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Staying open: how we will continue our work despite COVID-19

- March 19, 2020 in Open Knowledge Foundation

We know that you will be concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on you and your loved ones. At the Open Knowledge Foundation, our thoughts are with all those around the world who have been affected by the outbreak, and we would like to thank everyone working on the frontline to tackle the virus – health workers, researchers, public servants, cleaners, scientists, shopworkers and many, many others. We urge everyone to follow the official advice issued in their own country. Despite the challenging circumstances, the Open Knowledge Foundation will continue to campaign for a fair, free and open future. We recognise that data can play a significant role in obtaining positive solutions to the pandemic when it is open, accessible and disseminated in ways that are useful. Emergency situations inevitably require emergency governmental powers, so we will be looking to apply our knowledge and skills to ensure technologies are developed and deployed in a manner that is equitable for everyone. The Open Knowledge Foundation will maintain our international links which will be more critical than ever in the months and years ahead. We will continue to use our best endeavours to support all of our stakeholders and our team members. We want to reassure all our partners that we expect to be working and delivering on our commitments as normal during this time. We have been a remote organisation for many years and on a practical level, we want to share our individual experiences in the hope that they may be of benefit and comfort to others as people recalibrate. You can read our recently published article on my experiences of remote working here. Remote working has many challenges and opportunities, and being open about our experiences will help others as this practice becomes the new normal.

Making remote working work for you and your organisation

- March 19, 2020 in Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

The coronavirus outbreak means that up to 20 per cent of the UK workforce could be off sick or self-isolating during the peak of an epidemic.

Millions of people may not be ill, but they will be following expert advice to stay away from their workplace to help prevent the spread of the virus.

There are clearly hundreds of roles where working from home simply isn’t possible, and questions are rightly being asked about ensuring people’s entitlement to sick pay.

But for a huge number of workers who are usually based in an office environment, remote working is a possibility – and is therefore likely to become the norm for millions.

With the economy in major trouble as evidenced by yesterday’s stock market falls, ensuring those who are fit and able can continue to work is important.

So employers should start today to prepare for efficient remote working as part of their coronavirus contingency planning.

Giant companies such as Twitter are already prepared. But this may be an entirely new concept for some firms.

The Open Knowledge Foundation which I lead has been successfully operating remote working for several years.

Our staff are based in their homes in countries across the world, including the UK, Portugal, Zimbabwe and Australia.

Remote working was new to me a year ago when I joined the organisation.

I had been based in the European Parliament for 20 years as an MEP for Scotland. I had a large office on the 13th floor of the Parliament in Brussels, with space for my staff, as well as an office in Strasbourg when we were based there. For most of my time as a politician, I also had an office in Fife where my team would deal with constituents’ queries.

Things couldn’t be more different today. I work from my home in Dunfermline, in front of my desktop computer, with two screens so that I can type on one and keep an eye on real-time alerts on another.

The most obvious advantage is being able to see more of my family. Being a politician meant a lot of time away from my husband and children, and I very much sympathise with MSPs such as Gail Ross and Aileen Campbell who have decided to stand down from Holyrood to see more of their loved ones. If we want our parliaments to reflect society, we need to address the existing barriers to public office.

Now in charge of a team spread around the world, using a number of technology tools to communicate with them, remote working has been a revelation for me.

Why couldn’t I have used those tools in the European Parliament and even voted remotely?

In the same way that Gail Ross has questioned why there wasn’t a way for her to vote remotely from Wick, hundreds of miles from Edinburgh, the same question must be asked of the European Parliament.

But for companies now planning remote working, it is vital to adopt effective methods.

Access to reliable Wi-Fi is key, but effective communication is critical. Without physical interaction, a virtual space with video calling is essential.

It is important to see the person when remote working and be able to interact as close as it would be face-to-face. This also avoids distraction and allows people to check in with each other.

We tend to do staff calls through our Slack channel and our weekly all-staff call is through Google Hangout.

All-staff calls – or all-hands call as we call them – are important if people are forced to work remotely. We do this once a week, but for some organisations morning calls will also become an essential part of the day.

Our monthly global network call is on an open source tool called Jitsi and I use Zoom for diary meetings.

