June is set to be a very busy month in the Open Data/eGov field with several events taking place that link together. This page tries to capture it all with lots of links off to more details.
Is there a theme besides temporal proximity and my own ubiquitous presence? Yes — a lot of Open Data is available now, it's time to get serious about making good on the promises of making money from it. Let's see the digital economy actually come to fruition.
Of course, we're not done yet, but the basics are in place and we're now on to what you might consider phase II — improving alignment between disparate efforts — but there's already a lot to celebrate and talk about.
The month begins with the European Data Forum, a collaboration between the two big Linked Data projects currently underway (LATC and LOD2), plus the European Commission and commerical partners - it's a big deal. The focus of the event is very much on SMEs and business innovation around Open Data.
Keyonte speakers include:
Jump forward to a full week of events in Brussels from Monday 18th through to Friday 22nd.
The week begins with a one day conference organised under the EU's ISA Programme.
The what? The ISA Programme is an EU intiative to increase interoperability across public administrations. That makes it sound rather dry, I know, but it's about data formats, common machine-readable vocabularies etc. It's the bit of the EU that, among other things, is behind work on a set of vocabularies I'm involved with that are soon to be taken up as work items in the W3C Government Linked Data Working Group. See my recent W3C Team blog post on this. Think of it as the equivalent of NIEM in the US.
As the ISA programe's homepage proudly says, it has a budget of €164.1 million. That's €164.1 million being spent on eGov interoperability and this event will highlight some of that work.
The event I'm most closely concerned with in all this, that is, the one for which I am primarily responsible, is the two day W3C Workshop on Uses of Open Data. The context is an EU project that we're involved with, Crossover, that is collecting a lot of information about the use of ICT for governance and policy making.
That's a very broad brush of course — name a policy maker that doesn't use ICT — but this is about data analysis, data journalism, tools and so on, and we're hoping to see some of that work on show at the workshop. The venue is rather special - the Schumann Room in the EC headquarters (the Berlaymont), a room more used to playing host to Commissioners and ministers.
The primary outcome expected from the workshop is a greater understanding of what can be done with open data on the Web, how it can be used for the benefit of a variety of audiences and what the roadblocks are to greater exploitation of data.
Entry is by accepted paper only, full details are at http://www.w3.org/2012/06/pmod/.
The Digital Agenda Assembly is a key annual event in the diary of Commissioner Neelie Kroes. It covers a whole range of eGov topics with plenary sessions, workshops, the whole nine yards. It's a big deal and entry is by invitation only. It's the timing of this event that determined the date of the Uses of Open Data Workshop and that, in turn, decided the date of the SEMIC event.
There are other events taking place in Brussels that week — all in the hope that people will be in Brussels for longer than the 2 days of the DAA.