Apr. 11. 2013.
The EU 27 member states formally approved the European Commission's (EC) new rulebook on the re-use of Public Sector Information (PSI) yesterday. The PSI Directive will thus improve upon its original 2003 form once it is voted in as law by the European Parliament. The overarching objective is to reach a Europe-wide consensus in making PSI readily available. Most notable is the novel insistence that disclosing PSI data for reuse be obligatory. The parent version of the directive had merely encouraged this practice, leaving it at a suggestion. Now, European national governments will be required to provide access to all PSI data at zero or marginal cost. More information about PSI directive
Mar. 12. 2013.
A group of enthusiast reusers met at the University of Deusto (Bilbao) on 23rd of February in the Open Data Hack Day. Their main purpose was to promote Linked Open Data movement, publish new datasets and design and implement applications based on public open data. Participants were organized in work groups and they used data from Open Data Euskadi. More information about the event and its conclusions: Wiki of Open Data Hack Day (spanish)
Mar. 05. 2013.
Open Data Euskadi was awarded the prize for its "Reference role in Transparency/Open Data" in the 3rd Interoperability and Security National Congress (CNIS), which took place in Madrid last week, as of 20th ant 21th of February. Javier Bikandi -Director of the Citizen Attention, Electronic Administration and Innovation Office- presented the project during the second day of the congress and explained the peculiarities of the Basque Government´s data liberation model. Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the project! Interoperability and Security National Congress List of award-winning
Nov. 07. 2012.
The case of Open Data Euskadi was presented yesterday at a EU seminar held in Brussels: Improving Transparency in Government Decision Making - what targets could be defined. Alberto Ortiz de Zarate, an official from the Basque Government, presented our case with these slides and the text alongside it. As Ortiz de Zarate put it up, to speak about transparency is to talk about opening up information. He recognised that it was not easy to instill change in the organisation, the Basque autonomous administration in this case. Anyway, with effort, change could be pushed forward. "Political leadership has been essential for internal change", Ortiz de Zarate explained. "And then, the higher officials must believe and make their teams believe. But the internal change is an everlasting job. To open up the Administracion you’ll have to start by opening it to the internal participation. In public institutions, there are many skillful people whose ideas have ever never been taken advantage of. The first place for change is inside." The path for that internal change included the following measures:
- Innovation workshops, open to all staff.
- Communities of practice, to join professionals who share an area of knowledge.
- Blogs and other social tools designed for internal use .... although published openly to instil the principle of transparency.
- Trust: “Do it. Better to ask for forgiveness than for permission."
- Public information belongs to citizens
- By default everything is published
- The reuse of information is a right and also an asset for the country
- Not just releasing operational data but also sensitive information to stop corruption
Oct. 04. 2012.
The Basque Government decrees that software produced for public administrative and government bodies should be open sourced
Jul. 26. 2012.
The Basque autonomous government has decreed that all software produced for Basque government agencies and public bodies should be open sourced. The license chosen for the software will be the EUPL (European Union Public License). The only exceptions will be software that directly affects state security and a handful of projects which are being conducted in conjunction with commercial software suppliers. The main points of the decree are these ones:
- New software developments and applications made for the Basque government bodies should be open sourced, and therefore open to reuse,
- There's a provision to reuse software already deployed, when available, so public resources are better used.
- Software will be publised by contractors of the administration in the main forges or open software repositories of the web.
- The Basque Government will publish a directory of the tools developed and opensourced.
Apr. 02. 2012.
Open Data Euskadi, the Basque portal for open data, will turn 2 years old this month of april. Time for some thinking about our endeavour. In these two years, we have been pushing towards getting a critical mass of data in our service, so reusers can have prime material to work. The current number of datasets, according to our search engine, is 1,953 so we hope to get to 2,000 before summer. Downloads from the community are around 500 per month, and there is also regular API usage, maybe also other forms of re-use which we cannot detect. Absolute numbers are not a priority for us, because we have set some minimum of quality before we free some dataset. Those requirements have not been put on ink until now, but the guidelines that we have found on the opendata portal of another Spanish community, that of Castilla y León, are good enough for us, and we support them totally, as one of our goals is to coordinate with other public administrations opening their data.
- Well structured data catalogues.
- Stable, persistent and extensible URI structure.
- Durable URI usage
- Trasparency when accessing external services
- Standard formats
- Using our own vocabularies, well defined and explained.
- Open more datasets
- Detect which data still on the closet is the most important to open next
- Improve structure of datasets and the API for better reuse
- Coordinate with other public bodies offering open data
Mar. 09. 2012.
