Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Open Data for the Layperson

Looking for short presentations or a brief explanation of open data for the layperson?

Here is a fantastic 20-minute YouTube video that vividly illustrates, not only its topic, but also the value of open data for everyone:
Hans Rosling, Professor of International Health at Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, demonstrating how 30 years of historic changes have exploded conventional wisdom about the developing world, at:

Thanks to Peter Suber of Open Access News, who points out that the powerful software used in the presentation, Gapminder, has since been bought by Google.

Descriptions of Canadian data sites can be found at:

Examples of data sets that could be of interest to laypersons:
Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System
Canadian Bird Trends
CADRMP Adverse Reaction Database
National Climate Data and Information Archive
Ontario Sport Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program
(Thanks to Alison Ball)

In the UK, the Guardian has been running a Free Our Data campaign for the last year.
(Thanks to Peter Morgan).

Wikipedia has a reasonably accessible entry on Open Data (thanks to Peter Murray-Rust).

If you agree that freeing our data just makes sense for researchers, and for the public, please join us on the SPARC Open Data Forum, moderated by Peter Murray-Rust (where these tips were first shared).

If you know of more great resources to illustrate open data to anyone - please post a comment!