If all else fails, we resort to Skype and WhatsApp.

In terms of how we share documents between the team, we use Google Drive. That means participants in conference calls can see and update an agenda and add action points in real-time, and make alterations or comments on documents such as letters which need to be checked by multiple people.

In the same way that our staff work and collaborate remotely, using technology to co-operate on a wider scale also goes to the heart of our vision for a future that is fair, free and open.

We live in a time when technological advances offer incredible opportunities for us all.

Open knowledge will lead to enlightened societies around the world, where everyone has access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives; where powerful institutions are comprehensible and accountable; and where vital research information that can help us tackle challenges such as poverty and climate change is available to all.

Campaigning for this openness in society is what our day job entails.

But to achieve that we have first worked hard to bring our own people together using various technological options.

Different organisations will find different ways of making it work.

But what is important is to have a plan in place today.

This post was originally published by the Herald newspaper

Conhecimento Aberto, Inteligência Artificial e Algoritmos

- March 18, 2020 in Destaque, Open Knowledge Foundation

O texto abaixo é de autoria de Catherine Stihler, CEO da Open Knowledge Foundation, traduzido em português por Thiago Teixeira. Neste ano, a Open Knowledge Brasil também priorizou o tema, em seu planejamento estratégico. A Open Knowledge completou 15 anos, e nós reservamos uns instantes para olhar com um pouco mais de atenção para as mudanças no horizonte de desafios que a nossa sociedade enfrenta. O tumultuoso debate sobre algoritmos e inteligência artificial (IA) chegou para nós como uma oportunidade para mobilizar nossa experiência única com dados abertos e alfabetização de dados para criar mudanças positivas. No fim das contas, as questões de transparência, accountability, ética e empoderamento cívico também estão presentes nos debates cívico e político sobre algoritmos e inteligência artificial. Na realidade, mais que isso, nossa experiência em criar comunidades, definir conceitos compartilhados e ampliar a compreensão de dados tem correspondência direta com este novo campo.  É por este motivo que hoje a Open Knowledge está assumindo um novo compromisso – aplicar nossas habilidades nas questões emergentes de  IA e algoritmos.  Estamos cientes dos trabalhos sobre essas questões produzidos por celebrados acadêmicos, organizações da sociedade civil e mesmo empresas privadas, e não pretendemos reinventar a roda. No entanto, as conversas que mantivemos com múltiplos atores no último ano nos convenceram de que nossa experiência pode fortalecer as comunidades, projetos e pesquisas existentes nestes tópicos, com a ajuda dos nossos parceiros atuais e futuros ao redor do mundo. Trabalhando em parceria com acadêmicos, sociedade civil e governos, nós vamos aplicar aos temas de IA e algoritmos cada um dos elementos que fizeram dos dados abertos um movimento de impacto:  Definições Compartilhadas (de que tipo de algoritmos estamos falando?); Ferramentas e recursos padronizados (para facilitar a transparência sobre o uso de algoritmos e AI); Alfabetização entre atores relevantes (Cidadãos, mas também advogados, servidores públicos e outros); por meio destes pilares, teremos três temas que guiarão nossas ações: Accountability: Treinamento de advogados e jornalistas para garantir que algoritmos problemáticos serão investigados e questionados; Monitoramento: Treinamento de jornalistas, organizações da sociedade civils e cidadãos para monitorar o impacto de algoritmos, o que consiste, algumas vezes, na única forma de compreender seus efeitos; Aprimoramento: treinamento de organizações públicas e privadas, e os advogados que as assessoram, para direcioná-las para o uso qualificado da tecnologia.   A tabela abaixo mostra algumas das atividades que estamos pesquisando:  
Definições compartilhadas Recursos Padronizados Alfabetização
Accountability Mobilização de comunidades temáticas de pesquisadores, ativistas, servidores públicos, organizações privadas e outros atores relevantes para definir conceitos e métodos comuns Participação e debates de políticas públicas para inserir accountability em regulações futuras Criar conteúdos educativos e guias sobre formas legais e para-legais de garantir a transparência e accountability acerca do uso de algoritmos
Monitoramento Mapear o uso de algoritmos e AI pelos governos (e entidades vinculadas) Treinamento de jornalistas para o monitoramento do impacto de algoritmos
Aprimoramento Treinamento de observadores da sociedade civil sobre marco legal e melhores práticas Treinamento de advogados do serviço público sobre os riscos dos algoritmos
  Acompanhe  a OK para saber mais sobre este tópico! Para comentários e contribuições, ou se você quiser colaborar com este programa, entre em contato conosco via contact@okfn.org*. *Este conteúdo está no texto original e portanto o e-mail mencionado é um canal de comunicação direto com a sede da Open Knowledge Foundation, em Londres. Flattr this!

