Alberto Ortiz de Zárate, Director of Citizen Attention of the Basque Government, the department in charge of this effort of Open Data Euskadi, took part this tuesday in an European conference in Brussels. The PSI Alliance 2011 annual conference (programme, PDF) was focused this year around the topic of economic growth, how public information and data can foster business, create wealth, help citizens, companies as well as administrations in this somehow harsh economic times. PSI, of course, stands for Public Sector Information.
Mr. Ortiz de Zárate’s talk was titled “Four clues for untying the Gordian knot of public sector information“. In brief, these are those four clues:
- No documents, but data
- No authorizations, but free reuse
- No information-on-demand, but on-offer
- No fees, but free
The key in all those points is the same, “keeping it simple”. For instance, the European Directive of reference (2003/98/CE) defines PSI as “documents”. That can be misleading: information theory tells us that the nuclear unit is the data, while the document is a collection of data assembled temporarily for a particular purpose. It can also be an overwhelming assumption, as the number of documents possible from the data approaches infinity, and the neccesary work incalculable. It is also unclear as, for instance, PDF documents can not be considered open public information!
So, this is our choice: raw datasets, with a high level of disaggregation. And then, let the public build information, wisdom or even economic growth on top of that. You have the whole presentation here.