Europe Offers Data for Developers to Build on

Posted on 12/13/2011 by

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“Europe’s public administrations are sitting on a goldmine of unrealised economic potential: the large volumes of information collected by numerous public authorities and services.” – European Comission Press Release

Europe is planning to open up data, and seems like it is backing plans with serious commitment. The European Commission will publish its own data, and make it mandatory for European administrations to follow suit.

The Open Data Strategy emphasises the importance of making data usable and reusable. This means that data published under the Strategy should be available for developers to build upon and use—this is the interesting bit—commercially. They’re estimating that this push for public data will add €40bn to the European economy every year.

I am guessing that means they are counting on people building useful and valuable things with this information:

“Taxpayers have already paid for this information, the least we can do is give it back to those who want to use it in new ways that help people and create jobs and growth.”

Over the past few years, a big deal has been made about making public information available. There have been big wins along the way, with nations such as the UK and France committing to publishing public data.

The announcement this week from the Vice President of the European Commission builds on this movement, and shows some important direction. For developers, there are more wins beyond the permission to build sustainable projects. Data needs to be made available in “commonly-used, machine-readable formats, to ensure data can be effectively re-used.” Also, providers are not allowed to charge for the data beyond the cost of delivery (supposed to be “marginal cost”).

So, European-wide public data is being made available in usable formats with permission for developers to make money with; right?

If you have any plans already for working with Europe-sized projects, we’d love to hear from you. With the growing Kasabi team, we might be able to help you with your development too. So, what are you making, and what data do you need to do it?

You can learn more about how Kasabi can help you publish open data.

Posted in: Ideas