Breaking up big tech isn’t enough. We need to break them open

- February 27, 2020 in Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation, personal-data

From advocates, politicians and technologists, calls for doing something about big tech grow louder by the day. Yet concrete ideas are few or failing to reach the mainstream. This post covers what breaking up big tech would mean and why it’s not enough. I propose an open intervention that will give people a real choice and a way out of controlled walled gardens. Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple are not natural monopolies and we need to regulate them to support competition and alternative business models.

What’s the problem?

As a social species, our social and digital infrastructure is of vital importance. Just think of the postal service that even in the most extreme circumstances, would deliver letters to soldiers fighting on the front lines. There’s a complicated and not-risk-free system that makes this work, and we make it work, because it matters. It is so important for us to keep in touch with our loved ones, stay connected with news and what’s happening in our communities, countries and the planet. Our ability to easily and instantly collaborate and work with people halfway across the world is one of the wonders of the Information Age. The data we collect can help us make better decisions about our environment, transport, healthcare, education, governance and planning. It should be used to support the flourishing of all people and our planet. But right now, so much of this data, so much of our social digital infrastructure, is owned, designed and controlled by a tiny elite of companies, driven by profit. We’re witnessing the unaccountable corporate capture of essential services, reliance on exploitative business models and the increasing dominance of big tech monopolies. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft use their amassed power to subvert the markets which they operate within, stifling competition and denying us real choice. Amazon has put thousands of companies out of business, leaving them the option to sell on their controlled platform or not sell at all. Once just a digital bookstore, Amazon now controls over 49% of the US digital commerce market (and growing fast) — selling everything from sex toys to cupcakes. Facebook (who, remember, also own Instagram and WhatsApp) dominates social, isolating people who don’t want to use their services. About a fifth of the population of the entire planet (1.6 billion) log in daily. They control a vast honeypot of personal data, vulnerable to data breaches, influencing elections and enabling the spread of misinformation. It’s tough to imagine a digital industry Google doesn’t operate in. These companies are too big, too powerful and too unaccountable. We can’t get them to change their behaviour. We can’t even get them to pay their taxes. And it’s way past time to do something about this.

Plans to break up monopolies

Several politicians are calling for breaking up big tech. In the USA, presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren wants two key interventions. One is to reverse some of the bigger controversial mergers and acquisitions which have happened over the last few years, such as Facebook with WhatsApp and Instagram, while going for a stricter interpretation and enforcement of anti-trust law. The other intervention is even more interesting, and an acknowledgement of how much harm comes from monopolies who are themselves intermediaries between producers and consumers. Elizabeth Warren wants to pass “legislation that requires large tech platforms to be designated as ‘Platform Utilities’ and broken apart from any participant on that platform”. This would mean that Amazon, Facebook or Google could not both be the platform provider and sell their own services and products through the platform. The EU has also taken aim at such platform power abuse. Google was fined €2.4 billion by the European Commission for denying “consumers a genuine choice by using its search engine to unfairly steer them to its own shopping platform”. Likewise, Amazon is currently under formal investigation for using their privileged access to their platform data to put out competing products and outcompete other companies’ products. Meanwhile, in India, a foreign-owned company like Amazon is already prohibited from being a vendor on their own electronic market place.

