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).
In this post the following issues will be under review:
- A brief definition of Open Data and its relevance to journalism
- Catalogues with known Open Data repositories
- Global platforms with Open Data (+commercial tools)
- Regional examples of Open Data Portals
- Open Data monitoring
- 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!
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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 (http://opendefinition.org/),
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 www.data.gov or www.data.gov.uk) 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 – http://opendatahandbook.org/
2. Catalogues with known Open Data repositories
A comprehensive list of all the portals with open data around the globe.
Same as the previous source plus opportunity to look at the timelines of sources updates.
3. Global platforms with Open Data (+commercial tools)
CKAN – http://ckan.org/
DKAN – http://demo.getdkan.com/
This is a Drupal-based version of CKAN and adheres to the same functionality standards, data and API.
Socrata – https://www.socrata.com/
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 – http://junar.com/?lang=en
Cloud-based SaaS offering solutions to government, businesses, NGOSs and multilaterals, academia and research.
Open Data Soft – https://www.opendatasoft.com/features/
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
The USA – http://catalog.data.gov/dataset
The UK – https://data.gov.uk/data/search
Russian Federation – http://data.gov.ru/
Kazakhstan – https://data.egov.kz/
5. Open Data monitoring
Open Data Barometer – http://opendatabarometer.org/
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 – http://index.okfn.org/
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 – http://theodi.org/about
Educational organization that organizes trainings, events and consultancy around open data. Publishes guides, reports and methodological papers.
Open Knowledge International – https://okfn.org/
Supports, encourages and coordinates an international network of individuals passionate about data openness.
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:
- “Open Data Now: The Secret to Hot Startups, Smart Investing, Savvy Marketing, and Fast Innovation”
Entertaining narration with a very practical approach. Notable that it has a positive testimonial from Daniel Goleman, author of “Emotional Intelligence“ and “Focus” (if you know, what I mean ;))
- “The Data Revolution: Big Data, Open Data, Data Infrastructures and Their Consequences”
A comprehensive review of all that hype around #bigdata, #opendata and so on.
- “Beyond Transparency: Open Data and the Future of Civic Innovation”
The appearance of open data in the public sector has affected innovations, driven efficiency and fueled economic development. The publication covers the future of open data in the context of civic systems.