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Talking with Opengov.se about data catalogue interoperability and open government data in Sweden

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Earlier this week Friedrich and I had a brief chat with Peter Kranz, the creator of Opengov.se about how we can make make Sweden’s popular unofficial data catalogue interoperable with PublicData.eu.

Opengov.se is the closest thing Sweden has to a national data catalogue. It was launched in 2009 and includes lots of nice features such as:

Our discussion included:

  • The current status of Richard Cyganiak‘s DCAT project, and its suitability as an exchange format for data catalogues.
  • Federation/synchronization scenarios. E.g. Atom/RSS and RDF representations of catalogue metadata.
  • How to deal with multiple European languages. E.g. the fact that Opengov.se’s metadata is currently only available in Swedish.
  • How we can retain a focus on fully open data rather than (non-open) Public Sector Information which is available online, which may have reuse restrictions.
  • Creating a ticket to be able to pull Atom Feeds into CKAN. Atom Feeds as Index Representations, containing links to RDF Representation.
  • Creating a feed with an RDF representation of Opengov.se, with RDF representations of CKAN to be used as a reference/talking point. (See also CKAN RDF Exporter and DCat-Tools, normalization & Solr search).

We also had a brief update from Peter on the current state of open government data in Sweden:

  • There is currently some preliminary discussion about a possible Swedish data catalogue.
  • Sweden has just implemented a law transposing the European PSI Directive.
  • Discussions about open data are relatively new and various people inside and outside government are not yet sure how to respond to developments in this area.
  • There is active discussion about the merits/demerits of allowing commercial reuse of PSI, vs. only allowing reuse for noncommercial purposes. There is ongoing discussion with data reuse companies.
  • Government isn’t sure who will use the data if it is released. There are not a great many example of the reuse of open data in Swedish.
  • There is lots of data produced by public sector, which is generally highly organised and high quality, but not much of this is publicly available.
  • The government is keen to watch and learn from what others are doing.
  • The main central agency of the Swedish government which deals with legal issues related to the reuse of PSI is the eGovernment delegation.
  • Currently prospective reusers are limited with respect to what they can do with official data.
  • There is currently no provision for receiving material in electronic format in access to information legislation. An official committee has recently proposed such a provision to enable people to explicitly request and receive information in electronic format.
  • The Swedish weather agency currently charges for data as a direct cost-recovery policy, but Swedes are able to use data from the Norwegian agency, yr.no which includes Swedish weather information.

Written by Jonathan Gray

January 22nd, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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