Breaking up big tech is not enough

While break up plans will go some way to address the unhealthy centralisation of data and power, the two biggest problems with big tech monopolies will remain:
  1. It won’t give us better privacy or change the surveillance business models used by tech platforms; and
  2. It won’t provide genuine choice or accountability, leaving essential digital services under the control of big tech.
The first point relates to the toxic and anti-competitive business models increasingly known as ‘Surveillance capitalism’. Smarter people than me have written about the dangers and dark patterns that emerge from this practice. When the commodity these companies profit from is your time and attention, these multi-billion companies are incentivised to hook you, manipulate you and keep dialing up the rampant consumerism which is destroying our planet. Our privacy and time is constantly exploited for profit. The break ups Warren proposes won’t change this. The second point means it still wouldn’t become it easier for other companies to compete or to experiment with alternative business models. Right now, it’s near impossible to compete with Facebook and Amazon since their dominance is built on ‘network effects’. Both companies strictly police their user network and data. People aren’t choosing these platforms because they are better, they default to them because that’s where everyone else is. Connectivity and reach is vital for people to communicate, share, organise and sell — there’s no option but to go where most people already are. So we’re increasingly locked in. We need to make it possible for other providers and services to thrive.

Breaking big tech open

Facebook’s numerous would-be competitors don’t fail through not being good enough or failing to get traction, or even funding. Path was beautiful and had many advantages over Facebook. Privacy-preserving Diaspora got a huge amount of initial attention. Scuttlebutt has fantastic communities. Alternatives do exist. None of them have reduced the dominance of Facebook. The problem is not a lack of alternatives, the problem is closed design, business model and network effects. What Facebook has, that no rival has, is all your friends. And where it keeps them is in a walled off garden which Facebook controls. No one can interact with Facebook users without having a Facebook account and agreeing to Facebook’s terms and conditions (aka surveillance and advertising). Essentially, Facebook owns my social graph and decides on what terms I can interact with my friends. The same goes for other big social platforms: to talk to people on LinkedIn, I have to have a LinkedIn account; to follow people on Twitter, I must first sign up to Twitter and so on. As users we take on the burden of maintaining numerous accounts, numerous passwords, sharing our data and content with all of these companies, on their terms. It doesn’t have to be this way. These monopolies are not natural, they are monopolies by design — choosing to run on closed protocols and walling off their users in silos. We need to regulate Facebook and others to force them to open up their application programme interfaces (APIs) to make it possible for users to have access to each other across platforms and services.

Technically, interoperability is possible

There are already examples of digital social systems which don’t operate as walled gardens: email for example. We don’t expect Google to refuse to deliver an email simply because we use an alternative email provider. If I send an email to a Gmail account from my Protonmail, FastMail or even Hotmail account — it goes through. It just works. No message about how I first have to get a Gmail account. This, fundamentally, is the reason email has been so successful for so long. Email uses an open protocol, supported by Google, Microsoft and others (probably due to being early enough, coming about in the heady open days of the web, before data mining and advertising became the dominant forces they are today … although email is increasingly centralised and dominated by Google). While email just works, a technology that’s very similar, such as instant messaging, doesn’t. We have no interoperability, which means many of us have upward of four different chat apps on our phones and have to remember which of our friends are on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp (owned by Facebook), Signal, Wire, Telegram, etc.  We don’t carry around five phones so why do we maintain accounts with so many providers, each storing our personal details, each with a different account and password to remember? This is because these messaging apps use their own, closed, proprietary protocols and harm usability and accessibility in the process. This is not in the interests of most people. Interoperability and the use of open protocols would transform this, offering us a better experience and control over our data while reducing our reliance on any one platform. Open protocols can form the basis of a shared digital infrastructure that’s more resilient and would help us keep companies that provide digital services, accountable. It would make it possible to leave and choose whose services we use.

What would this look like in practice?

