The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) e-Government Interest Group recently concluded a series of online meetings on research, policy and practice of Open Government Data (OGD) — data produced or managed by government and made openly available to citizens, businesses and other third parties. The meetings, which extended over the past several months, were organized by the chairs of the group: Jeanne M. Holm, Chief Knowledge Architect at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Tomasz Janowski, Head of the Center for Electronic Governance at UNU-IIST.
The series included 20 presentations by governments, academia, and private sector and civil society organizations from Brazil, Colombia, Ghana, India, New Zealand, Spain, Taiwan, Uganda and the USA, and by intergovernmental organizations such as the European Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank.
The presentations (downloadable by clicking the links) included:
OGD experience by national governments
- In Colombia — opening access to government data by following the “opening” cycle with identify, analyse, prioritize, structure, publish and exploit stages
- In Ghana — developing the open data community by organizing and learning from hackathons;
- In India — enabling proactive release of government data and open access to such data;
- In New Zealand — promoting open government data and analyzing economic, social, political, etc. impact achieved;
- In Uganda — establishing building blocks for open government and reflecting on the challenges encountered;
- In the US — working towards information disclosure and promoting the role of chief data officers and data scientists; and
- In the US — promoting transparency in federal spending in the US through the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act.
OGD experience by local governments
- In Colorado — implementing President Obama’s Open Government Directive;
- In the Basque region — promoting and regulating openness and reuse of public sector applications; and
- In Taiwan cities — implementing open data strategy through Freedom of Information acts, government clouds, data portals and city apps.
OGD experience by international organizations
- European Commission — transforming e-Government in the European Union through Linked Data; and
- World Bank — supporting developing countries in starting OGD initiatives through the Open Data Initiative.
Policy-relevant OGD research
- Impact — understanding the economic, social and political impact of OGD;
- Information sharing — supporting government information sharing at the policy, strategy and implementation levels; and
- Participation — enabling citizens to participate in parliamentary processes.
Technical OGD solutions
- Data ecosystems — using simple protocols and formats to establish rich data ecosystems;
- Visualisations — creating visualizations using linked data;
- Open data platforms — applying open-source, open-data platforms to help data publishers release dynamic real-time data sets;
- Executable English — connecting non-technical people to data using Executable Open Vocabulary English; and
- Linked data assets — transforming social media data into linked government data assets to increase the utilization of social media content.
W3C is the main international standards organization for the World Wide Web. Founded by Tim Berners-Lee at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the consortium is made up of member organizations which maintain full-time staff for the purpose of working together in the development of standards for the Web. W3C also engages in education and outreach, develops software and serves as an open forum for discussion about the Web.
The mission of the W3C eGovernment Interest Group is to build and strengthen the community of people who use or promote the use of W3C technologies to improve the working of government, including essential areas of technology and related policy issues.