This Week: Why Have an Open Data Day?

The weekend celebrated Open Data Day and with it came a series of events bringing together hackers, journalists, statisticians, and a whole lot of open data. Sunlight’s claim that Open Data Day is the new Earth Day might not be far from the truth; right before the weekend, the UK’s Cabinet Office announced £1.5 million to support organisations opting to make their data more public.

We’re looking forward to seeing all of the exciting things that come out of ODD 2014. Some of the different events that took place worldwide include Open Knowledge Foundation Groups, DC’s Hackathon, and other events around the globe.

But why have an Open Data Day? Global Integrity’s post “Throwing the transparency baby out with the development bathwater” gives perspective to any doubters out there as to why transparency is so important. The lack thereof eases the way for corruption and undermines all other development work.

Open data can play a role in critical projects such as Development Seed’s Afghanistan Open Data Project with a focus on better data for better elections. We can all appreciate the incredible value of an uncorrupt vote that will hopefully lead to an uncorrupt leader who prioritizes citizen needs.

This answers part of the question – why open data, but what about the day part? The Global Open Data Initiative hosted a global survey to explore the needs and challenges associated with open data. One of the main topics brought up was the importance of a supportive community and the sharing of practices. Open Data Day can bring together open data evangelists from all over to make magic happen.

Another good way is to share your stories of how open data has impacted you and your community as a part of Open Knowledge Foundation’s Partnership for Open Data Impact Stories Competition. There are even prizes!

If you missed out on the Open Data Day goodness over the weekend, don’t fret, just stop on by the Open Gov Hub for some Open Data Lightening Talks tomorrow. See you there!

Weekly updates are written by Taryn Davis of Development Gateway; email her your tips for next week's update to get a shout-out in the post.

Tags: Open Data Dayopen data