The launch of data.gov.uk in January, based on the OKF's CKAN registry, is a massive step towards openness in government in the UK, and we hope and expect that other countries will follow suit. We also look forward to seeing data.gov.uk grow over the next year, as all parties have expressed a commitment to expanding the number of datasets included.
In other fields too, open data has become a hot topic. We've added two new working groups to the stable this year - a working group for Open Knowledge in Development, and one for Open Bibliographic Data. This expansion reflects the increasing realisation that open data is an issue that affects every discipline, as well as reflecting the growth of the OKF community and thus our ability to commit to more and more projects. In geographical terms as well as disciplinary terms, the global interest in open data is indicated by the large number of translations of the Open Knowledge Defintion (OKD) which have been produced this year, including French, Swedish, Macedonian, Chinese, Norwegian, and Russian.
We've had a busy programme of events, with members of the OKF being invited to speak at conferences across the world on a range of different topics. The Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2010 was a great success, with international representation covering numerous aspects of the OKF's work. Other events included a workshop on the semantic web and open data, and an event looking into the development of public domain calculators.
Our various projects are continuing to develop well. Where Does My Money Go? has had a particularly good year, receiving funding in summer 2009 for the development of a first prototype which we released in December 2010. We were also very pleased to release a set of standards for open publishing in the sciences, the Panton Principles, which we hope will assist researchers to release their data in a truly open way and thus enable greater colloboration and faster development in science. We launched a new project, Weaving History, an online tool allowing users to string together "factlets" of historical information to create various different visualisations. CKAN has moved through a number of releases, been enhanced by the addition of the datapkg tool, and is rapidly expanding as more and more datasets are added.
We were very pleased to welcome Mark Surman, Glyn Moody, and Nat Torkington to the OKF advisory board. We were also very pleased to welcome Dr Ian Brown, James Casbon, and Paula DeLieu to the Foundation's Board of Directors.
So many thanks to everyone who has been involved with the Foundation in any capacity over this last year. All our work is powered by the ideas, input, and hard work of our community. We can't wait to see what the next year will bring!
The Open Knowledge Foundation May 2010
OKCon 2010 took place on 24 April 2010 at the University of London Union, London. The event brought together individuals and groups from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of workshops and seminars. Speakers included:
Audio, images and slides are available at the Post-Event Information page.
We organised a workshop on open data and the semantic web, which took place on 13 November 2009 at the London Knowledge Lab. The workshop brought together researchers, technologists, and people interested in open data and the semantic web from both public and private sector organisations for a day of talks and discussions. Speakers included:
Discussions at the workshop led to the creation of two new volunteer roles at the OKF, an editor for Linking Open Data Group on CKAN, and an LOD/ODC community liason. Post-event material is available through the event wiki.
The Foundation organised workshops and meet-ups covering specific aspects of open knowledge. In November 2009 there was a two day meeting about building set of public domain calculators for countries across Europe. The Aid Information Challenge took place in March 2010, looking at increasing transparency around aid data, and putting together visualisations.
We participated in numerous events throughout the UK and Europe, including:
Written pieces include:
OKF Advisory Board member Chris Corbin contributed to a report from the National Academy of Sciences in the US on The Socioeconomic Effects of Public Sector Information on Digital Networks
OKF Advisory Board Member Jordan Hatcher was interviewed by Semantic Web about why we can't use the same licensing tools for databases as for content and software
The Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) – a registry for open knowledge packages and projects – went into version 0.11 in February 2010. February 2010 also saw the launch of datapkg, a tool for distributing, discovering and installing data and content ‘packages' designed to closely integrate with CKAN.
CKAN now supports groups, which can curate a package namespace – e.g. climate data – and assess priorities for turning into fully installable packages.
CKAN’s open source code is being used in the data package catalogue for the data.gov.uk project, part of the Making Public Data Public effort in the UK. Data.gov.uk went public in January 2010. A Norwegian instance of CKAN, and a Canadian data catalogue powered by CKAN, datadotgc.ca, were both launched in April 2010.
