So… open data. What is it? How do you find it, use it, and get value from it? As ever, Open Data Camp opened with the session that reveals all.
Camp maker Katherine Rooney started with an even more basic question: what is data? Campers gathered at Geovation in London suggested it was an “information set” or “usable information that could be easily shared” while others suggested that to be data, information needed to be “structured” in order to be meaningful.
Katherine then moved onto the ‘open’ bit, and said “open data is data that is open to anyone” and “for any purpose.” However, campers heard, it does not have to be free; although, of course, open data enthusiasts want it to be available at the lowest cost and as easily as possible.
This raised the question of where open data comes from. Lots of people publish open data:
- government bodies
- public authorities
- private companies.
But how do you know that published data is open data? “What we are looking for is an open data licence,” Katherine explained. “And that licence lives with the data as metadata.”
Continue reading ODCamp 7: Open Data 101 (aka Open Data for Newbies)
Open Data Camp 6 in Aberdeen opened with the ever popular (totally essential and very informative) ‘open data for newbies’ session.
And it started with a question: “Who knows what open data is?”
Participants decided the critical answers are that: it is data that can be made public (so not personal data); that is available free (or near free) for other people to use; and that is properly licensed as such.
Also, that it should be easily and available and consumable; although there is considerable debate about what that means.
Continue reading Open Data Camp 6: open data for newbies
It’s OK to accept that bright, engaged people might not know what Open Data is. So, here’s a beginner’s guide for them, liveblogged at Open Data Camp 5 in Belfast.
Continue reading Open Data for Newbies (2017 edition)
Day two of Open Data Camp in Cardiff opened with another session on the basics. What is open data, who can use it and what is it useful for?
Also, going back a step: “What is data?” Session participants suggested that while the public or ‘newbies’ might equate data with statistics, ‘data’ was much broader than that. It might be the raw data – or numbers – on which the stats were based. But it might also be text, or photographs.
Continue reading What is data, open data… and what on earth is an API?
What is open data?
There are loads of examples of open data. It can come in loads of formats. It’s data that’s open and free in accessible formats, that is machine readable. It can be any format – like a jpeg or a PDF, but that latter has become a joke in the community. PDFs are hard to get the data out of in a usable format. It’s great for people but a bit rubbish for computers.
Open data also has a licence, which makes it open. Everything else is just the icing on the cake. OGL or creative commons are common examples.
Continue reading Open Data: the basics for newbies
This session set out to create an open document (of course) full of resources and tools about open data. Leader Simon Redding said he wanted to find out where the gaps are; so they can be filled over time.
Other participants said such a resource would be useful for guiding communities towards data sources hey could use. This might address some of the issues surfaced during the expert Q&A session, which discussed concerns about the direction of the open data movement.
Continue reading Open Data for Newbies