tonzijlstra.eu knowledge work, learning, social media The Value of Open Government Data Sofia, June 5th 2011good morning everybody. Thank you for inviting me. I am the community steward of theepsiplatform, which is a website by the EC where all developments about reusing governmentdata, and opening government data are tracked and discussed.There is a lot to say about Open Data, and the value of open data.To me Open Data is currently the primary potential catalyst for improving our societies andeconomies. But it is also very easy to loose ourselves in abstract notions when discussingOpen Data. So let’s make it real and tangible ﬁrst.
Meet Dirk Houtgraafhttp://rijksmonumenten.info/ (app)http://www.cultureelerfgoed.nl/ (gov department)http://www.cultureelerfgoed.nl/sites/default/ﬁles/documenten/downloads/RCE_Rijksmonumenten_Dataset.zip (dataset)http://www.kich.nl/kich2010/metadata.jsp?metaid=7&herkomst=Voorlopige%20rijksmonumentenkaart (description of dataset)http://wikilovesmonuments.nl/monumenten/ (Wikipedia crowd sourcing project to collectpictures of monuments)
Meet Rudi KraghMeet Rudi. He’s a Danish entrepreneur. He built a website where in less than 15 minutes,based on your address and a handful of other questions you will get a complete plan how tosave energy for your house, including a ﬁnancial plan with the subsidies available to you, aswell as a list of skilled builders from your town who could do the work.This is possible because information on the construction of every house, plans forneighbourhood heating, weather in your region, and subsidies etc are available publicly.His clients are the municipalities, who are seeking energy efficiency, or want to create morelocal jobs, or see their subsidy programs more succesful. With Open Data Rudi pulls it alltogether, to create value for home owners, communities and himself alike.http://www.husetsweb.dk/
Open Gov Data PrinciplesThese are the primary aspects of Open Government Data.It means every bit of public data is available to everyone, regardless of intended use, withoutrestrictions, in a way that it can be processed by machines.The basic reasoning is: we already paid for it through taxes, so it is our public data, and let’sput it to good use.http://www.opengovdata.org/home/8principles and http://www.opendeﬁnition.org/government/
Public trumps allI said PUBLIC data, as anything that is about individual persons or of explicit national interestmay be excluded.BUT, public data that is public by law does not know these privacy or national interestconcerns.For instance that I am the one owning my house, and how much I paid for it, is publiclyavailable, because the housing register is public information in the Netherlands.Open Data is by deﬁnition Public Data, but not all public data is already open data. Publicnessis just one of the criteria.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/docjohnboy/4106899304/ EU PSI Directive (INSPIRE, Aarhus)So why aren’t we there yet? If the value is so obvious.We have the European PSI Directive which is translated into law in all Member States. That lawbasically says that everything needs to be opened up, and that if gov is not doing that pro-actively citizens can ask for it anyway. It is the law.A consistent source of irritation however is the low general awareness within governmentinstitutions about the current state of the law concerning open PSI and data.This leads to confusion and general unpredictability for citizens.Because it seems every institution, and each civil servant is making up their own mind whenconfronted with a request for information.So we see data sources in arbitrary formatsWe see arbitrary costs being chargedWe see data being withheld on privacy grounds, when personal information is not involvedWe see downloading of already public information being actively blockedWe see the demand to state your interestOr we’re told that we’re not skilled enough to deal with the information (by statistical officesmainly)Or to register before you can get at the information.Or cease and desist letters from Belgian state railway for even linking to their website!In general, where there is no clear political incentive (like there is in the UK), we ﬁnd there isno clear picture of whether you can actually get at data, or will be allowed to get it.Regardless of the law.
