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12/4(木)オープンコーポレイツのクリス・タガート氏と法人情報オープン化の世界動向を語る

- December 3, 2014 in chris-taggart, Events, Featured, opencorporates, オープンガバメント, オープンコーポレイツ, オープンデータ, クリス・タガート

法人データのオープン化をグローバルに進めている世界最大の法人データベースサイトOpenCorporatesを運営しているCrinton Ltd.のCEOかつ共同創設者であるChris Taggart氏が来日する機会をとらえて、オープン・ナレッジ・ジャパンは国際大学グローバル・コミュニケーション・センター、一般社団法人オープン・コーポレイツ・ジャパンとともにトークセッションを共催いたします。 Chris Taggart氏は、2010年12月にOpenCorporatesを開設し、世界中に分散しているそれぞれの法人に関する情報を一つのURLのもとで、誰でもが、アクセスし、(改変した場合には元の作品と同じライセンスで公開することを条件に)二次利用できる活動を展開しています。オープン・ナレッジによる2014グローバル・オープンデータ・インデックスでは、日本政府のオープンデータの水準は世界第20位(暫定)であり、順位が低いことの最大の要因は法人情報の公開性の低さにあります(http://global.census.okfn.org/)。世界最先端IT国家創造宣言は、日本政府のオープンデータの水準について「2015 年度末には、他の先進国と同水準の公開内容を実現する」と明言していますが、法人情報についてはほど遠い状況にあります。法人情報のオープン化運動で世界をリードしているChris Taggart 氏と、日本の法人情報オープン化の戦略について議論します。 詳細は下記申し込みサイトをご参照ください。 世界的な企業情報オープン化の動向とその展望【公開コロキウム】(主催:GLOCOM)
申し込みサイト 画像クレジット;”OpenlyLocal, OpenCorporates, opening up local and global data” / re:publica / CC BY 2.0

OpenCorporates invites you to join the launch of #FlashHacks

- July 10, 2014 in Featured Project, FlashHacks, opencorporates

This is a guest blog post by OpenCorporates. Screen Shot 2014-07-09 at 15.40.22 OpenCorporates is now 3 years old. Looking back our first blog on the Open Knowledge (Foundation) blog about reaching 20 million companies, it is heartening to see that we have come a long way. We now have over 70 million companies in 80 jurisdictions worldwide making us the world’s largest open database of companies. The success story of OpenCorporates is not that of a tiny team but that of the whole open data community because it has always been a community effort thanks to the efforts of Open Knowledge and others. From writing scrapers to alerting us when new data is available, deciphering language issues or helping us grow our reach – the open data community has been the driver behind OpenCorporates. Yet, while our core target of a URL for every single company in the world is making great progress, there’s a bigger goal here – of de-siloing all the government data that relates to companies and connecting it to those companies. In fact, one of the most frequent questions has been “How can I help get data into OpenCorporates?” Now, we have an answer to that. Not just an answer – a brand new platform, that makes it possible for the community to help us get company-related data into OpenCorporates. To start this new era of crowdscraping – we launched a #FlashHacks campaign which aims to get 10 million datapoints in 10 days. With your help, we are confident we can smash the target. DSCF0648

Why is this important?

Information about public and private sector is of monumental importance to understanding and changing the world we live in. Transnational corporations can wield unprecedented influence on politics and economy and we have a limited capacity to understand this when we don’t know what these legal entities look like. The influence of these companies can be good or bad and we don’t have a clear picture of this. Company information is often not available and when it is, it is buried under hard-to-use websites and PDFs. Fortunately, the work of the open data and transparency community has brought a tide of change. With the introduction of Open Government Partnership and G8 Open Data Charter, governments are committing to make this information easily and publicly available. Yet, action on this front remains slow. And that’s why scraping is at the heart of the open data movement! Where would the open data community be if it had not been for bot-writers spending time deciphering formats and writing code to release data? DSCF0660 We want to use #FlashHacks as a celebration of the commitment of bot-writers and invite others to join us in changing the world through open data.

