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RE: Defining "Open" Data (was RE: no F2F3 in 2009 -- Re: Agenda, eGov IG Call, 11 Nov 2009) CRM:0002011

From: Todd Vincent <todd.vincent@xmllegal.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2009 10:10:14 -0500
Message-ID: <61694BA0E9EA91449CB7ACCE04052D566AA938@exchange.xmllegal.com>
To: "Jonathan Gray" <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>, "Laurence Millar" <laurence.millar@gvg.net.nz>
Cc: "eGovIG IG" <public-egov-ig@w3.org>, "Emmanouil Batsis (Manos)" <manos@abiss.gr>, Niklas Lindström <lindstream@gmail.com>, "prof. dr. Tom M. van Engers" <vanengers@uva.nl>, <peter.krantz@gmail.com>, "david osimo" <david.osimo@gmail.com>, "Rufus Pollock" <rufus.pollock@okfn.org>
The existing work cited is great work.  I agree that this group should build on that work.  That said, a few observations:

1. The existing definitions seem to define what "open data" is, but not what is it not.  That is, I did not see a definition of "closed" data?  Or a continuum in between.

2. I agree/like Anne's idea of creating a set of criteria and a score card, so data owners can objectively determine whether their data is open, or not, and where it exists in a continuum between open and closed.

3. I think there are low level details missing in these existing works as to the technology.  I agree with Anne's observation that governments often think they are doing the right thing, because they associated the technology they are using with "open data" when in fact, the technology they are using is not as open or as useful as it could be.  To create a set of criteria and a score card, I think you have to go into the details of the technology.  W3C workgroups are typically well suited for this type of work.   Joe Carmel included good technical points in his post and there are others.  I would also guess there is some healthy debate as to what technology makes data more or less open.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

Winchel "Todd" Vincent III
<xmlLegal> http://www.xmllegal.org/ 
Phone : 404.822.4668
Fax     : 770.216.1633
Email : Todd.Vincent@xmllegal.org

-----Original Message-----
From: okfn.jonathan.gray@googlemail.com [mailto:okfn.jonathan.gray@googlemail.com] On Behalf Of Jonathan Gray
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 7:21 AM
To: Laurence Millar
Cc: eGovIG IG; Emmanouil Batsis (Manos); Todd Vincent; Niklas Lindström; prof. dr. Tom M. van Engers; peter.krantz@gmail.com; david osimo; Rufus Pollock
Subject: Re: Defining "Open" Data (was RE: no F2F3 in 2009 -- Re: Agenda, eGov IG Call, 11 Nov 2009)

Indeed we've been in conversation with the people behind the Open
Government Data Principles about how we can incorporate the Open
Knowledge Definition (which I think pre-dated the Government Data
Principles by a couple of years) into their definition. I'm not sure
how actively maintained the Open Government Principles are though...

Also we've had several discussions about point 8. of the OGD
principles which says that open government data must be 'license
free'. We are not sure about this. For example many governments use
licenses (such as the UK's Click Use PSI license - which is Open
Knowledge Definition compliant) which mean that anyone can use the
data with almost no restriction. Point 8. might be US Federal
government bias - and implies that all rights in data must be waived,
rather than using rights to enforce basic measures such as attribution
and integrity as is the case in the UK and many other European

We'd love to create something like opendefinition.org/government which
would basically be the OKD plus some additional
recommendations/requirements such as those in the OGD principles.

Best wishes,


On Sun, Nov 15, 2009 at 5:26 AM, Laurence Millar
<laurence.millar@gvg.net.nz> wrote:
> In NZ, we have been using this for most of 2009:
> http://wiki.opengovdata.org/index.php?title=OpenDataPrinciples
> (HT Colin Jackson, Vikram Kumar)
> In the spirit of open, it would be sensible to build on the work that has
> already been done.
> --
> Laurence Millar Independent Advisor
> +64 21 441 461
> http://gvg.net.nz/
> Jonathan Gray wrote:
> The Open Knowledge Definition aims to give a definition of the 'open'
> in 'open data':
>   http://opendefinition.org/
> Functionally, it is a bit like the definitions for Free/Open Source
> software - providing criteria for determining which licenses, legal
> tools and terms and conditions make the material they are applied to
> 'open'. It covers everything from the UK Click Use PSI License to some
> (but not all) of the Creative Commons licenses.
> Is this of interest?

Jonathan Gray

Community Coordinator
The Open Knowledge Foundation
Received on Monday, 16 November 2009 15:10:43 UTC

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