KForge, the suite of tools for managing software and knowledge projects, went into version 0.17 in November 2009. The KnowledgeForge service, which runs on KForge, currently has 1166 members and 267 projects. (This is now - try to find figures for end May 2010)
The second and final release candidate for the Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL) was published in June 2009. In January 2010 the Open Data Commons released a draft of an attribution license for data and databases.
The Open Knowledge Defintion (OKD) was translated into French, Swedish, Macedonian, Chinese, Norwegian, and Russian.
In February 2010 we launched the Panton Principles, a standard for the open publishing of data in the sciences.The principles state that legal status of scientific datasets should be made explicit and that content licenses are not appropriate for data. They strongly discourage non-commercial licenses and strongly encourage dedication to the public domain. We also launched a new site, IsItOpenData?, which allows users to check whether any particular (scientific) dataset is open or not.
Open Shakespeare has been significantly updated and improved. The most significant enhancement is the availability of HTML and PDF editions of texts.
In November 2009, Algot Runeman was selected as editor of the Open Text Book Registry.
As well as regular online meet-ups, we had a parallel online and real-world meet up, coorganised with the Community College Open Textbook Project and the California Digital Marketplace, at Foothill College Campus in California.
The public domain database has been constantly expanding. In November 2009 we organised a Public Domain Calculators meet-up in Cambridge UK, where we put together first drafts of diagrams representing copyright law in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. We also started work on a tutorial to help others getting started in building public domain flow diagrams for other countries.
For Public Domain Day 2010, on January 1, we compiled our own list of authors in the registry whose work fell into the public domain, counting 563 in our database.
In January 2010, we published our Public Domain Manifesto, giving a series of principles and recommendations for promoting and protecting the digital public domain.
A tool enabling users to string together "factlets" of historical information, such as places, people, and events, and see them visually represented temporally and spatially. The beta version went public in July 2009.
Our "Where Does My Money Go?" project is a web application aiming to interactively represent UK government budgetary information using maps, timelines, and best of breed visualisation technologies. Our first visualisation prototypes were released in June 2009. The project subsequently received a small grant from the UK government to develop the prototype. We released the first mock-ups of the application in October, and the alpha prototype in November 2009. The first full prototype was released in December 2009.
Following planning sessions in January 2010, we launched a new wdmmg-discuss list and wdmmg group on CKAN. We have continued to push hard for the release of more and better government spending data, and took particular interest in opening up the COINS data.
A new working group for open knowledge in development was launched in June 2009. It has rapidly grown into a highly active branch of OKF activities. Currently members include:
The group aims to:
Current activities include:
Creating and maintaining legal and technical standards/principles for open data in international development. In first instance see: http://www.unlockingaid.info/
A new working group for Open Bibliographic Data was launched in March 2010. The group has attracted a broad international membership, currently including:
The group aims to:
Current projects include:
Open Bibliographic Challenge: a competition to come up with ideas and realisations using open bibliographic data.
The Foundation is undergoing a period of big growth, and we expect this to continue through the coming year. We need to consider how to manage this, both in terms of handling funding and managing projects. We expect to receive an increased level of funding, some of it for specific projects such as 4iP support for the Where Does My Money Go? project. Across all projects, but especially those which are funded, our increasing commitment-level is going to require careful managment. To ensure our accounting runs smoothly, we plan to start using an online accounting tool and having an individual dedicated to overseeing our book-keeping.
We also need to consider how to maintain our core values as OKF grows. To this end, we have spent time this year thinking about our vision for the foundation, which will help us to ensure that we achieve this aim. As part of our core belief in openness and participation, we are going to establish a co-ordination list which is seperate from the OKF board, and which will enable community members to play a greater role in the oversight of the Foundation.
Community Coordinator: Jonathan Gray
Board of Directors
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