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#opendata

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    Tom Steinberg: Open Government Data is any information the Government collects, by and large for its own purposes,
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    that it then makes available for other people to use for their purposes.
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    Rufus Pollock: It’s government data that’s Open
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    and Open means free for anyone to use, re-use and redistribute.
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    Aine McGuire: The Open Data Movement is a way of transforming the relationship between the citizen and government
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    such that everyone knows what’s going on
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    and if everyone knows what’s going on
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    then it will become much more easy for both parties to participate more fairly in society.
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    Chris Taggart: Our lives are increasingly governed by data, in fact our lives increasingly are data.
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    Given that, not to be able to look at the information about us,
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    where we live, who represents us,
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    companies that do business with the government and so on
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    starts to undermine democracy.
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    Rob McKinnon: It is much broader than just government.
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    Government is actually just one participant in our society.
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    What we are seeing happening is actually the cusp of a major social change, a global social change.
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    Together, we have the ability to transform the way society works.
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    Globally, we are bringing together, through sites such as Wikipedia or collections of structured data,
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    a big global overview of how society works and how we organise ourselves.
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    So, we’re just at the beginning of a major change in the way we operate...
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    Rufus Pollock: There are three ways in which Open Government Data can make the world a better place.
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    Number one: it enables companies, individuals, not-for-profits
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    to go and build interesting, useful, valuable applications and services.
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    Number two, I think it’s about democracy, it’s about the participating in government, it’s about transparency,
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    allowing us to see what our government is doing.
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    And number three: I guess is why not?
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    It is basically costless to open up government data,
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    so why not open up the data that is already there and is already being collected.
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    Tom Steinberg: Open Data is important for several different reasons
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    and none of them is more important than the other.
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    We have the possibility of generating economic value,
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    which is at the forefront of many people’s minds in hard times like these.
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    The creation of more jobs and more companies,
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    and more profitable companies to generate more tax revenue.
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    That's obviously a big thing about the potential power of open data.
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    There is also the classic old fashioned issue of making data open and available so that we can see potential corruption
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    and misuse of public money and practices that are unfair or illegal and nothing to do with money but are hidden in some way.
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    Ton Zijlstra: You can expect people to start businesses by adding value to data,
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    taking that data and using it for a certain application.
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    It’s also about transparency
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    but it’s also about people empowering themselves to be better able to make decisions about their own lives
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    based on information that wasn’t available before.
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    And it’s also about making the organisations which create this data more efficient and effective themselves.
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    Rufus Pollock: For example we do a project called wheredoesmymoneygo.org
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    to help show you where your tax money goes, which I think is a really important part.
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    I think it would be interesting to know, ‘this is the biggest contribution I make to the state - where is this money going?’
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    Without open data in government, I can’t answer that question.
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    David Eaves: We use Federal Pollution data and we mash it up into a map with electoral data
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    to show you near your postal code or in any area you care about
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    what facilities are near you and how they pollute and what they pollute and whose riding they are in.
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    So you can begin to examine what the pollution levels around you are like.
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    Tom Steinberg: MySociety builds various different civic and social websites and look after them.
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    And by civic and social website I mean services that do things like tell you:
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    ‘who is my politician?’ ‘how do I write to them?’ ‘what do they say in parliament?’, ‘how do they vote?’, ‘what do they do with the money they get?’
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    - that’s on the democratic side.
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    On the civic side we build services that say: ‘how do I get problems on my street fixed?’
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    ‘how do i get information that I need to out of the government?’
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    And soon ‘how do I get my transport problems fixed?’, which is forthcoming...
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    David Eaves: In Vancouver the garbage schedule is very dynamic...
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    it changes on a regular basis and people always forget when to take their garbage out.
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    And so now they can just go to a site and they can register
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    and we’ll send them an email that says “Tomorrow is your garbage day”.
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    It’s the type of application that the ordinary citizen wraps their head around very quickly,
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    it delivers immediate use to them.
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    And so when people see VanTrash, they say, "so is this part of what Open Data is about?"
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    And we say, “Yes” and they say, “I want more of this in my life”
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    Richard Cyganiak: On the level of the European Union,
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    it would be really interesting if we could actually get all of this data into a single place
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    so that we can search across the countries and actually start to compare things across countries.
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    Jack Thurston: What we are trying to do with Farmsubsidy.org
