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PRESS RELEASE: The world’s biggest open data event

- October 19, 2011 in Data Journalism, Events, Government, News, OGDCamp, Open Data, Open Government Data, Press Releases, Talks, WG Open Government Data, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.
The Open Government Data Camp 2011 takes place tomorrow in Warsaw. We’re really excited. Our press release is below. We’d be grateful for any help in sending this to relevant colleagues and organisations!

PRESS RELEASE: The world’s biggest open data event

Hundreds of public servants, NGOs, journalists and developers will gather in a former factory building in Warsaw this week for what will be the world’s biggest ever open data event. Over 40 countries around the world will be represented at the camp, from city level projects in Manchester, Montreal or Munich to national initiatives like data.gov, as well as supranational institutions like the European Commission and the World Bank. Ellen Miller, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, says: “We anticipate that this year’s Camp will convene the open data and transparency movement’s most creative thinkers, doers and advocates, whose conversations will help inspire many enduring solutions for using government data for the public good.” Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and Digital Agenda Commissioner, says: “I am thrilled to see so much open data innovation going on in Europe. There is tremendous potential in this area – from enabling next generation public services, to creating jobs in the digital single market. This year’s Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw will enable key stakeholders from across Europe to exchange ideas and expertise.” Chris Taggart, Founder of OpenCorporates.com, says: “Despite the successes of the past few years, the open data community faces considerable obstacles, from proprietary web services to governments who see open data as a threat. Open Government Data Camp will connect people who are serious about overcoming these issues and using open data to help to solve some of the world’s pressing problems.” Daniele Silva, part of a grassroots group of over 800 Brazilian hackers and activists, says: “To maximise the value of public data, there is just as much work to de done on the civic society side as there is on the government side. The camp in Warsaw is an opportunity for us to collaborate with groups from around the world to work towards a read/write culture for public data.” Nigel Shadboldt, who sits on the UK Government’s Public Sector Transparency Board, says: “Open Government Data creates social and economic value, improves public services, makes Governments more efficient, transparent and accountable. This Conference is about ensuring that more people understand how to make this work, more people can tackle the challenges and obstacles that arise, and more people are inspired to continue the work.” END

Notes for editors

Release of DataCatalogs.org to map open data around the world

- June 30, 2011 in ckan, Government, News, OKF, OKF Projects, Open Data, Open Government Data, Press Releases, Releases, Technical, WG EU Open Data, WG Open Government Data, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.
We’re very pleased to announce an alpha version of datacatalogs.org, a website to help keep track of open data catalogues from around the world. The project is being launched to coincide with our annual conference, OKCon 2011. You can see the site here: The project was borne out of an extremely useful workshop on data catalogue interoperability in Edinburgh earlier this year, and then with a few further online meetings. It is powered by the CKAN software, which also powers data.gov.uk and many other catalogues. This is just the beginning of what we hope will become an invaluable resource for anyone interested in finding, using or having an overview of data catalogues from around the world. We have lots of ideas about improvements and features that we’d like to add. If you have anything you think we should prioritise, please let us know in comments below, or on the ckan-discuss list! Below is a press release for the project (and here in Google Docs). If you know anyone who you think might be interested in this, we’d be most grateful for any help in passing it on!

