Common Knowledge

Open Data Guide @ OKF

Open Knowledge Foundation have released a short guide to open data as part of the open data commons project.

I have my philosophical disagreements with OKF on some issues – and they with me! – but they’re the kind of disagreements that come from people on the same side of the fence. We all want open data, and we want it now.

Moments like this are good to step back and focus on our agreements. We agree that data is a little weird, and that we need more research on how to best treat the law around the data. We agree that public sector information needs to be free – in fact, Rufus Pollock has written some essential work on the subject. And I’m proud to serve on the OKF advisory board (here’s hoping they’re as glad to have me).

So let this be a word of warning to those who think there is a “split” on open data – there isn’t. There may be a lot of passionate back and forth, but it’s a matter of degree, not of difference. Congrats to the OKF for the Open Data Commons project and the beginnings that the guide represents.


  1. #1 Jordan
    May 19, 2009

    Hi John,

    As you say, there is no split and we are very glad to have you on our advisory board (I say with my “director” hat on). We are firmly both on the side of open data, and just differ slightly on degree and context.

    Very much looking forward to working with you and Science Commons more closely in the future.

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