Say I choose to use a privacy-preserving service for instant messaging, photo sharing and events — possibly one of the many currently available today, or even something I’ve built or host myself. I create an event and I want to invite all my friends, wherever they are. This is where the open protocol and interoperability come in. I have some friends using the same service as me, many more scattered across Twitter, Facebook and other social services, maybe a few just on email. If these services allow interconnections with other services, then every person, wherever they are, will get my event invite and be able to RSVP, receive updates and possibly even comment (depending on what functionality the platforms support). No more getting left out as the cost of caring about privacy. Interoperability would be transformational. It would mean that:
  1. I can choose to keep my photos and data where I have better access, security and portability. This gives us greater control over our data and means that…
  2. Surveillance is harder and more expensive to do. My data will not all be conveniently centralised for corporations or governments to use in unaccountable ways I haven’t agreed to. Privacy ❤
  3. I won’t lose contact with, leave out, or forget friends who aren’t on the same platform as me. I can choose services which serve my needs better, not based on the fear of social exclusion or missing out. Hooray for inclusion and staying friends!
  4. I’ll be less stressed trying to remember and contact people across different platforms with different passwords and accounts (e.g. this currently requires a Facebook event, email, tweets, WhatsApp group reminders and Mastodon, Diaspora and Scuttlebutt posts for siloed communities…)
  5. Alternative services, and their alternative business models and privacy policies become much more viable! Suddenly, a whole ecosystem of innovation and experimentation is possible which is out of reach for us today. (I’m not saying it will be easy. Finding sustainable funding and non-advertising-based business models will still be hard and will require more effort and systemic interventions, but this is a key ingredient).
Especially this last point, the viability of creating alternatives, would start shifting the power imbalance between Facebook and its users (and regulators), making Facebook more accountable and incentivising them to be responsive to user wants and needs. Right now Facebook acts as it pleases because it can — it knows its users are trapped. As soon as people have meaningful choice, exploitation and abuse become much harder and more expensive to maintain.

So, how do we get there?

In the first instance, regulating Facebook, Twitter and others to make them open up their APIs so that other services can read/write to Facebook events, groups, messages etc. would be the first milestone. Yes, this isn’t trivial and there are questions to work out, but it can be done. Looking ahead, investing now in developing open standards for our social digital infrastructure is a must. Funders and governments should be supporting the work and adoption of open protocols and standards — working with open software and services to refine, test and use these standards and see how they work in practice over time. We’ll need governance mechanisms for evolving and investing in our open digital infrastructure that includes diverse stakeholders and accounts for power imbalances between them. We use platforms which have not been co-designed by us and on terms and conditions we have little say over. Investment into alternatives have largely failed outside of more authoritarian countries that have banned or blocked the likes of Google and Facebook. We need to do more to ensure our data and essential services are not in the hands of one or two companies, too big to keep accountable. And after many years of work and discussions on this, I believe openness and decentralisation must play a central role. Redecentralize.org and friends are working on a campaign to figure out how to make this a reality. Is this something you’re working on already or want to contribute and get invited to future workshops and calls? Then ping me on hello@redecentralize.org. The opportunity is huge. By breaking big tech open, we can build a fairer digital future for all, so come get involved! • This blogpost is an reposted version of a post originally published on the Redecentralize blog

Unveiling the new okfn.org website, blog and logo

- February 11, 2020 in Open Knowledge Foundation, Our Work

Today the Open Knowledge Foundation is launching its revamped website, updated blog and new logo. Our vision is for a future that is fair, free and open. This will be our guiding principle in everything we do. Our mission is to create a more open world – a world where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded. We understand that phrases like ‘open data’ and ‘open knowledge’ are not widely understood. It is our job to change that. Our strategy, continuum and animated video aim for us to reach a wider and more mainstream audience with relatable and practical interventions. This renewed mission has limitless possibilities and the Board and team are excited about our organisation’s next steps and hopeful for the future. Please let us know any thoughts you have about our website, blog, animated video or new logo by emailing info@okfn.org.

Announcing the launch of the Open Data Day 2020 mini-grant scheme

- January 16, 2020 in Featured, Open Data, Open Data Day, Open Data Day 2020, Open Knowledge Foundation