Закон за достъп до обществената информация (Act amending the Access to Public Information Act) of 07/06/2007, J.O. de Bulgarie, N° 59 of 21/07/2007http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/policy/psi/docs/ laws/bulgaria/en_tra.pdf
Networked life, networked work, networked learning Open Gov Data UKhttp://data.gov.uk
Use it to inform yourselfhttp://vervuilingsalarm.nl/
• value to citizens: service in your neighbourhood, snelste pontje Use it to build your own serviceshttp://snelstepontje.3r13.nl/ (webversion)https://market.android.com/details?id=nl.Snelstepontje (android application)See all AppsforAmsterdam applications: http://www.appsforamsterdam.nl/alle-appsAmsterdam open datasets: http://www.appsforamsterdam.nl/databronnenDescription: http://www.epsiplatform.eu/news/news/apps_for_amsterdam_48_reuse_cases_with_local_government_data/
Use it build your own businesshttp://husestsweb.dk
Citizens will build services gov can usehttp://verbeterdebuurt.nl/UK example: http://ﬁxmystreet.com
Government is biggest re-userVancouver parking tickets map: http://geocommons.com/maps/8708
IATI, Gov Data as Gov InstrumentIATI data sets: http://iatiregistry.org/IATI home page: http://www.aidtransparency.net/
Stakeholders? http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/twose/887903401/It’s absolutely of critical importance to keep all stakeholder groups in mind, includinggovernment itself!don’t design openess with just one or a few in mind. It will help keep it simpler.Infrastructure isn’t build with user groups in mind.Infrastructure is dumb, its intelligence is at the boundaries.Treat open data as infrastructure, as a general resource, as dumb.Just put it out there.
Stakeholders • Private citizens • Activists • Coders • Entrepreneurs • NGO’s • Academics • Civil Servants • Gov InstitutionsTaking into account all stakeholders is key. Or you will completely largely miss all the valueopen data generates.If you think only in terms of companies and economic value, you will never notice that TineMöllers friends are now able to leave their homes and can ﬁnd a toilet, participating in societyagain.If you think only in terms of transparency you will never notice the number of lives Richardsaves due to Open Data in his work as ﬁreman. Or the way Dirk makes his governmentinstitution be more effective as well as efficient.If you only think in terms of cool apps for your smart phone you will not notice the higherquality of decisions Danish home-owners can take regarding their energy use. Saving moneyas well as the planet.
http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/factoryjoe/195492568/ Applications?The same goes for areas of application.Don’t as a government try to second guess what are useful applications and select data toopen based on that.There is no way to predict this. Look at the apps available for smartphones. No one wouldhave guessed a few years back.Just put it out there. As a platform for others to build on, as infrastructure.You will like some apps, you will hate some others. So will I.But it’s not up to you or me.
Fields of value • Participation / empowerment • Transparency, democratic control • Better (gov) products and services • New (gov) products and services • Impact measurement • Gov Efﬁciency and Effectivity • Data Journalism • New knowledge / real innovationHere’s just a small list of areas where open data is already creating value.
Networked life, networkedwork, networkedData! Go Get Your learning But it’s not “us against them”
Networked life, networked“Nobody knows what this is work, networked learning about yet.” José Manuel Alonso (CTIC)
Lots of barriersLarge version and more detailed versions: http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/epsiplatform/5737203950/in/photostreamDescription: http://www.epsiplatform.eu/news/news/sharepsi_output_open_for_your_comments and http://www.epsiplatform.eu/news/news/mapping_barriers_to_psi_reuse/
Involve Civil ServantsBut don’t see it as US against THEM. Civil servants are citizens too, and I have yet to meet onethat does not have a passion for public service, even if that is well hidden. So involve civilservants. Find the ones that care about open government data, and connect them together.The screenshot is of a Dutch community of over 6000 civil servants, called Civil Servant2.0,of which I am one of the board members. The community is all about using open data, socialmedia, new work methods to improve government.http://ambtenaar20.ning.com/
know the gov does not exist. Networkedcivil servant find 1 life, networked work, networked learning The Government: Find 1 Local Herohttp://opendataenschede.nl/
Networked life, networked work, networked learning epsiplatform.eu opendatamanual.org Everybody in EU is solving same questionsEC is interested in supporting you with information and building connections. We at http://epsiplatform.eu arelooking forward to hear your stories, your examples etc. Get in touch if you have news, examples, cases youwould like to share, guest blog posts you woud like to submit, or have questions you want to ask.
It is up to you, me, usWe have to make it happen. So I am curious today to hear more about what you are doing inBulgaria. Inside government, and outside it. What examples exist? And can we show them toall those outside Bulgaria that are interested in government data.
tonzijlstra.eu knowledge work, learning, social media Credits All photos: Ton Zijlstra, by nc sa Except where mentioned on the photo. Slides: http://slideshare.net/tonzijlstra Blog: http://zylstra.org/blog Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: ton_zylstraAll slides can be found under ‘documents’ at http://slideshare.net/tonzijlstra