Civic Awesome: Open Data in the News for the Week of November 2, 2015

November 6, 2015 7:00 am PST | Civic Awesome, Data News Roundup

The Police Data Initiative takes another huge step in rebuilding the public trust, Mexico City hosts the Open Data Partnership, and corporations tackle their open data fears. Plus: Obama says “yes” to open education.

California DOJ Joins Police Data Initiative

The Golden State’s Department of Justice (CalDOJ) became the first state agency to join the White House’s Police Data Initiative, reports Justine Brown in CalDOJ wants to help California’s law enforcement agencies “adopt their own open data policies and develop tools to interpret that data,” said Brown. In joining the Police Data Initiative, CalDOJ launched its OpenJustice portal, currently publishing three datasets: “(1) Law Enforcement Officers Killed or Assaulted in the Line of Duty; (2) Deaths in Custody, including arrest-related deaths; and (3) Arrests and Bookings.” CalDOJ’s underlying goals include improving public safety and enhancing public trust,

Open Data Summit: 66 Countries, 3 Days

The Open Data Partnership, a global collective to promote transparency and citizen empowerment, met in Mexico City last weekend, reports Joel Gurin in the Huffington Post. At the summit, the group launched the new Open Data Charter, a new set of “specific, comprehensive guidelines for open government data.” Gurin, president of the nonprofit Center for Open Data Enterprise, explains how open data fuels “innovation in all sectors,” and details the six tenets of the new Open Data Charter. He believes the charter offers “the most comprehensive roadmap yet for making open data a major global resource.”

The Promise of the Network Effect

“Shared networked assets deliver more value than closed assets,” says Mike Hower, writing for GreenBiz Group. Hower states that more companies are turning to open data “to solve some of the most vexing problems” in “energy, food, water, and supply chains.” He quotes Gavin Starks, CEO of the Open Data Institute, on the “fear, uncertainty, and doubt” many corporations face when considering how open data may affect intellectual property, security, and profits. But Hower urges a focus on the benefits, rather than the risks, of open assets, and a mindset of championing the networking effects of open data.

White House Champions Open Education

When the White House released its 2016-2017 Open Government National Action Plan, advocates of Open Education Resources (OER) were delighted. It “includes commitments to expand access to open educational resources and the results of federally funded research,” commented Nicole Allen for SPARC, and “sets the stage for continued progress beyond the 2016 elections.” The plan also cites three OER areas of focus, on licensing, best practices, and the need for engaging stakeholders. The Obama Administration’s commitment to OER has gained momentum since the U.S. “became the first Open Government Partnership member country to introduce open education into its National Action Plan last fall.”


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