Civic Awesome: Open Data in the News for January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014 11:50 am PST | Data as a Service, Effective Governing

The impact of open data continues to grow. From new legislation to helpful civic apps, we’re excited to see the community around open data getting stronger every day.

To help you keep up with all of the good news, we’ll collect the top open data stories from around the Web on this blog each week. Make sure to watch this space for updates and share what you find with the people in your network.

Nigeria Launches Open Data Initiative

The open data movement continues to spread globally, as Nigeria becomes the latest country to dip a toe in the pool of government transparency. The Open Data Development Initiative was created with the goal of driving innovation, investment, and economic growth. The initiative will open high value datasets and make them available at no cost to Nigerian citizens, business, and the world.

Can the Open Data Revolution Change Our Democracies?

This week, NPR highlights Beth Novek’s TED talk. Novek is the former White House deputy CTO. In this video, Novek explains the benefits of open government. Not only is open data about freeing datasets and making them publicly available, it is also about promoting collaboration between citizens and government. Are we at the forefront of a new kind of participatory democracy?

Is the White House Trying to Blow Up an Open Data Bill?

In the latest news of the DATA Act, a leaked OMB document shows the White House is attempting to soften the language of the bill, watering down its scope.”If these revisions are ultimately made to the bill, our Coalition will withdraw its support and will call on other advocates of open government data to do the same,” wrote Data Transparency Coalition Executive Director Hudson Hollister. To learn more about this bill, tune into the Socrata blog early next week, as we share a guest post by Hollister explaining the DATA Act and its importance.

Open Data Hackathon: Canada Calls for CODE

Finally, we leave off this week with an open data event put on by our friends in the Great White North. In a competition beginning on February 28, 2014, and ending 48 hours later, developer and designer participants will develop apps using government datasets described as “previously unavailable.” Prizes include Gold Sponsor OpenText’s $25,000 Grand Prize, as well as a $5,000 second place prize and a $1,000 third place prize. Datasets are available here

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