Open Data Ireland community’s wishlist for Insight/NUIG Report on Government’s Open Data Strategy

[OGP NAP Open Data section – w/ community comments]

From: All: Feedback on best practice standard from Open Data IRL Community as requested by Stephan Decker and Deirdre Lee (Insight/NUIG) during hangout on 7 April 2014

What is Open Data?

[OKF] “A piece of content or data is open if you are free to use, reuse, and redistribute it — subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.” (OKF) Generally, this means that the data should be released in a format that is free of royalties and other IP restrictions.

[ODI] Open data is information that is available for anyone to use, for any purpose, at no cost. Open data has to have a license that says it is open data. Without a licence, the data can’t be reused. The licence might also say:

  • that people who use the data must credit whoever is publishing it (this is called attribution)
  • that people who mix the data with other data have to also release the results as open data under open licenses.

Why should Open Data be free?

  • Open data does not mean that a government or other entity releases all of its data to the public. It would be unconscionable for the government to give out all of your private, personal data to anyone who asks for it. Rather, open data means that whatever data is released is done so in a specific way to allow the public to access it without having to pay fees or be unfairly restricted in its use. (OS)
  • (G8 -6) Freely available government data can be used in innovative ways to create useful tools and products that help people navigate modern life more easily. Used in this way, open data are a catalyst for innovation in the private sector, supporting the creation of new markets, businesses, and jobs. Beyond government, these benefits can multiply as more businesses adopt open data practices modelled by government and share their own data with the public.
  • (G8 -7) [The G8 agrees] that open data are an untapped resource with huge potential to encourage the building of stronger, more interconnected societies that better meet the needs of our citizens and allow innovation and prosperity to flourish.

1. What high-value datasets should be published?

  • Geospatial Data (broken out as many different owners for various datasets. Also included is the examples of what is being requested and/or type of metadata needed to make this useful. Where “name” is listed, both Irish & English if available. All data below to include long/lat coords for single point references or shapefiles for area references)
  • Postcodes
  • Addresses (Full breakdown by building and by structure within e.g. apartments)
  • Boundary data (National, County, City, Suburb, Townland, Census SA, Electoral Division, etc)
  • Road Network (Ref #’s, names, classification, lit/unlit, bridge info e.g. height’s & widths)
  • Topography
  • National Maps
  • Waterways (Navigation, depths, berths, names, source, underground yes/no, rivers, streams, ditches, lakes  etc)
  • Soil data (soil type, acidity, etc)
  • Natural Heritage Area’s (boundary, operator, name)
  • Bogs (type, protected yes/no, operator)
  • Social Facilities (Garda Stations, Courts, Hospitals, Primary Care Centers, GP’s, Dentists, Care Homes etc – name, operator, contact details)
  • Sports Facilities (sport, team, operator)
  • Schools (patron, mixed yes/no, name, level)
  • Voting Stations
  • Government offices/departments (name, contact details, under which dept. etc)
  • Energy (power plants to include renewables, plant type, power lines, line capacity, substations, reference #’s, names)
  • Playgrounds (surface, facilities)
  • Crime data (Crime statistics, safety, location of crimes, accidents)
  • Health data (Prescription data, performance data, source location)
  • Education (List of schools; performance of schools, digital skills)
  • Election data (results, location, party, etc)
  • Energy and Environment (Pollution levels, energy consumption)
  • Finance and contracts (Transaction spend, contracts let, call for tender, future tenders, local budget, national budget (planned and spent))
  • Global Development: Aid, food security, extractives, land
  • Statistics: National Statistics, Census, infrastructure, wealth, skills
  • Government Accountability and Democracy: Government contact points, election results, legislation and statutes, salaries (pay scales), hospitality/gifts
  • Science and Research: Genome data, meteorological data, research and educational activity, experiment results

2. What licences should Open Data Ireland use?

  • CC-0 or at most CC-BY version 4
  • Public Domain
  • GNU General Public License (software)

3. How to engage data users?

  • Create a feedback portal for each dataset so that errors & omissions can be fed back to improve the data for all users
  • Ensure that there is a mechanism whereby new datasets can be requested. Ensuring requests are not denied/ignored by government agencies may be a function of The Open Data Governance Board, or the Steering and Implementation Group, as the commitment to open data must be monitored and enforced.
  • Hackathons
  • Open Educational Resources

4. How to encourage data reuse (civic/economic)?

  • Set a seed-fund for data driven start ups and civic initiatives.
  • Run competitions to see what innovative ways data can be used.
  • Develop Application Programming Interfaces (API) to data repositories and publish user documentation to promote easy retrieval.
  • Partner with Universities and EU research initiatives to identify data repositories which can be linked.

5. How to evaluate impact?

  • Case studies to be performed on most frequently consumed datasets

6. What benchmarking system for Open Data should be used?

  • ODI Certification

7. Metadata standards?

  • DDI, or ISO19115, or the minimal Dublin Core standard.

8. other?

  • We need a general policy which states that ‘Open is the default for information. All information that is open can be accessed free of charge. Exceptions from openness must give plausible reasons and must be weighed against their costs and their effects on the rights to information.’