[okfn-discuss] Introducing the Local Open Data Census
mark.wainwright at okfn.org
Tue Feb 4 14:44:56 UTC 2014
A new blog post introduces the Local Open Data Census, which will
allow citizens to gather information on the availability of open data
in cities around the world. The post also describes how to build a
data census on a particular topic. The text is below, and can also be
*** Let's explore local open data around the world! ***
Local data is often the most relevant to citizens on a daily basis -
be it rubbish collection times, local tax rates or zoning information.
However, at the moment it's difficult to know which key local datasets
are openly available and where. Now, you can help change that.
We know there is huge variability in how much local data is available
not just across countries but within countries, with some cities and
municipalities making major open data efforts, while in others there's
little or no progress visible. If we can find out what open data is
out there, we can encourage more cities to open up key information,
helping businesses and citizens understand their cities and making
We've created the Local Open Data Census to survey and compare the
progress made by different cities and local areas in releasing Open
Data. You can help by tracking down Open Data from a city or region
where you live or that you're interested in. All you need to do is
register your interest and we'll get your Local Open Data Census set
up and ready to use.
*** Investigate your local open data on Open Data Day ***
Open Data Day is coming - it's on 22 February 2014 and will involve
Open Data events around the world where people can get involved with
open data. If you're organising an open data event, why not include a
Census-a-thon to encourage people to track down and add information
about their city?
A Local Open Data Census for your city will help:
* new people learn about open data by exploring what's available and
relevant to them;
* you compare open data availability in your city with other cities in
* local government identify data that local people and businesses are
interested in using;
* and more data get opened up everywhere!
It's really easy to contribute to an Open Data Census: there's lots of
documentation for them and a truly global community creating and using
them. A City Census is a great way to get involved with open data for
the first time, as the information is about things city residents
really care about. Or if you're more interested in regions, counties
or states, you can take part a regional Census. (Some countries will
have both regional and city Censuses, because of the way their local
government information is organised.)
Sign up now to ensure your city and country have a Local Open Data
Census up and running before Open Data Day, and let's see how much
open data about open data we can create this month! We'll have more
tips on how to run a successful Census-a-thon coming soon.
Register your interest in a local census at meta.census.okfn.org.
*** The history behind the Local Open Data Census ***
In 2012 we started an Open Data Census to track the state of
country-level open data around the world. The 2013 results published
as the first ever Open Data Index at index.okfn.org last autumn
covered 700 datasets across 70 countries, and have already proved
useful in driving open data release around the world. We're looking
forward to updating the Census for 2014 later this year.
However, a lot of data that is most relevant to citizens' everyday
lives is at the local level. That's why last year we ran a separate
pilot, to measure release of open data at the local, city level - the
City Open Data Census. We've learnt a lot from the experience and from
the community who used the pilot, and we are now ready to offer a full
Local Open Data Census to everyone, everywhere.
You can find out more on the new Census 'meta' site, meta.census.okfn.org.
*** And there's more: Topical Open Data Censuses ***
We also know that people will want to run their own specific Open Data
Censuses focused on particular topics or datasets. If you've been
wondering about the openness of pollution data, legal information,
public finances or any other topic, we can set up a special Census to
survey the datasets you care about, on a national or regional scale.
A Topical Census uses the platform built for the Open Data Census to
run a similar, customised census, and publish the results in a simple
and visually appealing way. The questionnaires, responses and results
can be hosted by the Open Knowledge Foundation, so you don't have to
worry about the technical side. If you are interested in running a
Topical Open Data Census, get in touch with the Census team.
Note that we expect quite a bit of demand for local Censuses in the
next few weeks. We will prioritise requests for Topical Censuses from
groups who have more people ready to get involved, such as existing
networks, working groups or interest groups around the topic, so
please let us know a little about yourselves when you get in touch.
Open Data Evangelist
The Open Knowledge Foundation
Empowering through Open Knowledge
http://okfn.org/ | @opendatamark
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