Open Data is an idea that’s gaining momentum worldwide and has real traction, as evidenced in this recent announcement Obama’s big data plans: Lots of cash and lots of open data.
Even though the term Open Data is thrown around in the tech press and other media outlets, the concept is still foreign to many. To shine some light on the terminology and ideas behind open data, let’s explain why governments and other entities are making data open and why we, as public citizens benefit from the movement.
The Internet is a knowledge generation system that, when engaged in the correct manner and for the right reasons, can accomplish amazing feats. As evidence, one can look at web properties such as Wikipedia. Yes this is an often-referred to resource, but no one can argue with the fact that Wikipedia has built up to 3.8 million articles just in the English version and is available in 30+ languages worldwide.
Bottom line: when information is given to a skilled audience who is hungry to help out a good cause, great things can come about.