Open Data Day 2020 We are happy to announce the launch of the mini-grant scheme for Open Data Day 2020. This scheme will provide small funds to support the organisation of open data-related events across the world on Saturday 7th March 2020. Thanks to the generous support of this year’s mini-grant funders – Datopian, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Hivos, the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA), Mapbox, Open Contracting Partnership and the World Resources Institute – the Open Knowledge Foundation will be able to give out 60 mini-grants this year. Applications for the mini-grant scheme must be submitted before midnight GMT on Sunday 9th February 2020 via filling in this form. To be awarded a mini-grant, your event must fit into one of the four tracks laid out below. Event organisers can only apply once and for just one track. Open Data Day 2020 mini-grant tracks Mini-grant tracks for Open Data Day 2020 Each year, the Open Data Day mini-grant scheme looks to highlight and support particular types of open data events by focusing applicants on a number of thematic tracks. This year’s tracks are:
  • Environmental data: Use open data to illustrate the urgency of the climate emergency and spur people into action to take a stand or make changes in their lives to help the world become more environmentally sustainable.
  • Tracking public money flows: Expand budget transparency, dive into public procurement, examine tax data or raise issues around public finance management by submitting Freedom of Information requests.
  • Open mapping: Learn about the power of maps to develop better communities.
  • Data for equal development: How can open data be used by communities to highlight pressing issues on a local, national or global level? Can open data be used to track progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs?
What is a mini-grant? A mini-grant is a small fund of between $200 and $300 USD to help support groups organising Open Data Day events. Event organisers can only apply once and for just one track. The mini-grants cannot be used to fund government events, whether national or local. We can only support civil society actions. We encourage governments to find local groups and engage with them if they want to organise events and apply for a mini-grant. The funds will only be delivered to the successful grantees after their event takes place and once the Open Knowledge Foundation team receives a draft blogpost about the event for us to publish on blog.okfn.org. In case the funds are needed before 7th March 2020, we will assess whether or not we can help on a case-by-case basis. About Open Data Day Open Data Day is the annual event where we gather to reach out to new people and build new solutions to issues in our communities using open data. The tenth Open Data Day will take place on Saturday 7th March 2020. If you have started planning your Open Data Day event already, please add it to the global map on the Open Data Day website using this form You can also connect with others and spread the word about Open Data Day using the #OpenDataDay or #ODD2020 hashtags. Alternatively you can join the Google Group to ask for advice or share tips. To get inspired with ideas for events, you can read about some of the great events which took place on Open Data Day 2019 in our wrap-up blog post. Technical support As well as sponsoring the mini-grant scheme, Datopian will be providing technical support on Open Data Day 2020. Discover key resources on how to publish any data you’re working with via datahub.io and how to reach out to the Datopian team for assistance via Gitter by reading their Open Data Day blogpost. Need more information? If you have any questions, you can reach out to the Open Knowledge Foundation team by emailing network@okfn.org or on Twitter via @OKFN. There’s also the Open Data Day Google Group where you can connect with others interested in taking part.

[Tradução] Apresentando Datashades.info, um serviço à Comunidade CKAN

- October 16, 2019 in ciência aberta, Conhecimento Livre, Dados Abertos, Destaque, Open Knowledge Foundation

