A series of promising new initiatives gives reasons to be a lot more optimistic about government data reuse in Norway today than anyone could have been a year ago. The right tools will hopefully soon be available. Now convincing examples of reuse are needed.
At the government data project at the University of Bergen, we see the Norwegian language version of CKAN, launched this week, as a significant step on the way to opening up data sources for reuse in Norway. With CKAN, we have one more piece of crucial infrastructure in place:
Thanks to help from the fast and efficient CKAN community, the translation could be implemented in a short time. In addition, data packages that we had already registered as part of our project could be imported from a Google spreadsheet. With 136 packages already online at no.ckan.net, we feel we have had a good start.
We of course hope that the Norwegian open data community – both inside and outside government agencies – now will seize the opportunity and engage in registering data sources at no.ckan.net. In addition, we believe that the existence of the website will alert more people to the need for a proper “store” of government data. In fact, the Norwegian minister responsible for IT policy recently stated that work on a Norwegian “data.gov” had begun.
In the context of the international open data community, we certainly aim to share experiences made with no.ckan.net as we move forward.
(First published on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog.)
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: