The announcement of data.gov, a registry for US Federal Government datasets is an important exemplar for those publishing open government data. There is growing recognition of the value of openness in other fields. There has been a significant increase in the number of explicitly open datasets - from library metadata to bioinformatics.
The Foundation has had a busy year of events - from our annual Open Knowledge Conference to smaller workshops on visualisation, public information and open science. We became a member of the EU funded Communia network and organised the 5th workshop - which was attended by representatives of national governments, the European Commission, and international institutions such as WIPO and the UN.
We've also made significant progress on several of our projects. The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN), a registry of collections of open content and data, now has over 500 packages. We launched Open Milton, a European Open Data Inventory, and developed an Open Software Service Definition (OSSD) providing a standard for openness in network-based software services. We've also adopted Open Data Commons - which provides tools for making data open. We're currently in the process of putting together Working Groups to undertake and direct work in different domains.
We're very pleased to welcome several new people to the Foundation. Hans Rosling, Director of Gapminder, and Chris Corbin, European public sector information expert at ePSIplus, have both joined our Advisory Board. James Casbon, expert in bioinformatics coding and openness, Jordan Hatcher, open knowledge lawyer extraordinaire, Becky Hogge, ex-Director of the Open Rights Group, and new media guru Paula Le Dieu have all joined our Board.
Yet another enormous thank you to all of you who have participated in discussions and events, contributed to projects, helped with bits of code and cunning suggestions, and have otherwise donated time, space, and energy to keeping the Foundation ticking - we're powered on your input and ideas!
The Open Knowledge Foundation
August 2008 * Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons, joins the Open Definition Advisory Council * Interview with Rufus Pollock on Science Commons' Voices from the Future of Science
April 2009 * Launch of European Open Data Inventory * Release Candidate for Open Database License (ODbL) # Events and Activities ## Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009
OKCon 2009 took place at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA), University College London. The event brought together individuals and groups from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of seminars and workshops. Speakers included:
At the event Leigh Dodds launched the Talis Connected Commons, which offers free hosting and data services for open data.
In November 2008 the Open Knowledge Foundation became a member of the Communia Network, the European Thematic Network on the Digital Public Domain. It organised the 5th Communia Workshop, which took place at London School of Economics in March 2009.
Speakers at the event contributed a total of 41 policy recommendations. Participants drafted the following short statement: "Public sector content and data must be made freely and openly available to all without delay for use and re-use".
Open Everything is an international series of events about all things open - from open source software to open innovation and open government. The Open Knowledge Foundation co-organised Open Everything London with the Young Foundation, the Shuttleworth Foundation and Open Business. It took place in November 2009. Speakers included:
Organisations that participated included Kennisland, One World, Social Innovation Camp, Maslaha, Brave New Collaboration, NESTA, and Think Public.
The Foundation organised several focused workshops looking at open knowledge in specific domains. In Summer 2008 it hosted several workshops on open visualisation technologies. In Autumn 2009 it organised workshops on public sector information and open scientific resources.
We participated in numerous events throughout the UK and Europe, including:
Written pieces included:
The Foundation's Director, Rufus Pollock, was interviewed for Science Commons' Voices from the Future of Science and for !NetSquared.
The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) - a registry for open knowledge packages and projects - went into version 0.6 in July 2008. There were over 200 packages in mid 2008, growing to over 500 by May 2009.
In July 2008 we wrote about the use of CKAN in the life sciences. At the workshops on public information and open science in Autumn 2008 participants helped to register open knowledge packages that they were aware of in their respective domains.
In April 2009 we worked with EU Transparency on a European Open Data Inventory - which includes over 140 packages from European institutions and member states.
KForge, the suite of tools for managing software and knowledge projects, went into version 0.15 in February 2009. The !KnowledgeForge service, which runs on KForge, currently has over 400 users and over 70 projects.
In January 2009 the Open Knowledge Foundation adopted the Open Data Commons project - which provides legal tools for open data. In March 2009 it released a beta for the Open Database License (ODbL).
In July 2008 the Open Software Service Definition (OSSD) was launched - which aims to define openness for software services. In August 2008 Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons, joined the Open Definition Advisory Council.
The Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) was translated into Greek, Icelandic and Italian.
In January 2009 we announced improvements to Open Economics - including improved graphing and a new web interface.
In September 2008 there were significant improvements to the Open Shakespeare codebase. New features include support for statistics and graphing of word frequencies in different works.
In December 2008 we launched Open Milton to coincide with John Milton's 400th birthday.
We organised several virtual meetups for people interested in open textbooks - bringing together students, educators, authors, activists, funders, policy makers, distributors and publishers.
There are now 17 individuals and groups keen to contribute to public domain calculators project - which will provide algorithms to determine whether a given work is out of copyright in a given jurisdiction.
In May 2008 version 0.2 of the Versioned Domain Model (vdm) package was released. Vdm allows you to ‘version’ your domain model in the same way that source code version control systems such as subversion allow you version your code. We've since make significant improvements releasing a v0.3 (Autumn 2008) and v0.4 (Spring 2009).
Apart from being a concrete implementation of a system for versioning data(bases) — and therefore important for efforts to do more collaborative development of data — it is also a crucial piece of infrastructure for various of our current and future projects such as CKAN, Microfacts/Weaving History, and Public Domain Works.
'Where Does My Money Go?' is a web application aiming to interactively represent UK government budgetary information using maps, timelines, and best of breed visualisation technologies. First proposed in early 2007, it was a winning entry to the Cabinet Office 'Show Us A Better Way' competition in November 2008.
A new Working Group on Open Data in Science was launched in March 2009. Currently members include:
In the first instance, the group aims to:
This year, the the Foundation's Board has been strengthened with the addition of new members who bring with them expertise in developing and broadening the work of organisations in the open knowledge space. This is a signal that we are looking to ground and expand the Foundation's activities into the future, to grow as a collaborative community, serviced by an agile, lightweight core. The Board's vision for the organisation is one that supports and nurtures autonomous projects that are loosely joined by their endorsement and promotion of open knowledge, as set out in the open knowledge definition. We look forward to presenting the Foundation community with our plans to achieve this vision in the coming year.
The Foundation will always be a not-for-profit organization, built on the work of passionate volunteers. But by making a small investment in our infrastructure, we believe we can make this work go much, much further. To this end our target is to raise £10,000 a year based on regular donations. If you'd like to support us in this effort please sign up to our pledge: http://www.pledgebank.org/support-okfn/ # Appendix ## People
Community Coordinator: Jonathan Gray
Board of Directors
~- The Open Knowledge Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. It is incorporated in the United Kingdom as a company limited by guarantee with company number 5133759. The registered office is 37 Panton Street, Cambridge, CB2 1HL, UK. -~