Open Data

  • What is Open Data? Open Data is something with which we can ”/improve how we access healthcare services, discover cures for diseases more efficiently,** understand our governments better**”. This is a verbatim quote of the definition from the Open Data Institute (ODI). I have just emphasized the part most directly linked to the possibility for all citizens to make informed decisions. Where was ODI born, and where is it based? Why, of course in the country that not only has been for years “at the top of the league table for open data“ but in [pray note… ] May 2016 still “maintains Open Data lead”.
  • A few days ago I summarized the most questionable or uncertain points of the software odissey of the City of Pesaro, saying that I’d also post questions and consequences, both for the City and Open Source advocates, not mentioned yet in this story. For Pesaro, the road forward has little or nothing to do with the initial topic, that is Open Source Software in Public Administration. The advocates, instead, should rethink some of their strategies.
  • (no, not really but…) In December 2014, italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi annunced, a Web portal that provides official Open Data on public spending (“Soldi Pubblici”, that is) in Italy. Within a few hours, an italian Hacker, [![spesa software dei comuni italiani Leonardo Maccari, set up an unofficial blog, that automatically fetches and plots certain categories of data from that portal, making them much easier to understand.
  • Preface This essay expands a proposal on Open Data in schools that I made in 2011, which requires very little, if any, funding and central authorization/coordination to be implemented. As of this writing, I know of no other proposal of the same kind, with the exception of this 2012 presentation from New Zealand. Also, I have not heard of any large scale implementation, or had occasion to do any real work on this topic.
  • A couple of weeks ago I was invited at the first National Open Government Partnership Forum in Skopje, Macedonia, for the panel titled “OGP-related Initiatives at the Local Level - Comparative Perspectives”. Here’s a short trip report, complete of link to my slides. The Forum included a good summary of the OGP/Open Data landscape, from which I’d like to quote, in no particular order (*) some remarks and statements I’ve found more interesting for me and (as far as I can tell, of course!
  • (this is the translation of the final part of an article I published on the italian Pionero Web magazine in April 2014. The first part is available here) The official definition of Biourbanism starts with the focus on “the urban organism, considering it as a hypercomplex system, according to its internal and external dynamics and their mutual interactions.” In practice, as an almost total ignorant when it comes to architecture, urbanism, psychology and the like, I understand this to mean that Biourbanism proposes to make the places we inhabit decent places, that is places worth living in because they are:
  • _(this is a partial translation of an article I published on the italian Pionero Web magazine in April 2014. The second part is here). _Several of my publications and projects come, among other things, from these considerations (which of course I am not the only one to have made!): my official slogan since 2006⁄2007: Your civil rights and the quality of your life heavily depend on how software is used AROUND you
  • (this is a proposal for a talk and related workshop that I submitted for a conference that took place in autumn 2013. The proposal was accepted but eventually didn’t happen due to lack of funding for travel expenses. Since the idea is not tied to that specific event in any way, here it is) Young people have always been critical of politics and public institutions in general. This, of course, is absolutely natural and even necessary, to a degree.
  • This was the abstract of a talk I proposed for a Network Politics Conference in 2011. The talk wasn’t accepted, but I’d like to restart a conversation on this topic, so here it goes.This quote from “AOL loves HuffPo. The loser? Journalism” “The media-saturated environment in which we live has been called “the information age” when, in fact, it’s the data age. Information is data arranged in an intelligible order. Journalism is information collected and analyzed in ways people actually can use.