Open Data for Real

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This presentation goes into the details of Open Data and how to use it.


What is Open Data?

The term "Open Data" is currently being used in many different contexts and to describe different aspects of data access, ownership, copyright and licensing. This presentation gives an update on the OSGeo white paper collating and commenting the definitions proposed by different organizations by applying them to real-world cases form the geospatial domain.

We start off exploring into What Open Data Really Is by looking into the definition of terms geodata, dataset, authenticity, service, authority, public good and infrastructure. Then we look at the definition of Open Data itself which can be devided into at least two distinct categories:

  • Data collected and maintained by volunteer communities (for example OpenStreetMap)
  • Data created, published and maintained by public administrations / the government

The Definition of Open Data

Next we will look into the definition of Open Data as proposed by different organizations (OSGeo, Open Knowledge Foundation, serveral governments and commercial providers). Each come in different tastes and with differing potential for use, re-use and derivative work, depending on the underlying licensing model. As an example we will compare the ODbL as used by OSM data, CreativeCommons which is used for OSM maps, the Open Government License (as used in the UK), the (non-license) Public Domain (as broadly used in the US) and compare them to a variety of proprietary business models (Google, Bing, Nokia).

Open Data vs. Open Services

In the second part we will highlight examples of how this data can be used in geospatial services - and make a distinction why services for Open Data may actually not be quite as open as the Open Data Definiton claims they should be.

Using Open Data

Finally we will hihglight one product (SplashMaps) that makes exclusive use of Open Data from many different of the above mentioned resources. In the outlook we will present the business model around SplashMaps (which is just one in many) which is completely designed around on Open Data requirements and discuss some of the opportunities and challenges (and as a side note we also mention the software stack which powers the enterprise, wholy Open Source, obviously).