I'm a standards geek...

Firstly, we've created a copy of the open definition which really lays out the principles and standards of open data very well. It is worth reading.

Further Key Terms are as follows:

  • Metadata refers to a file that describes the methodology of data collection, the variables, the scales and units of measure, and expected update frequency.

  • De-identification refers to the process used to prevent a person's or business identity from being published within open data unless required by Law or Court Order. In relation to personal data of a data subject, this means to delete any data, before being made open, that— (a) identifies the data subject; (b) can be used or manipulated by a reasonably foreseeable method to identify the data subject; or (c) can be linked by a reasonably foreseeable method to other data that identifies the data subject.

  • Personal Data refers to data relating to an identifiable person including, any name of person, identifying number, email address, physical address and telephone number.

  • Restricted data refers to data that can only be accessed by its owner for operational purposes. Restricted data includes: (1) Data that discloses private identity or infringes on the privacy of citizens; (2) Data that exposes the City or its Citizens to risk. (3) Third party data that is copyrighted or where the third party owner has prohibited local government from publishing the data.

Open Government Partnership Resource Guide

Open Government Partnership, discussed above, launched in 2011 to provide an international platform for domestic reformers committed to making their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. OGP has created a resource guide for government and legislature from its partners around the world.

Open Data Handbook

Open Knowledge International have produced an Open Data Handbook which is a comprehensive guide to opening data, and has value stories that highlight the social and economic value, the impact and the varied applications of open data from cities and countries across the globe, and a resource guide that has extensive resources on the following:

International Open Data Charter Principles

The International Open Data Charter (“The Charter”) provides governments with a common foundation to realise the full potential of open data. The Charter was developed based on the fundamentals of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (September 2015) and the G8 Open Data Charter (June 2013). These principles are as follows:

1. Open By Default

This represents a real shift in how government operates and how it interacts with citizens. At the moment we often have to ask officials for the specific information we want. Open by default turns this on its head and says that there should be a presumption of publication for all. Governments need to justify data that’s kept closed, for example for security or data protection reasons. To make this work, citizens must also feel confident that open data will not compromise their right to privacy.

2. Timely and Comprehensive

Open data is only valuable if it’s still relevant. Getting information published quickly and in a comprehensive way is central to its potential for success. As much as possible governments should provide data in its original, unmodified form.

3. Accessible and Usable

Ensuring that data is machine readable and easy to find will make data go further. Portals are one way of achieving this. But it’s also important to think about the user experience of those accessing data, including the file formats that information is provided. Data should be free of charge, under an open license, for example, those developed by Creative Commons.

4. Comparable and Interoperable

Data has a multiplier effect. The more quality datasets you have access to, and the easier it is for them to talk to each other, the more potential value you can get from them. Commonly-agreed data standards play a crucial role in making this happen.

5. For Improved Governance & Citizen Engagement

Open data has the capacity to let citizens (and others in government) have a better idea of what officials and politicians are doing. This transparency can improve public services and help hold governments to account.

6. For Inclusive Development and Innovation

Finally, open data can help spur inclusive economic development. For example, greater access to data can make farming more efficient, or it can be used to tackle climate change. Finally, we often think of open data as just about improving government performance, but there’s a whole universe out there of entrepreneurs making money off the back of open data.

For any city looking to implement open data, these six principles may provide a useful guideline to adopt. Adopting the international open data charter will also provide a city with support, recognition and a global network of open data advocates.