The Basque autonomous Government has recently published as Open Data the regional budgets of the last years (2005-2012 period). It's an interesting exercise in trasparency that lets citizens and data-users a key insight into the evolution of public spending in the Basque Country over the last years. Moreover, the set of data has also been uplodad to Google Public Data. This is a very practical tool in order to visualize and get sense for statistical data, as its interactive graphics are a useful display for researchers, journalists and the general public. This is how we created this Google Public Data dataset.
- First we download the data from Open Data Euskadi, budgets since 2005, and formated that in Access.
- We performed extra calculations on the database, particularly percentages of each expenses on total expenses of each year. We also did some selection: the budget data, at their core, are very very detailed. We just wanted to give an overall practical view, so mayor departments and areas are listed in the calculations, not every single cent spent on this or that.
- In order to load the data into Google Public Data we prepared the DSPL dataset (Dataset Publishing Language) as required.
- Using Google Public Data is open to the public, but if it has to be datasets from public administration, verification is required. We did so contacting with Google and they responded very efficiently, so the datasets available have an official appearance now.
Jan. 19. 2012.
EuskalSurf is an app for the iPhone created by a Basque company, Hegaka, that works as an guide for surfers that want to practice that sport in the Basque beaches (several well known European surfing spots among us). The app combines a variety of services like a connection with Windguru, connections to webcams in beaches, maps, and from our Open Data Euskadi, initiative weather and sea conditions (forecast of sea conditions, winds and water temperature). It also works on Ipad and Ipod Touch, not only iPhones. So far it's interface is in Spanish, but a multilingual version is upcoming. Updates will include extra features as well, for instance a virtual reality option (Hegaka sent us a screenshot of that, see below). Maybe we'll also see an Android soon. Thanks Hegaka, good work, we hope EuskalSurf is a success.
Dec. 20. 2011.
An European Commision report on Open Data portals has been released recently, and its content is based mainly in four case studies. One of those is ours, Open Data Euskadi, the Basque regional initiative. The other three are state initiatives in the UK, Denmark and France. The analysis referred to Open Data Euskadi emphasizes the quantity of datasets, usage statistics, and good practice examples like the Euroalert service. It also highlights that political leadership has been important to develop the initiative, at the same time pursuing a strategy of low costs. For instance, the report says: "As a positive example, the Basque Country did not organize an independent competition for Open Data applications, but instead co-funded the Spanish and the European competitions". The study also mentions that the main re-user of the information released is the administration itself: the effort to systematize datasets in reusable formats helps better governance practices. The report, drafted by a committee of consultants, can be found here (PDF in English). We are glad to be mentioned there, certainly.
Oct. 19. 2011.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has admited The Basque Government and its Irekia initiative as a new member of the organisation. The Consortium has thus recognised the Open Government initiatives of the Basque administration and, particularly, as the welcome act states, "the commitment of the Basque Government to Open Government Data to achieve greater transparency and engeagement with its citizens". The Basque Government signed its entrance to the W3C at a meeting yesterday in Boston's MIT, one of the official sees of the W3C. Executive director of the W3C Jeffrey Jaffe welcomed Patxi López, president of the Basque Autonomous Government, and both spoke at the meeting, attended by officials of a Basque Government mission visiting the US, and also members of the W3C, among them Basque entrepreneur Xabier Uribe-Etxeberria.
Jun. 30. 2011.
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
Apr. 07. 2011.
Open Data Euskadi, the public portal of the Basque Government, turns one today. It's one year since we launcged, and the number of datasets that we offer are 1,272. Among those, the ones about statistic data are in English as well, the rest are bilingual in Spanish and Basque. We are obviously beginners but the usage that citizens, associations, companies and even other public administrative bodies give to our data is very encouraging for us. This year 2011 we began with this blog and the Twitter acount @opendataeuskadi, and we hope to consolidate and strengthen ties with reusers of our deatasets. We also look forward to an alliance of distinct administrations so we can improve our service.
Apr. 07. 2011.
A basque company, Socsoft, has developed an Android widget that processes weather data from Open Data Euskadi to show forecasts on your mobile device. It can be installed from bit.ly/eguraldia and we have instructions in Spanish for that. The app itself can show the data either in Basque or Spanish. Here there are a couple of screenshots in Basque: the space that the widget gets on your phone's desktop, and the whole forecast once you click on it. Socsoft and its main programmer Igor Ormaetxeberria Txurdi also contributed with some neat documentation. Thanks!
Apr. 01. 2011.
