UK: The inventor of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee has unveiled a new report called the ‘Open Data Barometer’ at the Open Government Partnership Annual Summit in London. The Open Data Barometer aims to uncover the pervasiveness and impact of various open data initiatives around the world. It analyses global trends, and also ranks countries and regions via an in-depth methodology that considers: readiness to secure the benefits of open data; actual levels of implementation; and the impact of such initiatives.
The Barometer is the first survey of global trends which ranks 77 countries on how they release their public data and the benefits those initiatives have for citizens and the economy.
The Barometer revealed the following:
•The top five countries in the Open Data global rankings are: United Kingdom, United States, Sweden, New Zealand, and Norway. The rankings were based open data readiness, implementation, impact, and score in the Open Data barometer.
•55% of countries surveyed have formal open data policies in place.
•Valuable but potentially controversial datasets – such as company registers and land registers – are among the least likely to be openly released.
•When they are released, government datasets are often issued in inaccessible formats. Across the nations surveyed, fewer that than 1 in 10 key datasets that could be used to hold governments to account, stimulate enterprise, and promote better social policy, are available and truly open for re-use.
The study also pointed out that efforts should be made to empower civil society, entrepreneurs and members of the public to use government data made available, rather than simply publishing data online.
“It is important that efforts to open up data and information are meaningful and lead to real change. Governments and companies must not shy away from publishing contentious datasets if they contain information that could be used to dramatically improve people’s lives. The open data movement has made a promising start, but many Open Government Data initiatives are presently resting on shallow foundations, at risk of falling backwards if political will or pressure from campaigners subside,” said Sir Tim Berners Lee.
Source: Future Gov