Sun Mar 31 09:34:23 UTC 2013
being established as an essential part of our information environment*.
Governments around the world are now putting open data at the heart of
their transparency plans. Major publishers and research funding bodies are
supporting and mandating open access to research publications and data.
Leading cultural institutions and cultural portals are opening up their
And there are now more projects, initiatives and organisations than ever
before dedicated to using open knowledge to improve the world =E2=80=93 fro=
hacking to citizen science, from data journalism to the digital humanities.
But we still have our work cut out for us: *much essential information
about the world is still locked up or gathering dust*, and *much remains to
be done if we are to put this information to work to improve the world*.
To mark the occasion of us entering our tenth year, we=E2=80=99re going to =
quick look at where we=E2=80=99ve come from, and some of our hopes for the =
*Where we=E2=80=99ve come from*
Many of the Foundation=E2=80=99s earliest projects, principles, activities =
aspirations are still with us today.
*The Open Definition =E2=80=93 our foundational text*
The Open Definition =E2=80=93 which sets out principles that define =E2=80=
relation to data and content =E2=80=93 was one of the first projects that w=
launched, and it still underpins everything we do.
*The world=E2=80=99s biggest open knowledge events*
Early on we still ran our big annual open knowledge events, like the ones
we run today. Writer and open source advocate Glyn Moody (who now sits on
our Advisory Board) wrote of our first edition of the Open Knowledge
Conference (OKCon), Open Knowledge 1.0 in London:
The location was atmospheric: next to Hawksmoor=E2=80=99s amazing St Anne=
which somehow manages the trick of looking bigger than its physical size,
inside the old Limehouse Town Hall.
The latter had a wonderfully run-down, almost Dickensian feel to it; it
seemed rather appropriate as a gathering place for a ragtag bunch of
ne=E2=80=99er-do-wells: geeks, wonks, journos, activists and academics, all=
dangerously powerful ideas on their minds, and all more dangerously
powerful for coming together in this way.
Our 2010 and 2011 Open Government Data Camp events helped to transform a
loose knit group of public servants, hackers and advocates into a
coordinated force for open data around the world. Last year saw over 1000
people gather in Helsinki for OKFestival 2012, which was the biggest open
knowledge event to date. This year, OKCon 2013 in Geneva will convene
governments and civil society representatives from dozens of countries to
figure out how to support the growth of open knowledge internationally.
*=E2=80=98Raw data now=E2=80=99*
OKF Founder Rufus Pollock=E2=80=99s 2007 call to =E2=80=98Give Us the Data =
Raw, and Give it
to Us Now=E2=80=99 was adopted and popularised by web inventor Sir Tim Bern=
in a 2009 TED talk. This became one of the rallying calls of the open data
movement around the world, and was widely covered up in the media (for
example, see articles in the BBC, the Guardian, or Wired).
*Following the money*
A prototype of our Where Does My Money Go? project =E2=80=93 which shows ho=
public funds are spent =E2=80=93 was featured on the front page of the BBC =
The Open Knowledge Foundation went on to play a leading role in securing
the release of the COINS and =C2=A325k spending data, which are amongst the=
detailed spending databases ever released by any government. Our Open
Spending project now has over 13 million transactions, covering over 50
countries and over 80 cities and regions around the world =E2=80=93 from Be=
Bosnia, Portugal to Puerto Rico.
*Open source tools for open data*
CKAN, our open source data platform, was one of our earliest software
projects. It is now being used by governments and organisations around the
world, and last week saw a major new release.
More information about the okfn-au