The Open Data Revolution

On March 21, 2011, in Conference Session, GIS, by GIScience Research Group

A workshop on “Open Government: Open Data, Open Source and Open Standards” organized jointly by Dr Hanif Rahemtulla, Horizon Digital Economy Research and Puneet Kishor, Creative Commons in conjunction with the annual Open Source GIS Conference (OSGIS), June 21, 2011, Nottingham, United Kingdom. The workshop will be held at the School of Geography/Centre for Geospatial Science at the University of Nottingham. This meeting follows and builds upon “Law and the GeoWeb”, a workshop exploring intellectual property issues with geographic data in the internet era, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of Association of American Geographers, April 11, 2011 at the campus of Microsoft Research, Seattle, Washington.

The “Open Government” workshop will bring together speakers from across industry, research and academia to contribute towards some of the fundamental theoretical and technical questions emerging in the Open Data space (i.e., how to mark up and release open data; licensing models for governments; conflicts between data protection and transparency and structuring access to data by different groups). The session will be a series of presented papers with a lively explorative session which will inform, provoke and encourage discussion.

Proceedings of the Seattle and Nottingham workshops and selected longer papers will be published in a special issue of the open-access International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research published by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.

Registration for the OSGIS and workshop will commence shortly.  If you require any further information regarding the workshop please contact either Dr. Hanif Rahemtulla, Horizon Digital Economy Research at the University of Nottingham (hanif.rahemtulla[AT]nottingham.ac.uk) or Puneet Kishor, Creative Commons (punkish[AT]creative commons.org].

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The term “Open Data” refers to the philosophical and methodological approach to the democratization of data enabling citizens to access and create value through the reuse of public sector information. Today, Open Data is gathering momentum and forms part of a global movement linked to Open Access and comparable to other Open movements such as Open Source.

Today, the Open Data movement has created great excitement in the developer community with a seemingly endless stream of novel and innovative applications, tools and visualizations that repurposes and enriches public data.

However, while Open Data gives rise to many new opportunities it also poses many challenges. As Boyd (2010) states, access to public information to provide transparency represents only the first step to a more informed citizenry. The success of Open Data will depend in part upon addressing existing barriers to access which encompasses issues such as digital inclusion and information literacy. As such, there is much work still to do to make this promised future happen.

This special feature in the Journal of Spatial Information Science aims to bring together some of the key developers, academics and writers on Open Data to document its lineage, debate its philosophy and methods and to envision its future. Contributions are welcome from any source, and in any style appropriate to the arguments being made.

The deadline for the submission of full research articles is 30th June 2011.  Articles will be subject to the normal JOSIS peer review process. For more details of the submission process CLICK HERE.

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