Open government data and Digital Britain

Re-reading the Digital Britain report today and came across this quote:

Public Service data and content play an increasingly important role in the digital economy. The Government has embraced the vision of the Power of Information Task Force and, in respect of important data sources for innovation, such as geospatial data, agencies are significantly improving access to data and clearer licensing pathways from innovation to large scale commercial use.

Pretty powerful stuff and I wholeheartedly agree that data provided by government can play a huge role in spurring further innovation, but particularly so if offered as free both as in cost and as in liberty. And from what I saw at this year’s OpenTech, I know that some

State of the Map

I’ve been working on my presentation for State of the Map this weekend – thanks everyone for the feedback and for the donations. Rufus called me last night, and currently we have (rough guesstimate due to currency differences) 150£ …which is about a quarter of the way there towards funding my trip to speak. Thanks again to everyone who has donated so far and looking forward to putting some names to faces at the event.

Speaking at OpenTech on Saturday


ust a quick note to say that I’ll be speaking tomorrow afternoon about the Open Database Licnence and Open Data at this year’s OpenTech in London. Stop by and say hi.

ODbL released

Open Data Commons, an OKF affiliated project, has now released v1.0 of the Open Database License (ODbL) after 6 months of consultation. The Open Database License (ODbL) is an open share-alike license for data and databases. This license, the first of its kind, is a major step forward for open data as there are few license currently available which are appropriate to data and databases and none which provide for share-alike (existing share-alike licenses such as the GPL, GFDL and CC By-SA are all unsuitable for data). This work has been led by an OKF Board Member, Jordan Hatcher, and has benefited over the last 6 months of consultation from extensive comments and feedback from the open data

Help me speak at State of the Map!

I’ve booked my travel and am in the midst of preparing my talk at State of the Map (SOTM) 2009 in Amsterdam. Throughout co-founding Open Data Commons and drafting the Open Database Licence (ODbL), I’ve spent several hundred hours of attorney time, all donated pro bono. While I’m more than happy to donate more time to come speak at SOTM (including a day off work and about 2 days of prep time), I don’t want to be out of pocket on any of my expenses. Even though the licence may be free as in beer and free as in liberty, it isn’t free to travel from the UK to Amsterdam and stay two nights, especially in high season.

OKF needs your support

I recently joined the board of the Open Knowledge Foundation, which is five years old this month. Here is a recent email from fellow OKF boardmember Rufus Pollock, which I completely echo. Please consider supporting us either financially or by just getting involved in OKF activities. —- This month the Open Knowledge Foundation is five years old. Over those last five years we’ve done much to promote open access to information — from sonnets to stats, genes to geodata — not only in the form of specific projects like Open Shakespeare and Public Domain Works but also in the creation of tools such as KnowledgeForge and the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, standards such as the Open Knowledge Definition,

DISC-UK DataShare project outputs

Bit late in posting this, but Robin Rice of DISC-UK DataShare posted their final project reports, which should be of interest to readers of this blog with an interest in data:

Some of you may be interested in our final report for the DataShare project, available at We have also ‘published’ our final deliverable, Policy-making for Research Data in Repositories: A Guide, which is intended to be used as a decision-making and planning tool for institutions with digital repositories in existence or in development that are considering adding research data to their digital collections.