The State of Open Data

A recent article discusses the proliferation of open data sets over the last several years and how these sets are being utilized. The article begins, “More than two years after President Obama's memorandum on his open government initiative, thousands of public authorities and organizations worldwide have embraced the main idea behind it. Opening up data and making them publicly available on the Web has been recognized as a key to fostering transparency and collaboration within public administrations and with citizens. From census data, to cadastrial maps, everyday a new data set pop ups on the Web.”

It continues, “Since the open data movement has shown no declining signals, several hubs, or data markets, have been released. This was a direct consequence of the need for ways to search all different data sets. According a wide definition, data markets are platforms where the users may search, browse and discover new data sets to fulfill their needs. The added value they bring varies according the functionalities they offer, making them something more than a simple vertical search engine.”

“For example,” the article adds, “the Icelandic startup provides a fully flavored set of functionalities to visualize the data. Data time series could be visualized with several different types of charts, allowing the users to add dates, grabbed from the Guardian archive. The result is a handy way to make explicit the correlations between trends and historical events. Then, end users could access the data through REST APIs or export them in CSV or XML. Links to diagrams could even be shared on Twitter or Facebook, making Datamarket a fancy and pragmatic tool.”

Read more here.

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