[okfn-be] Introduction

Bart Van Loon bart at zeropoint.it
Fri Oct 28 08:12:25 UTC 2011

Dear list,

In the spirit of the introdctions, I'll also share a bit about myself.

My name is Bart and I'm an entrepreneur. I'm mostly involved in
Zeropoint.IT, an software development offshoring company in Pakistan
which I founded in 2007.

Around 2008 I met Raphaël Bauduin, the founder of Fosdem
(http://fosdem.org) and many other interesting things. He was by that
time working on http://myowndb.com. Soon after we started working
together. Later I pitched the idea of using MyOwnDB as a data sharing
platform. He stuck to the original idea of a data management platform.
In 2009 we parted our ways but before that released our core engine code
behind MyOwnDB under the AGPL

With that code and some new partners, I started The DataTank. The idea
behind it was to gather as much public data as possible and to make it
available under a common REST API. We were all very inspired by a blog
post by Bret Taylor
(http://bret.appspot.com/entry/we-need-a-wikipedia-for-data) and a talk
by Hans Rosling
especially as of minute 15).

We started with lobbying at our governments: FOD Econ, NBB, KBO , VKBO,
cabinet Q, De Lijn, VTI, ... we were all there. We however failed to
convince our target audience to release their data. Then the government
fell (more than 500 days ago now :-)) and The DataTank went into a

Until I met Pieter at an open data round table organised by the cabinet
of Bourgeois where both of us were invited. I am now mentoring Pieter's
graduation thesis, which is oriented around my idea of The DataTank. He
decided to throw away Dedomenon and start over codewise however. :-)

Anyway, now you know me a little bit. I hope this list can bring
together great people with great ideas so we can achieve great results
together. I've felt so alone with my open data ideas of such a long
time. :-)

Thanks for the initiative!

Bart Van Loon

    Pakistan Fact #25: The youngest Cricket Test player ever is Hasan Raza
(Pakistan) who made his debut, aged 14 years 227 days, against Zimbabwe at
Faisalabad, Pakistan on 24 October 1996.

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