PRESS RELEASE: Mapping open data around the world

BERLIN, 30th June 2011 – Today a broad coalition of stakeholders are launching DataCatalogs.org, a new project to keep track of open data initiatives around the world. Governments are beginning to recognise that opening up public information can bring about a wide variety of social and economic benefits – such as increasing transparency and efficiency, creating jobs in the new digital economy, and enabling web and mobile developers to create new useful applications and services for citizens. But it can be difficult to keep up with the pace of developments in this area. Following on from the success of initiatives like the Obama administration’s data.gov and the UK government’s data.gov.uk, nearly every week there is a new open data initiative from a local, regional or national government somewhere around the world – from Chicago to Torino, Morocco to Moldova. A group of leading open data experts are helping to keep DataCatalogs.org updated, including representatives from international bodies such as the World Bank, independent bodies such as the W3C and the Sunlight Foundation, and numerous national governments. Neil Fantom, Manager of the World Bank’s Development Data Group, says: “Open data is public good, but only if you can find it – we’re pleased to see initiatives such as DataCatalogs.org giving greater visibility to public information, allowing easier discovery of related content from different publishers and making open data more valuable for users.” Beth Noveck, who ran President Obama’s open government programme and is now working with the UK Government says: “This project is a simple but important start to bringing together the community of key open data stakeholders. My hope is that DataCatalogs.org grows into a vibrant place to articulate priorities, find and mash up data across jurisdictions and curate data-driven tools and initiatives that improve the effectiveness of government and the lives of citizens.” Cathrine Lippert, of the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency says: “DataCatalogs.org is a brilliant guide to keeping track of all the data that is being opened up around the world. In addition to our own national data catalogue, we can now point data re-users to DataCatalogs.org to locate data resources abroad.” Andrew Stott, former Director of Digital Engagement at the UK’s Cabinet Office says: “This initiative will not only help data users find data in different jurisdictions but also help those implementing data catalogues to find good practice to emulate elsewhere in the world.”

Notes for editors

The Open Knowledge Foundation (okfn.org) is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 2004. It has played a significant role in supporting open data around the world, particularly in Europe, and helps to run the UK’s national data catalogue, data.gov.uk. DataCatalogs.org is being launched at the Open Knowledge Foundation’s annual conference, OKCon 2011 (okcon.org) which brings together developers, designers, civil servants, journalists and NGOS for a week of planning, coding and talks. For further details please contact Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation on jonathan.gray@okfn.org.

Where does Italy’s money go?

- April 19, 2011 in Events, Government, OKF, OKF Projects, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open/Closed, Press Releases, Releases, visualization, WG EU Open Data, WG Open Government Data, Where Does My Money Go, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation. Over the past 48 hours or so we’ve been busy loading 12 years of Italian spending data into Open Spending. Further details on the project and the data are below. This project was put together by Stefano Costa, Friedrich Lindenberg, Luca Nicotra, Angelo Centini, Elena Donnari, Diego Galli, and countless other passers by at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia (which I spoke at on Saturday). If you’re interested in spending data in your country and you’d like to work with us to load it into the Open Spending platform, come and say hello on our wdmmg-discuss mailing list! Update 2011-04-20: the release was covered in the Guardian (UK), Il Fatto Quotidiano (Italy), Il Post (Italy), La Stampa (Italy), Repubblica (Italy), and Wired (Italy).

English version

What is this?

The visualisation is Italian public spending data which has been loaded into Open Spending, a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

What is the Open Spending project?

The Open Spending project aims to make it easier for the public to explore and understand government spending. It came out of Where Does My Money Go?, an award winning project which enables people to see how UK public funds are spent. Open Spending is currently working with groups and individuals in over 20 countries to set up an international database on public spending.

What is the story behind the Italian Open Spending project?

A small group of developers, journalists, civil servants and others collaborated to load the Italian data into the platform on a 48 hour sprint, starting at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, finishing at a conference on open government in Rome.

Where will the project be launched?

The project will be launched at a major conference on open government hosted at the Italian parliament in Rome on April 19th. This will bring together journalists, politicians, developers, designers, entrepreneurs, academics, civic society organisations, and representatives from public bodies to discuss the future of open government data in Italy.

How is Italian government spending data produced?

There are three separate levels of government (i) central administrations (government departments), (ii) regional administrations (20 regions and 2 autonomous provinces), and (iii) and local administrations (over 8,000 munipalities, plus 100+ provinces and mountain communities). Spending documents and datasets are produced at each of these three layers – and are published on a variety of different governement websites. These are aggregated, analysed and republished by a variety of different public bodies for a variety of different purposes.

Where is the data from and where can I get it from?

The data is from the Regional Public Accounts (RPA) project. The data is already online on a dedicated website, where it is updated annually. You can find this data here.

What is the Regional Public Accounts (RPA) project?