* Texto originalmente publicado no blog da Open Knowledge Foundation, traduzido por Augusto Herrmann Você usa o CKAN para sustentar um portal de dados abertos? Nesta postagem a convite a Link Digital explica como você pode aproveitar a sua mais nova iniciativa, o Datashades.info. Datashades.info é uma ferramenta projetada para fornecer insumos para pesquisadores, gestores de portais e a comunidade técnica em geral e apoiar as iniciativas de dados abertos relacionadas a dados hospedados em plataformas com CKAN. A Link Digital criou o serviço online por meio de alguns lançamentos alfa e considera o datashades.info, agora em beta, como uma iniciativa de longo prazo que eles esperam melhorar com mais funcionalidades em futuros lançamentos. Especificamente, o Datashades.info fornece um índice acessível ao público de metadados e estatísticas sobre portais de dados com CKAN ao redor do mundo. Para cada portal, algumas estatísticas são agregadas e apresentadas envolvendo número de conjuntos de dados, usuários, organizações e tags de conjuntos de dados. Essas estatísticas dão aos gestores de portais a capacidade de comparar rapidamente o tamanho e o escopo de portais de dados com CKAN para ajudar a informar os seus planos de desenvolvimento. Além disso, para cada portal, a informação sobre plugins instalados é coletada, juntamente com a presença relativa desses plugins em todos os portais do índice. Isso possibilitará aos desenvolvedores do CKAN rapidamente ver quais extensões são as mais populares e em que portais elas estão sendo usadas. Por fim, todos os dados históricos são persistidos e tornados publicamente acessíveis, permitindo a pesquisadores analisar as tendências históricas nos dados de qualquer portal CKAN indexado. O Datashades.info foi construído para suportar um modelo de indexação baseado em crowdsourcing. Se um visitante pesquisar por um portal CKAN e ele não for encontrado no índice, o sistema irá consultar imediatamente esse portal e tentar gerar na hora uma nova entrada no índice. A agregação das estatísticas de um novo portal no Datashades.info também acontece automaticamente. Maximize a ferramenta e obtenha informações interessantes com as seguintes funcionalidades: Dados abertos globalmente acessíveis Com o Datashades.info, você pode facilmente acessar um índice de metadados e estatísticas sobre portais de dados com CKAN ao redor do mundo. Para fazer isso, simplesmente digite a URL do portal na página inicial e clique em “Search”. Valores integrados de todas as métricas Depois de entrar com a URL de um portal, o Datashades.info irá carregar as suas informações. Depois de alguns segundos, você será capaz de ver uma relação de dados sobre usuários do portal, conjuntos de dados, recursos, organizações, tags e plugins. Gestores de portais podem ter acesso a estes pela página individual do portal que pode ser encontrada no site. Dados históricos facilmente rastreados Quer revisitar dados que você explorou anteriormente? A ferramenta também guarda dados antigos em um índice histórico que os utilizadores podem explorar a qualquer momento em qualquer página de portal ou ao clicar “View All Data Portals” na página principal. Crowdsourcing   O Datashades.info usa crowdsourcing para construir o seu índice. Isso significa que os utilizadores podem facilmente adicionar qualquer portal de dados com CKAN que não se encontre no site. Para fazer isso, simplesmente pesquise por um portal que você conhece e ele será automaticamente adicionado ao site e às estatísticas globais. Como o projeto permanece em um nível beta de maturidade, ele ainda carece de melhorias em muitas áreas. Mas com o feedback contínuo vindo da comunidade CKAN, espere que mais dados e funcionalidades serão adicionados em lançamentos futuros. Por enquanto, dê uma olhada e fique ligado! Flattr this!

World Library Congress – Closing Libraries is ‘short-sighted’

- August 26, 2019 in Featured, library, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

Closing down libraries to save money is ‘one of the most short-sighted decisions that public officials can make’, the World Library and Information Congress has heard.
Speaking at the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) annual congress in Athens, Open Knowledge Foundation chief executive Catherine Stihler said ‘libraries are too often seen as an easy target for cuts’. The former MEP for Scotland said libraries can also ‘fill the gap’ in the delivery of coding lessons and data practice in schools, to ensure people across Europe and the world have the skills for the jobs of the future. In 2017, it is estimated that more than 120 libraries closed their doors in England, Wales and Scotland. But a recent study by the Carnegie UK Trust found that people aged 15-24 in England are the most likely age group to use libraries. And nearly half of people aged 25 to 34 still visit them, according to the study. The IFLA World Library and Information Congress (https://2019.ifla.org/) is the international flagship professional and trade event for the library and information services sector, bringing together over 3,500 participants from more than 120 countries. In her address to the World Library and Information Congress, Open Knowledge Foundation chief executive Catherine Stihler said:
“Governments across the world must now work harder to give everyone access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives; as well as making powerful institutions more accountable; and ensuring vital research information that can help us tackle challenges such as poverty and climate change is available to all.
“In short, we need a future that is fair, free and open.
“But this is not the way things are going in the UK, the EU, the US, China and across our world.
“Instead, we see in the UK, councils across the country facing major financial pressures, and libraries are too often seen as an easy target for cuts.
“But closing down a library has to be one of the most short-sighted decisions that public officials can make, with serious consequences for the future of local communities.” She added:
“There is a widespread misconception that the services offered are out-of-date – a relic of a bygone age before youngsters started carrying smartphones in their pockets with instant access to Wikipedia, and before they started downloading books on their Kindle.
“Today, the most successful libraries have remodelled themselves to become fit for the 21st century, and more can follow suit if they receive the right support and advice, and have the backing of governments and councils.
“I have long championed the importance of coding as part of the education curriculum, especially given that my home country of Scotland is home to more than 100,000 digital tech economy jobs.
“But while there remains a shortfall in what is delivered in our schools in terms of coding and data practice, libraries can fill that gap.
“Our world is moulded in code, and libraries offer young people an opportunity to bring ideas to life and build things that will bring joy to millions.
“So by embracing the future, they can continue to be an unrivalled place of learning, like they always were for previous generations.”

