[@OKFNau] Examples of Use of Commercial Government Data

Lachlan Musicman datakid at gmail.com
Fri Mar 13 04:30:43 UTC 2015


First, I think that responding to these officials within this framework is
problematic. It is deeply cynical and unimaginative. It sets the agenda at
a level of "show us how we benefit at no cost" or "show us the free
labour", instead of what I thought would be obvious - that greater
transparency leads to stronger democracy. When we allow them to frame the
debate, it is in the context of *their* budgets, and *their* jobs, instead
of "what benefits all Australian's the most".

The framework we *should* be arguing is that the taxpayer is the one that
paid for the data to be collected and therefore should have access to that
data. It is government policy, just implement it. We should be happy to go
over their heads, and talk to our MPs and Senators if they drag their feet.

The other, more painful admission, is that unfortunately there will very
rarely be a situation where a fully realised practical implementation of
open data happens after a two day hackathon. Very rarely will you *ever*
find a fully realised project that is completed in two days by a team of

Second, If they want an example of how open data works, there are two
*excellent* examples.

Wikipedia and Creative Commons.

While I understand that they are non Governmental, and also not strictly
Australian, the parallels are sufficient.

1. They both took years of hard, blue collar, unpaid, work by volunteers
before most people even acknowledged their existence. And yes that data
involved content as well as meta content.
2. They both then had to go through years of criticism about how a rabble
*cannot possibly* write an authoritative text.
3. Then they both became the default leader in their respective fields.

Rome wasn't built in a day.

While I believe that all Australians should be represented by their
government, I am consistently dismayed that the unimaginative, the
uncritical and those without capacity to reason are over represented. I
*hope* they are overly represented.

Government officials. I cannot express how grateful I am that there are
people in this organisation who can talk pretty because I just want to
break their kneecaps and push them into puddles with a sneer.


The totalitarian society envisioned by George Orwell in 1984 should have
arrived by now. The electronic gadgets are here. The government is here,
ready to do what Orwell anticipated. So the power exists, the motive, and
the electronic hardware. But these mean nothing, because, progressively
more and more so, no one is listening. The new youth that I see is too
stupid to read, too restless and bored to watch, too preoccupied to
remember. The collective voice of the authorities is wasted on him; he
rebels. But rebels not out of theoretical, ideological considerations, only
out of what might be called pure selfishness. Plus a careless lack of
regard for the dread consequences the authorities promise him if he fails
to obey. He cannot be bribed because what he wants he can build, steal, or
in some curious, intricate way acquire for himself. He cannot be
intimidated because on the streets and in his home he has seen and
participated in so much violence that it fails to cow him. He merely gets
out of its way when it threatens, or, if he can't escape, he fights back.
When the locked police van comes to carry him off to the concentration camp
the guards will discover that while loading the van they have failed to
note that another equally hopeless juvenile has slashed the tires. The van
is out of commission. And while the tires are being replaced, the other
youth siphons out all the gas from the gas tank for his souped-up Chevrolet
Impala and has sped off long ago.
The Android and the Human, Philip K. Dick
sourced from

On 10 March 2015 at 17:12, Mike Ebinum <mike at seeddigital.co> wrote:

> Hey guys,
> Long time reader, first time writer. I recently had a chat with a
> government official and we were talking government data and all the
> benefits. The official said that they seem to be hearing a lot about all
> the benefits but don't have access to practical examples of how releasing
> government data has benefited different departments. Examples that they
> could use to as references to help persuade different people to get
> involved. I mentioned transportation data examples but they have a lot of
> those examples.
> I was wondering if people on this list could help me out with examples,
> case studies and positive references to where releasing government data has
> helped the greater community either by reducing spend, resulted in
> commercial outcomes or help deliver better services.
> I've create a spreadsheet
> <https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1JBFyaqtX2o2PGmdxku0GXthPp6s1DDORCL99mBDNwuM/edit#gid=0>
> that you can add these too or just reply to this mail.
> Thanks in advance.
> Cheers
> [image: SEED Digital]              <http://seedtech.io/>
> Mike Ebinum / Director of Technology
> mike at seeddigital.co / +61-431 209 069
> SEED Digital
> +61-03 8680 2352
> 713 Brunswick Street North,
> North Fitzroy,
> VIC 3068,
> Australia
> http://seeddigital.co
> [image: Twitter]  <http://twitter.com/mikeebinum>[image: Google Plus]
> <https://plus.google.com/112908428915850933392>[image: Linkedin]
> <http://au.linkedin.com/in/mebinum/>
> _______________________________________________
> okfn-au mailing list
> okfn-au at lists.okfn.org
> https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/okfn-au
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.okfn.org/mailman/options/okfn-au
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.okfn.org/pipermail/okfn-au/attachments/20150313/96bb3d5a/attachment-0004.html>

More information about the okfn-au mailing list