From the White House to your local municipality, government agencies, NGOs and corporations are making more data and applications available to citizens. Government agencies are promoting not only data, but application programming interfaces (APIs) and interactive widgets to help developers get access to timely data. Now anyone can look for patterns in data and identify trends that offer insight into issues facing people today.
The open data movement is global. In July of 2011, the Open Government Partnership was launched to increase civic participation, fight corruption, and use technology to be more effective and accountable. President Barack Obama said, “I want us to ask ourselves everyday, how are we using technology to make a real difference in people’s lives.”
In the meantime, open data standards are evolving and maturing. Sites like dbpedia, freebase, data.gov.uk, Dublinked and others are cataloging data in Resource Description Framework (RDF) to make data accessible anywhere anytime. New standards such as Open Data Protocol (OData) are maturing and being adopted by more open data practitioners.
Corporations are doing their part as well. IBM Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs is sponsoring City Forward, a free, web-based platform that enables users – city officials, academics and interested citizens world-wide – to view and interact with open data while engaging in an ongoing public dialogue.
To learn more about the open data movement and how City Forward is addressing data, the value proposition, and legal challenges associated with enabling open data, view the City Forward Open Data Standards presentation.
We also encourage you to visit CityForward.org to learn more.