Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Open Data (useful, but not useful?)

It's open data week on #ioe12! That being said, I am not sure that there is much to write about ;-)  I've heard of Open Data before, on the context of OpenStreetMap and Data.gov.  In principle I do agree that data should be open because this does enable people who want to use it in new and creative ways. It also allows for participation in creating better data.  For example, if you have census data you can (and should) open up the data to everyone via the web, so that people don't have to go to a stuffy room, in a specific village in the old country to work on their family tree.  This open data also allows crowd-sourcing of transcription and metadata generation.  This can be a time consuming, and expensive, task.  However, if you harness the power of volunteers all over the world who might be looking to piece together their family history, you can transcribe those sensur records that were done in hurried cursive writing, we all know how hard it can be to read cursive when someone wrote in a hurry ;-)

I don't foresee using open data any time soon, raw data that is; however I do foresee using open data soon in the form of OpenStreetMap or some other refined viewer and application for that data.  Thus, the title of my post, Useful, but not useful?

One thing I learned was that there are licensing options for data in the form of Open Data Commons.  I would have thought that one would just use Creative Commons Licensing as is, but it's good to know where to go if I have data that I would like to liberate ;-)
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