[Per ePSI Platform] Making Open Data ‘sexier and more attractive': Christmas is coming

Making the overall Open Data ecosystem more useful and accessible isn’t only a technological issue. If we publish only Linked Open Data stuff out there, we aren’t solving the problem at all.

We need to think about the overall user experience, and more about our potential users, our data remixers. And, on the other hand, how we can make this concept of remixing data visible on mainstream channels?

We need two different things: firstly, be sexier and easier to understand. And secondly, be closer to the people real agenda settings.

The starting point is having more context around data: not only speaking about the contextual geographic information system. I’m speaking about merging different worlds, and different data silos, hiding the way you’re doing that. From mobility data, to Internet of Things sensors data. Citing an article published on GigaOm:

“So while it is true that we have access to more information than ever before, we are not experts on every subject. Thus, it is very difficult to digest it. My concern is that over-information the new way of hiding information. The best way to fight mainstream media disinformation is to demand more context for all the data: we need the “fact-checking journalism” promoted by sites like Gapminder or Open Knowledge. Visualizing.org strives to make sense of issues through data and design with a collection site where designers and all sorts of organizations can upload and share open data sets”.

Demanding more context from our information systems means finding better ways to have the information that we are really looking for. Querying Open Data portals with only one click, for example, improves the usability and the overall user experience. Hiding this querying process another step in the right direction, like Google has done with its Knowledge Graph concept. I’ve also seen some signals during my daily job: [full disclosure: I’m the community manager at SpazioDati]

[Per ePSI Platform] Emergence and Open Data: the chaotic Italian Open Data movement

Years ago I read a beautiful book, written by Steven Johnson, titled “Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software”

I found it very insightful, with some ideas of what are now common modern day concepts (such as crowdsourcing or collective intelligence) being explained in a clear and documented way. The main concept was the following, taken from Wikipedia:

Emergence refers to the ability of low-level components of a system or community to self-organize into a higher-level system of sophistication and awareness. Johnson notes that this self-reorganizing stems from the bottom up rather than directed by an external control factor. Johnson gives examples of feedback, self-organization and adaptive learning.

Sometimes, when thinking of how Italy is managing the overall Open Government process, I’m convinced that we are a good example of a chaotic emergence system (yes, I know, I’m optimistic). There are some good signals, but only a few.

Continua a leggere [Per ePSI Platform] Emergence and Open Data: the chaotic Italian Open Data movement

[Per ePSI Platform] Open Data in Italy – some interesting signals of augmented government

Open Data in Italy has a lot to tell about some stories characterised by a really interesting bottom-up approach.
I like the idea that we should innovate without permission, as David Osimo said some time ago and many other experts agreed. ” We can make an augmented government with the right tools“.

Here are some notes on what’s happening in Italy around these topics.

Working Groups to help municipalities going through Open Data

There is a news on epsiplatform about Alessandria and its initiative related to a multi-stakeholders approach to Open Data. Alessandria is a municipality which has a default: it’s interesting how trasparency and re-use of data will help a better governance.
This isn’t a novelty: Florence had opened Open Data supported by Wikitalia, standing on the shoulders of its communities. We, as a community, can be a sort of “push” actors, and supporters against those who don’t understand the value of these actions inside the government and the administration.

There is also the case of Palermo, who has been publishing Open Data since the 23rd of February (which was the International Open Data Day). Palermo is working to make Open Data an ongoing process, and not only an event fixed during the time. A process which will involve all interested stakeholders who live in the city.

This is the reaction to another action, a blog post written by Andrea Borruso on the quality of the data released, and on the overall process. A post where Andrea made a new dataset from the data released, helping the municipality to think about the value of the quality of the data. This post was shared with the community of Spaghetti Open Data, and gained a lot of attention. The municipality, after a public meeting on this topic, has started a working group to make the overall approach to Open Data a better one. Palermo now wants to make more Open Data, with more attention on the quality of the data, and with a shared strategy with the community.

Continua a leggere [Per ePSI Platform] Open Data in Italy – some interesting signals of augmented government