The Regional Public Accounts (RPA) project provides an overview of spending from all of these layers of government from a single place, and consolidates spending flows between these different layers to provide a consistent, harmonised picture of the total public expenditure. This work is executed by a unit based at the Department for Development and Economic Cohesion, which is supported by 21 units located in each region.

What time period does it cover?

The data that is currently loaded covers the period from 1996 to 2008.

How granular is the data?

To illustrate this with an example: the data will not tell you how many computers were bought for a school, and how much they each cost. But it will tell you how much was spent on personnel, educational support to households, or construction and maintenance in the school sector in a given region, and by which level of government the money was spent.

Versione Italiana

Dove vanno i nostri soldi?

Cos’è questo progetto?

La visualizzazione della spesa pubblica italiana all’interno del progetto Open Spending dell’Open Knowledge Foundation.

Cos’è il progetto Open Spending?

Il progetto Open Spending mira a rendere piu’ semplice per il pubblico esplorare e comprendere la spesa pubblica. Deriva dal progetto Where Does My Money Go? un progetto vincitori di premi che permette di vedere come sono spesi i fondi pubblici della Gran Bretagna. Open Spending in questo momento sta lavorando con gruppi ed individui in più di 20 paesi per realizzare un database internazione sulla spesa pubblica.

Qual’è la storia del progetto italiano di Open Spending?

Un piccolo gruppo di sviluppatori, giornalisti, impiegati pubblici e altri hanno collaborato a caricare i dati italiani in una piattaforma in una corsa di 48 ore, iniziando al Festival Internazionale di Perugia, e finendo ad una conferenza sulla trasparenza e il governo aperto a Roma.

Dove sarà presentato il progetto?

Il progetto sarà lanciato in una importante conferenza sull’Open Governemnt intitolata “La Politica della Trasparenza e dei Dati Aperti” ospitata dal parlamento italiano a Roma il 19 Aprile. Un evento che radunerà giornalisti, politici, sviluppatori, imprenditori, accademici, organizzazioni della società civile, e rappresentanti del settore pubblico, per discutere del futuro dell’Open Government e dei dati aperti in Italia.

Come sono prodotti i dati sui conti pubblici italiani?

Ci sono tre diversi livelli di governo (i) le amministrazioni centrali (ii) le amministrazioni regionali (20 regioni e 2 provincie autonome) e (iii) le amministrazioni locali (oltre 8000 comuni, oltre 100 provincie e comunità montane). I documenti di spesa sono prodotti da ognuno dei livelli di governo e sono pubblicati sui siti istituzionali delle varie amministrazioni centrali e locali. Tali documenti e dati vengono aggregati, analizzati e ripubblicati da molte differenti amminsitrazioni per diveri scopi.

Da dove provengono i dati?

I dati provengono dal progetto Conti Pubblici Territoriali[6]. I dati sono già online su un sito dedicato, dove vengono aggiornati annualmente. Potete trovare questi dati qui.

Cosa sono i Conti Pubblici Territoriali?

Il progetto Conti Pubblici Territoriali (CPT) fornisce una visione d’insieme delle spese di tutti questi livelli di governo, e consolida i flussi di spesa tra questi diversi livelli per fornire un’immagine consistente e secondo una classificazione armonizzata della spesa pubblica italiana. Questo lavoro è svolto da una unità basata al Dipartimento dello Sviluppo e della Coesione Economica, che è supportato da 21 unità regionali.

Che periodo coprono i dati?

I dati coprono attualmente il periodo dal 1996 al 2008.

Quanto sono granulari i dati?

Per spiegarlo con un esempio: i dati non forniscono dettagli su quanti computer siano stati acquistati per una scuola, o quanto costi ciascuno di essi. Ma diranno quanto viene speso per il personale, per il materiale di supporto all’educazione, o per la costruzione e la manutenzione nel settore scolastico in una data regione, e per ogni livello di governo. Related posts:
  1. Launch of it.ckan.net for open data in Italy!
  2. Where Does My Money Go? Prototype Launched
  3. Turin: Italian Open Data kicks off!