Open government data in Norway: mounting interest but no breakthrough yet

A loose community is forming, slowly pushing open data higher on the agenda of Norway’s politicians and civil servants. But these developers, journalists, academics, and IT business people have so far not achieved a significant breakthrough. Government pledges for opening up more data sources are still vague and non-binding.

The past few months I have led a fact-finding project about open data in Norway at the University of Bergen’s Department of Information Science and Media Studies. In the first phase of the project, we interviewed and surveyed civil servants at the state, regional and local government levels about their opinions on and interest in making datasets available for re-use. Our first project report (see English summary), presented at a seminar in Bergen in January, is mainly based on this work. Among the findings:

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Alive and kicking after involuntary vacation

Users trying to reach this blog during the past week have been met by a password popup. Essential software upgrades had been postponed for too long, and there was no other choice — the website had to be hospitalized. In fact, the situation was so serious that the decision was taken to migrate from MT to WordPress. All 884 Undercurrent blog posts have survived the journey. Importantly, as far as I can tell, the RSS feeds still work. Probably RSS subscribers have received a batch of old entries — apologize for that! Please tell me if you find links or other things that don’t work as they should.