open data

There is no secret that open data concepts and the accompanied data journalism are the future for conventional journalism. Recently I began studying their main principles; now I would like to share an overview of the most essential sources for starters new to open data, data journalism (and, to be honest, journalism at all).

Datalypse between lines

In this post the following issues will be under review:

  1. A brief definition of Open Data and its relevance to journalism
  2. Catalogues with known Open Data repositories
  3. Global platforms with Open Data (+commercial tools)
  4. Regional examples of Open Data Portals
  5. Open Data monitoring
  6. Open Data Institutes

Absolutely no doubt that I am not an expert in this sphere and, obviously, my list of links will be incomplete. Excuse me for this, and, if you do not mind, help me with its extension. Thanks!

Open data

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1. A brief definition of Open Data and its relevance to journalism

In a whole, open data represents building blocks of open knowledge and chases the similar goals of other open movements – open source, open hardware, open access, etc. According to one of the leading organizations operating in the field of Open Data (,

Open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose

The first initiatives have appeared in the governmental structures (like or with the mass adoption of the Internet. Such transformations have affected the way these organizations have to operate under the intensified transparency; what’s more, they turned the understanding of official data usage – almost everyone is able to find information secretly hidden before. That step breathed a new life into the industries performing thanks to data, information and analysis of different kind – analytics and consultancy expertise, research agencies and, of course, journalism.

Actually, data journalism is closely connected with open data along with other statistical information; however, comparing with other sources, open data is usually updated more regularly and, besides all, often presented in an unstructured form – providing in such a way a better streamline.

To get a better undestanding what the Open Data is, you may follow Open  Data Handbook –

2. Catalogues with known Open Data repositories

3. Global platforms with Open Data (+commercial tools)

  • Non-commercial:

    • CKAN

      Data management system that makes data accessible; provides tools to streamline finding, using, publishing and sharing data. Oriented on data publishers eager to make their data open and available.Very useful as besides refined dataset in CSV, it contains compete metadata, different Data APIs to copy (endpoints, querying, JavaScript, Python), social sharing button and commenting space, preview graphs. Different datasets belong to particular groups, so you may easily found the relevant to the desired field. Activity Stream function demonstrates the history of data updates.

    • DKAN

      This is a Drupal-based version of CKAN and adheres to the same functionality standards, data and API.

  • Commercial:

    • Socrata

      Open-data platform focusing on governmental data; offers several products supporting entire lifecycle of data, performance management as well as vertical solutions. Addressed to specific functional areas, they are plotting crime incidents on an interactive map (CrimeReports), replying to key financial questions (Open Budget, Open Expenditures, Open Payroll).

    • Junar

      Cloud-based SaaS offering solutions to government, businesses, NGOSs and multilaterals, academia and research.

    • Open Data Soft

      Aimed at business users, the service with a very user-friendly interface helps companies in publishing their data, interactive visualizing, supports various export formats (csv, exls, geojson, json, shapefile). Enables both private providers or Open Data.

4. Regional examples of Open Data Portals

5. Open Data monitoring

  • Open Data Barometer

    Aims to measure the impact of open data initiatives around the world – covering 92 countries, the Barometer ranks nations according to their readiness for such initiatives, implementation of open data programs and impact that open data has on businesses and society.

  • Global Open Data Index

    Tracks  the state of government open data and rank the countries accordingly, starting from 2013. In a nutshell, the methodology narrows down to scoring data openness through its context, use and impact. The analyzed datasets describe several indicators of national statistics, government budget and spending, legislation, election results, pollutant emissions, etc.

6. Open Data Institutes

  • Open Data Institute

    Educational organization that organizes trainings, events and consultancy around open data. Publishes guides, reports and methodological papers.

  • Open Knowledge International

    Supports, encourages and coordinates an international network of individuals passionate about data openness.

Datalypse between lines

P.S. Next posts I “scheduled” for the first steps in data journalism – in continuation of the Open Data theme.

P.P.S. Also, some books would be very useful for getting a superficial understanding:












Datalypse afterword


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