Open Data Workshop, Chennai, part 2

August 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Presentation by Lucy and Laura from Open Knowledge Foundation

Lucy Chambers, Laura Newman.

Based in Cambridge, UK. Open access. Big focus on licensing. Peer-to-peer university are writing a course on licensing, worth looking at.

“We’re basically interested in data already paid for through tax-payers money; for example, we don’t think you should have to pay for research to be done, and then again to access it through an academic journal. We’re not interested in individual data which infringes on privacy.”

Me: “So who is OKF funded by?”

Laura: “Open Society Foundation, Pierre Omidyar [eBay founder, has set up a philanthropic trust thing], others including govt.”

Me: “So if some of your funding comes from govt, should your data be accessible?”

Lucy: “Much of it – e.g. our accounts – is available. We try to practice what we preach.”

Laura: “We don’t get money direct from govt, but through procurement.” – meaning? Over tea she explains: “means we have clients we do projects for, some of these are in govt.” – license: often a big lack of clarity about what you can do with it, whether you can use, re-use or redistribute it. it would be nice if someone put a clear copyright status on it. if you have data, try to make sure you put a license on it. – data can be used to examine conflicts of interest because has information about ownership.

Sexy data visualisations – particularly of interest for British citizens/tax-payers.

Kwestions in my hed

But what is all this visualisation shmisualisation useful for? Madam says: “Only little bit useful for activism.” But this response reminds me of something said to me long back by Pratiksha: “We need to expand our imaginariez beyond PIL.”

Map of all districts in INdia – (not all of them) – from geocommons and S. Anand.


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