New Open Knowledge Foundation board chair and vice-chair appointed

- June 25, 2019 in News, Open Knowledge Foundation

The Open Knowledge Foundation is delighted to announce that Vanessa Barnett has been appointed as the new Chair of the Board of Directors, and Helen Turvey has been appointed as Vice-Chair. Vanessa Barnett said:
“It is a great honour to be appointed Chair of the Open Knowledge Foundation, at an incredibly exciting time for the organisation. We’re returning to our founding principles and fighting for a fair, free and open future. Our mission is to create an open world, where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded. Our vision has never been more important, and I am excited to be supporting the organisation as Chair.”

Helen Turvey said:
“I’m delighted to be appointed Vice-Chair at a time when the Open Knowledge Foundation is going from strength-to-strength. The world has changed dramatically since our organisation was launched 15 years ago, and we need champions for openness. I’m looking forward to working closely with the great team involved in running the Foundation.”
Catherine Stihler, chief executive of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“I’m pleased to welcome Vanessa and Helen as our new Chair and Vice-Chair, and look forward to working with them. I would also like to thank Tim Hubbard for his work as outgoing chair of the board and all the members of the board who support everything we do to promote openness. The Open Knowledge Foundation is uniquely placed to address the challenges of the digital age and work towards a fair, free and open future.”
  About Vanessa Barnett Vanessa Barnett is a lawyer who helps clients who are using technology and data to innovate or disrupt established ways of doing things, with particular expertise in Internet/platform based business models. She likes working with people who are changing the status quo. She has supported her clients from household-name global brands to nimble start-ups do this for over 15 years, first as a partner at two traditional City firms and now at disruptor law firm Keystone Law. She regularly advises boards on legal matters and strategy in her role as a lawyer. Vanessa has a specific interest in the cross over between technology, intellectual property and data, and right now is spending most of her working time advising on data related projects. She holds a degree in Law from Exeter University, is the founding author of the Internet section of Practical Commercial Precedents and sits on its editorial board. She is also on the editorial board of Digital Business Lawyer About Helen Turvey Helen has spent the past two decades working to make philanthropy better. She is honoured to have spent over half of that time working with the Shuttleworth Foundation, an organisation brave and nimble enough to be truly experimental in their approach to changing the world and its own DNA along with it. Having spent time at the beginning of her career travelling, learning and keynoting on most continents, Helen now spends her time working with the Fellows and Alumni of the Foundation, building, supporting, strengthening and enabling leaders who iterate towards a more open and equitable world. She is also on the board of several organisations that drive open ideals.

Statement from the Open Knowledge Foundation Board on the future of the CKAN Association

- June 6, 2019 in ckan, Open Data, Open Knowledge, Open Knowledge Foundation

The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) Board met on Monday evening to discuss the future of the CKAN Association.

The Board supported the CKAN Stewardship proposal jointly put forward by Link Digital and Datopian. As two of the longest serving members of the CKAN Community, it was felt their proposal would now move CKAN forward, strengthening both the platform and community.

In appointing joint stewardship to Link Digital and Datopian, the Board felt there was a clear practical path with strong leadership and committed funding to see CKAN grow and prosper in the years to come.

OKF will remain the ‘purpose trustee’ to ensure the Stewards remain true to the purpose and ethos of the CKAN project. The Board would like to thank everyone who contributed to the deliberations and we are confident CKAN has a very bright future ahead of it.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Steven de Costa, managing director of Link Digital, or Paul Walsh, CEO of Datopian, by emailing stewards@ckan.org.