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    is connect all the different government disclosures into one single data centre.
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    So that citizens can go online and find out what is going on not only in their country
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    but in other countries and they can make comparisons about how much farms get in one part of the EU compared to another,
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    how much citizens put in to the policy,
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    how much it costs them if they are in one country as opposed to another country.
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    This is the seeds of a pan-European debate that ought to be there,
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    seeing as we have a pan-European policy.
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    Erik Swanson: One of my favourite examples of how World Bank Data has been reused occurred very soon after we opened up the database.
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    We got a message back from a group that had simply taken our entire database
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    and analysed where all the gaps were in the data
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    and then produced maps showing country by country, indicator by indicator, year by year
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    where the gaps were in the data.
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    It didn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know
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    but it told it to us in a way we hadn’t seen before
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    and of course it made it public for everyone else to look at as well.
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    Karin Christiansen: We are at the point where we need the data released
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    and we need a standard for that data to come out so that we can map it and compare it.
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    Because what’s needed in Uganda, in Afganistan
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    is not just knowing what DFID is doing with UK money,
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    what American money is doing, but about how this all fits together.
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    Simon Parrish: We are working on an initiative called the International Aid Transparency Initiative
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    which is about developing standards for how donors involved in government should be transparent about the aid that they give.
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    Both to be accountable to the citizens and taxpayers in their own countries
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    but also to a variety of stakeholders in the developing countries
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    from governments of those countries, to civil society organisations, to parliamentarians
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    who all want better information about the money that is coming into their country.
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    The openness and availability of this information has the potential to radically change
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    the way in which AID money is spent and the effectiveness with which aid money is spent.
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    The importance is on the openness of that data so that it could be reused by different groups in different ways
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    to make it accessible for different groups in a way that meets their own specific needs.
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    Erik Swanson: Some of Hans Rosling’s bubble charts,
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    the Gapminder software in which he illustrates the progress of countries over time,
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    using charts that are animated and move...
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    Even before our data became available, Hans was using it in his Gapminder charts
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    and it has been terribly effective in raising awareness of development issues.
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    Tom Steinberg: How can you persuade governments that maybe aren’t interested in Open Data
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    that it is worth spending their time and money and effort to pay any attention?
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    I think that demonstration is really the key here.
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    Demonstration of services that are good, that are useful...
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    and in particular services that are easy to explain, that offer very obvious value and general benefit as opposed to very niche benefit...
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    David Eaves: We have three goals.
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    The first is: let’s help build community around open data in as many cities as want it all around the world.
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    Second, let’s give a place where local politicians and government officials can come meet people that care about this,
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    meet people who are engaging on it and also see all of the cool things that are going on around the world
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    and see how much is actually going on and that others are doing it and that they can do it too.
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    Then the third is, let’s actually build something.
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    Let’s try and get each community to build something
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    because nothing gets people understanding why open data matters more than when they see a really profound visualisation
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    that allows them to understand their community in a way they never had before.
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    Jack Thurston: Our job is to remind people how important it is
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    that they have access to data about what it is their government does,
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    whether that is getting journalists to write stories, helping NGOs to build their campaigns around data
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    or just creating web apps for ordinary citizens to go online and find out about what’s going on.
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    We need to be able to demonstrate that a world in which government data is open is better than a world in which it is closed.
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    Rufus Pollock: Normally the best things to come out of a new technology are ones that are not thought of.
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    Imagine electricity, in the 1820’s when Faraday was demonstrating electricity to Gladstone at the Royal Society.
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    Gladstone says to Faraday,
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    “Yeah it’s very neat, you can make frogs’ legs twitch but what’s the point of electricity?”
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    Faraday says back to Gladstone,
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    “Well what’s the point of a baby? ...
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    It’s going to grow into something...”
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    And I think the point here about open data is that we are living in an information age,
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    an information society - data and information are the key infrastructure of that world.
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    Ton Zijlstra: If you look at the way that humans solve problems we usually try to jump to easy solutions
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    even if they are hard and complex problems.
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    So I think we need to use the data that we hold about our lives and our environment as a way to find
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    less easy but workable answers to the hard questions that we face.
Title:
#opendata
Description:

A short film about #opendata from the Open Knowledge Foundation. For more information, please see: opengovernmentdata.org.

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Video Language:
English

English subtitles

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