It covers how open data creates value and can have a positive impact in many different areas. In addition to exploring the background, the handbook also provides concrete information on how to produce open data.
As the introduction explains:
Do you know exactly how much of your tax money is spent on street lights or on cancer research? What is the shortest, safest and most scenic bicycle route from your home to your work? And what is in the air that you breathe along the way? Where in your region will you find the best job opportunities and the highest number of fruit trees per capita? When can you influence decisions about topics you deeply care about, and whom should you talk to?
New technologies now make it possible to build the services to answer these questions automatically. Much of the data you would need to answer these questions is generated by public bodies. However, often the data required is not yet available in a form which is easy to use. This book is about how to unlock the potential of official and other information to enable new services, to improve the lives of citizens and to make government and society work better.
The original version of the book, called “Open Data Manual”, was written during a book sprint in Berlin in October 2010. Since then, a wide group of editors and contributors have added to and refined the original material, to create the Handbook you see today. Just click the image below and read it online:
The vision is to create a growing series of open-source Handbooks and Guides that would offer advice on different aspects of open data. This project has already been started, being available so far:
- The Data Journalism Handbook,
- DataPatterns, which focuses on the technical aspects of data wrangling
- The shorter Guide to Finding Public Domain Works Online.
Do you find it useful and want to see it further improved? Then you could consider becoming a part of the project and contributing to its development. The project now lives as a self-contained project within the foundation, its community being mainly centred around the open-data-handbook mailing list. It is primarily supported by the open government data and the EU open data working groups, and of course you can join in and add your bit.
There are many ways you can contribute:
- Would you like to have it in your language? Help translating it! They are using Transifex to manage translations; see the instructions on their wiki for information about how to get started.
- You can point out corrections and suggestions for improvement on the issue tracker or by emailing opendatahandbook[@]ofkn.org.
- You can contribute to the next version of the Open Data Handbook: join the mailing list and share your ideas!
- A country specific adaptation could be also a great addition you could work on.
- Donate! The OKF is committed to keeping the Open Data Handbook entirely free, and all contributions to make this possible are gratefully received.