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The Open Data Economy e-Book

Governments and public authorities across the world are launching Open Data initiatives. Research indicates that by October 2011, 28 nations around the world had established Open Data Portals. Public administration officials are now beginning to realize the value that opening data can have. However, very few governments are taking the right measures in realizing the economic benefits out of Open Data. Political support, breadth and refresh rate of data released, the ease in sourcing data and participation from the user community determine the degree of maturity of an Open Data program. Capgemini Consulting conducted an analysis of 23 select countries across the world (including Moldova) which have already initiated Open Data programs, and rated them on a set of parameters.

The mission for public sector data

Government is attempting to make the most of a vast amount of data on UK citizens, presenting both opportunities and challenges. UK authorities are forging ahead with an attempt to make the most of data; a quest that includes fighting crime, tackling illness, bringing in tax revenue and improving the nation’s standing on the world stage. But the sheer volume of information they hold, combined with some worrying lapses in privacy, leave a long road to success.

World Bank Data Viz

A collection of visual data presenting the fight against poverty.

Danish government releases geographic data by way of 1:1 Minecraft map

The world-building power of Minecraft has spawned a zillion blocky, pixelated approximations of some of the world's most famous landmarks and cities. But what can happen when a city—or even country—opens its data doors for a total Minecraft recreation? Denmark offers the answer. You can jump into Minecraft right now and virtually walk around the nation's shores, highways, and cities because the Danish Geodata Agency has launched a full 1:1 recreation.

What if we mapped cities by how hard it is to get to work?

We tend to talk about transportation as if the ultimate goal were mere movement, measured in speed, time and capacity. We build roads to carry as many cars as quickly as possible (safely, that is). We assess public transit by how many passengers ride a subway system, or how quickly buses travel through town. The ultimate goal of transportation, though, isn't really to move us. It's to connect us -- to jobs, to schools, to the supermarket. And recognizing this means viewing transportation in a slightly different way

Building a Government Data Culture

Most governments are not set up structurally in a way that encourages the efficient sharing of data – with the public, or with other government agencies. This is what makes an open data policy so important. One of the most important things an open data directive can accomplish – whether it takes the form of an informal policy, an executive order or an open data statute – is to help create a set of incentives that can foster a "data culture" inside government.

Data journalism only matters when it's transparent

Journalism today is at least as much about working with the community as it is telling the world what you think happened. The ethos of open journalism is that reporting becomes better by gathering the expertise of the world and helping to curate it. Statistics and data have changed too. Governments everywhere have thrown open their vaults and released it to the world. Now citizens have a sense of entitlement when it comes to raw information.

The impact of open data

The Sunlight Foundation is particularly interested in the way that open data helps to increase transparency, allowing people a closer view of the decisions and processes that elected officials undertake on behalf of the public. While transparency and accountability are of special interest to Sunlight, the foundation generally also mentions a few additional categories of benefit that governments enjoy from opening their data — a variety of benefit likely to be of interest to any official watching their government’s bottom line.