15 – Open Data

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Another member of the Open-Family: Open Data.

Open Data means the data is:

(1) legally open. Everyone is allowed to do things with only a few restrictions.

(2) technically open. This means that the data is available in a machine readable open electronic format, so you can import and process it easily with a software program. Sharing a PDF is not doing the job! Computers usually can’t read PDFs plus they are hard to edit.

Open Data is a rich subject and has a gazillion facets and possibilities.

Let’s take government data, for example. The idea: all the data that our government produces with tax-money should be open, so motivated and creative citizens can use them to produce something, that the whole society could benefit from – e.g. create new services and startups. Often people come up with uses for the data, which the original creators never had in mind. This can be true not only for government data but also for data from the fields of culture, science, finance, environment, transport and weather.

There are many examples and incredible open data stories. Some of these stories are shared in the Open Data Handbook and in the following short Open-Data-teaser-video:

Do you want to get involved in Open Data? Search youtube for talks on the topic. Organizations that do a lot of great work on open data are the Open Knowledge Foundation with chapters in many countries, e.g. Germany or Finland and the Open Data Institute. Or maybe you live in a big city, where the next open data hackathon is not far away…


Author of this window: Lars Zimmermann
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