#FlashHacks at OKFestival

The last day of the campaign coincides with the last day of OKFestival, probably, the biggest gathering of the open data community. So, we will be putting on three #FlashHacks in partnership with Open Knowledge Germany, Code for Africa and Sunlight Foundation. The OKF Germany #FlashHack will be releasing German data. Sign up here. The Sunlight Foundation #FlashHack will be releasing political lobbying data. Sign up here. The Code for Africa #FlashHack will be releasing African data. Sign up here.

How you can join the crowdscraping movement if you can’t make it to OKFest?

  • If you can code in Ruby and/or Python, join http://missions.opencorporates.com and sign up!
  • Have a look at the datasets we have listed on the Campaign page! If there is a dataset you think we should include in this, please put that down here.
  • Sign up to a mission! Send a tweet pledge to say you have taken on a mission.
  • Write the bot and submit on the platform.
  • Tweet your success with the #FlashHacks tag! Don’t forget to upload the FlashHack design as your twitter cover photo and facebook cover photo to get more people involved.
Any problems – you can post on our Google Group.

Working With Company Data

- October 31, 2013 in #OGP13, DBpedia, event, Events, HowTo, opencorporates, OpenRefine

We all think we know what we mean by “a company”, such as the energy giants Shell or BP, but what is a company exactly? As OpenOil’s Amit Naresh explained in our OGP Workshop on “Working With Company Data” last week, the corporate structure of many multinational companies is a complex network of interconnected countries domiciled or registered in a wide variety of countries across the world in order to benefit from tax breaks and intricate financial dealings. Given the structure of corporate networks can be so complex, how can we start to unpick and explore the data associated with company networks? The following presentation – available here: School of Data: Company Networks – describes some of the ways in which we can start to map corporate networks using open company data published by OpenCorporates using OpenRefine. Placeholder We can also use OpenRefine to harvest data from OpenCorporates relating to the directors associated with a particular company or list of companies: School of Data: Grabbing Director Dara A possible untapped route to harvesting company data is Wikipedia. The DBpedia project harvests structured data from Wikipedia and makes it available as a single, queryable Linked Data datasource. An example of the sorts of network that can be uncovered from independently maintained maintained Wikipedia pages is shown by this network that uncovers “influenced by” relationships between philosophers, as described on Wikipedia: WIkipedia philosophers influence map See Visualising Related Entries in Wikipedia Using Gephi and Mapping Related Musical Genres on Wikipedia/DBPedia With Gephi for examples of how to generate such maps directly from Wikipedia using the cross-platform Gephi application. For examples of the sorts of data available from DBpedia around companies, see: Using Wikipedia – or otherwise hosted versions of the MediWiki application that Wikipedia sits on top of – there is great potential for using the power of the crowd to uncover the rich network of connections that exist between companies, if we can identify and agree on a set of descriptive relations that we can use consistently to structure data published via wiki pages… flattr this!

Campaigners challenge Cameron to keep promise to tackle company secrecy

- October 24, 2013 in beneficial ownership, Featured, Open Government Partnership, opencorporates, Releases, Transparency

