps that are needed.
  • Open Data sites are generally not designed with citizens in mind. It was generally felt that as Open Data is a raw material, ease of access to the raw data for non-developers was not required. However, there is now a growing view that when raw data is published, it should also have associated visualisation tools such as charting or mapping and that there should be links to apps built with the data
  • Because Open Data is such a new development, it is often difficult to determine whether it is succeeding. Using a metric such as visitor traffic to an Open Data website does not give any indication of whether anything useful has been done with the data. The performance of Open Data should be measured against the reasons for publishing the data. Appropriate metrics need to be defined for these purposes e.g. number of apps created, number of businesses utilising the data as the basis for products, increase in citizen involvement in decision-making, etc.
  • There is a great opportunity for public sector organisations to start releasing their data. Open Data will enable Open Government and increased citizen participation Open Data will also act as a driver for economic development and as a building block for the smart knowledge economy As I mentioned earlier, Fingal Open Data is available at And you can also follow us on Twitter at fingalopendata
  • In line with the theme, this presentation is licenced for sharing under a Creative Commons licence It is available for viewing and downloading on slideshare Thank you.
  • Open Government & Open Data

    1. 1. Comhairle Contae Fhine Gall Fingal County Council Open Government & Open Data Emerging Trends in Public Sector ICT 8 th June, 2011 @ fingalopendata
    3. 3. Broadcast
    4. 4. Dialogue
    5. 5. The new communication model is … Transparent Inclusive Authentic Vibrant User-Driven
    6. 7. Government 2.0
    7. 8. Communicate
    8. 9. Share
    9. 10. Dialogue
    10. 11. Participate
    11. 12. Collaborate
    12. 13. Collaborate
    13. 14. Collaborate
    14. 15. Open Data
    15. 16. Public Data
    16. 17. Open Formats
    17. 18. Machine Readable
    18. 19. Accessible
    19. 20. Why?
    20. 21. Why? Transparency
    21. 22. Participation
    22. 23. Collaboration
    23. 24. Economic Opportunities
    24. 25. History /
    25. 26. E.U. : Reuse of Public Sector Information
    26. 27. U.S. :
    27. 28. U.K. :
    28. 29. U.N. –
    29. 30. London Data Store –
    30. 31. Open Data Ireland
    31. 32.
    32. 33. Open Government Data Policy <ul><li>Ireland – Programme for Government </li></ul><ul><li>Publish Purchase Orders for more than €20,000 </li></ul><ul><li>Create a </li></ul><ul><li>European Union – eGovernment Action Plan </li></ul><ul><li>Committed to – </li></ul><ul><li>… making raw data and documents available for re-use in a wide variety of formats … </li></ul><ul><li>… setting up PSI portals … </li></ul>
    33. 34. E.U. : INSPIRE
    34. 35. Greece – PSI & INSPIRE
    35. 36. Linked Open Data
    36. 37. Linked Data
    37. 38. Linked Data
    38. 39. Linked Data
    39. 40. Linked Data
    40. 41. Applications Is the quality of the water okay for swimming? What Planning Applications have been submitted near me? How much waste is recycled in Fingal? Where do I vote? Where’s my nearest Bring Bank? Where can I find a disabled parking space? Where can I buy bin tags?
    41. 42. Melbourne Public Transport App
    42. 43. U.K. Local Authority Information
    43. 44. Ottawa Parks & Recreation App
    44. 45. German Federal Budget
    45. 46. U.S. Quality of Life Indicators
    46. 47. <ul><li>Raw Data Now </li></ul><ul><li>A year of open data </li></ul>
    47. 48. © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA - 4 th largest Youngest Fastest Growing Fingal
    48. 49. Fastest Growing
    49. 50. Fingal Data Hub
    50. 51. Shared Anonymised Data
    51. 52. Data Sharing Protocol
    52. 53. Fingal Open Data
    53. 54. Over 70 datasets in 12 categories
    54. 55. Information about each dataset
    55. 56. Open Format, Machine Readable
    56. 57. Irish PSI Licence
    57. 58. Possible Fingal Apps Check bathing water quality for Fingal beaches Find Planning Applications submitted near you See the amount of waste recycled in Fingal Locate the place where you vote Find your nearest Bring Bank Locate disabled parking spaces in Fingal Find out where you can buy bin tags
    58. 59. Polling Stations Website
    59. 60. Bring Banks App
    60. 61. Dublin Region Open Data
    61. 62. Next Steps
    62. 63. We Need Apps
    63. 64. Linking Open Data cloud diagram, by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch. Irish Open Data
    64. 65. CHALLENGES
    65. 66. Developers
    66. 67. Citizens
    67. 68. / Measuring Success
    68. 69.
    69. 70. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License Use of any Fingal County Council or Fingal Development Board logos and brands are not covered by this license. Pictures as marked used under Creative Commons license. If you believe any content is infringing copyright, please contact us via