The European Journal of ePractice has published a study by two dutch scholars, Noor Huijboom and Tjis Van den Broek: Open data: an international comparison of strategies (PDF). Basically it's a comparison of plans developed in several countries. Spain is one of them and, although regional initiatives are not directly named, we feel we enter into the positive aspects that the authors found in their assesment of the situation in Spain, as they underline the importance of the regional factor: "In Spain, regional politicians championed open data policy." We feel that Open Data Euskadi is present in that frontrunner pack :-) The paper illustrates several factors that are currently fostering the development of Open Data initiatives (see this charter above). Our position would probably lie there, among those country codes. Recently, we published a presentation (only in Spanish and Basque, sorry) explaining the background of Open Data Euskadi, and our main motivations are resumed in this slide:
Mar. 30. 2011.
A Spanish social network built around cities, Metroo, has designed a system that tracks traffic black spots in several cities, and lets its users comment over those points. The Basque city of Bilbao is among those providing information, and data from this site Open Data Euskadi has been poured into Metroo to build the application. So, in a given spot like this one in the highway around Bilbao, you get information of how many accidents did happen there lately. Other cities were his kind of information has been displayed are Madrid, Barcelona or Seville, using different data sources of course. Metroo is a product designed by a Basque company, Mapalia Networks.
Feb. 07. 2011.
We have developed a demo app that shows the searching options of Euskadi.net, the portal of the Basque autonomous government. The search system of the portal has an API than can be exploited in several ways. Our example has been built to gather information about public grants and subsidies provided by the Basque Government. The app shows calls that are open at this moment, and they are ordered so calls that are near its closure appear first. Doesn't look like a search app, but it's just been built over the capabilities of the search engine. It works in two official languages, Basque and Spanish, but not English, as content in Euskadi.net appears in those languages. We’ve documented it as well in Spanish and Basque. The search API results are, like all content in Open Data Euskadi, free to re-use.
Jan. 25. 2011.
Official data from the Basque Statistics Institute (Eustat), already available here in Open Data Euskadi, show that tourism has grown in 2010 as compared with previous years. Eustat has gathered data from hotel facilities in the Basque autonomous region and they show an increase in the number of visitors (%12.4 more than in 2009) as well as in the length of their stay (4.2 nights per visitor, %12.6 increase compared to 2009). An historical record in foreign visitors has also been reached: more than 700.000 foreign visitors spent one night or more in the Basque Country. That's 18% more than the previous year. The Survey on Hotel Establishments operation carried out by Eustat offers regular information on hotel establishments, conventional hotels, hostels and boarding houses, agrotourism establishments and campsites located in the Basque Country. It records the number of entries by visitors and the places they occupy, and enables the production of occupancy indices, both by rooms and by places. It offers results by province and also, for hotel establishments, at provincial capital, coastal and inland level.
Dec. 31. 2010.
This demo app is a map that shows realtime the latest circulation issues that have happened in the last hours in the Basque territory of Gipuzkoa.
Dec. 30. 2010.
Eustat is is the public body of the Basque Country that collects, analyses and publishes statistical information about every aspect of Basque Country. Its public Data-Bank serves statistical data about lots of different issues like population, society, territorial development and environment, economy (including R+D+i data)... The datasets of Eustat are publicly available through Open Data Euskadi and can therefore be processed automatically, as they are continuosly being updated.
Dec. 26. 2010.
Euroalert.net is a service set up by a company called Gateway SCS that combines various European Union information services to create a practical information service. Among other infos, Euroalert collects Calls for Proposals, Programmes and Calls for Tenders from agencies of the EU, but also from many other public administrations in the European Union. The Basque Government and its dependent agencies are among the sources crawled automatically by Euroalert, thanks to this set of data made available by Open Data Euskadi. In this example, you can consult a call for tenders solicited by EJIE, the public information services company of the Basque Government.
Nov. 30. 2010.
Several services uses the public ortophotography made available by Open Data Euskadi, for instance, Basque public bodies like the Udalmap information system or Ura (Basque agency for the management of water resources) but also external apps like Wikiloc, a well-known mashup that collects GPS trails from users around the world. This example image is from Wikiloc.
Nov. 30. 2010.
The tourism map of the Basque Country brings together several datasets hosted here at Open Data Euskadi. Accomodation (from farm houses to hotels), restaurants and cider houses, art and culture... All ploted over a Google Map visualization. A handy too to plan a visit to the Basque Country.
Nov. 25. 2010.
The Open Data Euskadi project was one of the winners of the 4th FICOD Awards, presented at the International Digital Content Forum (FICOD), a congress that took place. Specifically, Open Data Euskadi was awarded the prize in the Best Citizen Services Project category. The Best Citizen Services Project category selects content creation projects and those that use digital contents in an innovative way to improve public services in areas such as education, health, tourist promotion and support for the elderly. Two other projects reached the final nomination process for the prize: the Center for innovation Madrid On Rails and the Carpeta Personal de Salut (personal health folder), by the autonomous government of Catalonia. Public officials from the Basque Government received the award in the congress held in november in Madrid.