Reflection Week 11 – Open Data

I decided to do this week’s reflection on the following question:

Open Data is the Future of the Web?

After I read the learning activity for week 11, I asked myself the following questions:

  • What is open data
  • Why is it important

In this reflection, I am going to answer both questions.

Open Data: 

[] Open data is the content that is found on the Web for everyone to use and copyright does not apply.  [Glenn Tremblay] Another way to describe open data is the sharing of public record for example, government records over the Web in a way that promotes analysing and using the information.

I found the following YouTube video that is great way to start to understand what is open data.

I do believe that the future of the Web is to have access to open data, but the following issues need to be address:

  • Privacy of health records
  • Bank details
  • Copyright issues in regards to music and books

[Glenn Tremoblay]  Having data on the web open to the public would make governments more transparent and this would advance every ones lives.  [Open Knowledge Foundation]  Government records are a largely untapped resource and allowing it to become open date would provide economic and social value to everyone.  The values are:

  • Transparency:  allowing you to see how government are spending your money.  In addition, it can stop fraud in government organisations.  Another benefit is that you can see how active your member of parliament is.
  • Better decision making: you will have more information that would allow you make the right decision so that you can become more active in your community.  For example using your local Council website you can find were your local dog parks are.
  • Financial: open data can help households to save money for example on their energy bills for example on their energy bills  Educational institutions and libraries can save money by sharing resources with other people using resources like [SlideshareFlickr and LibraryHack] to produce information literacy programs for students and users.
  • Efficiency: open data also provides value to governments themselves.  They highlight areas where they can increase efficiency.

Organisations, governments, libraries, and education institutions are starting to see the value of open data access for everyone.  Queensland University of Technology is leading the way with [ePrints].  To have a world were all data is universally accessible would be great but I cannot see that happening in my lifetime because of copyright and intellectual property legal rights.

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