The UK government must use the Open Government Partnership summit in London next week to end the secrecy surrounding who really owns millions of UK companies, campaigners said today. Discussions are underway right now at the highest levels of government and campaigners are expecting a decision to be made by the end of this week. At the G8 summit earlier this year, David Cameron promised “to push for more transparency on who owns companies”. Failure to do so would be a massive missed opportunity to stop tax evasion, money laundering and other forms of crime and corruption, and would seriously undermine UK government claims to lead the world on government openness and accountability, according to a coalition of non-governmental organisations including the Tax Justice Network and the Financial Transparency Coalition. Laura James, CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:
“Increasing transparency around company ownership was a key commitment at the UK G8 and is part of the legacy on which this government will be judged. Cameron got a lot of credit for leading on this issue, which could make a massive difference in the fight against corruption and financial crime. Not announcing plans this week to mandate public registries of who really owns companies in the UK would be a missed opportunity and a failure of leadership.”
Campaigners warned that a private registry of ultimate or ‘beneficial’ company ownership that was only accessible to tax authorities and law enforcement agencies would incur the same costs as a public registry, but would bring none of the benefits. They argue that without broader scrutiny from the media, civil society, businesses and the public, errant companies would have much less incentive to change their behaviour. Many companies have expressed their support for establishing a public registry – including over 20,000 business owners who signed an open letter organised by Avaaz earlier this year – as well as others via organisations such as the European Banking Federation and the Institute of Directors. Chris Taggart, Co-Founder & CEO, OpenCorporates said:
“This isn’t just about tackling crime and corruption, it’s also about good business. Companies need to know who they are dealing with for markets to function effectively. In a globalised world, with transnational corporations increasingly dominant, ownership transparency is also critical for democracy. Only those with something to hide should oppose this reform.”
Joseph Stead, Senior Adviser on Economic Justice at Christian Aid said:
“Phantom firms registered in developed countries, like the UK and its overseas territories, facilitate huge outflows of illicit money from developing countries. Ending the secrecy will help stop the outflows and ensure developing countries have the resources to provide for essential public services such as health and education.”
Robert Palmer, Banks and Corruption Campaign Leader at Global Witness said:
“Global Witness’ investigations have shown repeatedly how anonymous shell companies are the getaway cars for crime and corruption. A public register of who owns and controls companies would make it much harder for the British financial system to be abused in this way.”
Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK said:
“This issue is vital to tax justice and to closing the tax gap in the UK. Over 300,000 companies quite literally disappear from official records each year because our tax and company authorities do not know how to contact them. Knowing who the real owners of these companies are will help ensure all businesses pay the tax they owe – which will benefit everyone.”
/ Ends Contact: Rachel Baird, Christian Aid, 0207 523 2446; Robert Palmer, Global Witness, 07545 645406; Chris Taggart, OpenCorporates, 0771 306 7285; Amy Barry, Open Knowledge Foundation, 07980 664397 Signatories: Christian Aid, Global Witness, Financial Transparency Coalition, OpenCorporates, Open Knowledge Foundation, Tax Justice Network, Tax Research LLP Notes to editors: The annual summit for the Open Government Partnership will take place in London on 31st October to 1st November. More details at: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/

Bounties for scrapers: a new approach to opening global data

- March 30, 2011 in Guest post, Open Data, Open Government Data, opencorporates, Process, scraping

This is a guest post by Chris Taggart, co-founder of OpenCorporates.com and member of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Working Group on Open Government Data. On Friday we at OpenCorporates announced an innovative (and frankly untested!) way for the open data community to work together in helping opening up one of the most important datasets there is: company numbers and names. Full details are on the OpenCorporates blog, but basically we’re working with the superb ScraperWiki to open up the company names and numbers in a consistent way. And because we’d like to use that info, we’re offering small bounties for each jurisdiction that’s added, with a total pot of £2,500 (it’s worth stressing that neither the scrapers nor the data will belong to OpenCorporates). We’ve already had a few scrapers written in response to the challenge, but are plenty more territories to do, and we’re particularly keen to see the opening up of the data for those countries where the system is a little newer, such as those in Eastern Europe, north Africa, or Asia. And then, of course there’s the huge task of the US states (we’ve done Michigan and DC). It’s worth saying that many of these registers have distinctly un-open licences. This is in part why we’re just asking for the most basic and non-contentious information: the company name, number and possibly status or company type. However moving forward we need to open up the whole register, and we’ve already had positive discussions with some countries for doing this. Till then, happy scraping. Related posts:
  1. OpenCorporates: the Open Database of the Corporate World
  2. Opening up government finances
  3. The Medical Innovation Convention: A New Global Framework for Healthcare Research and Development