Monday, August 20, 2007

OECD seems to favour Open Statistical Data

Don't you just read your own interests into everything you read on the web.

When browsing on the BarCamp Wellington Google Group, I saw referenced the OECD second OECD World Forum on Statistics.
Their Istanbul Declaration has a paragraph that resonates with the purpose of my goal of Open Government Data.

A culture of evidence-based decision making has to be promoted at all levels, to increase the welfare of societies. And in the “information age,” welfare depends in part on transparent and accountable public policy making. The availability of statistical indicators of economic, social, and environmental outcomes and their dissemination to citizens can contribute to promoting good governance and the improvement of democratic processes. It can strengthen citizens’ capacity to influence the goals of the societies they live in through debate and consensus building, and increase the accountability of public policies.

Information can be locked into silos in government deparments and limited to a privilideged few who know and pay for the data.

Alternatively Information can be provided free or at low cost, which allows it to be pushed, prodded, bent, analysed and re-mixed. Taking a thousand paths towards creating real value for the Citizen / Global Citizen.

Hans Rosling mentioned at Govis that the cost of gathering statistical data far outweighed the maximum amount the govornment could charge for it.

I personally am aware of the value of having Geo-data right to hand (inside my organisation) without having to write a business case, justification or otherwise to get it. The benefits to having Open Geo-Data in New Zealand far outweigh the costs of supplying the data free.

I note that we almost have free geo-data from Land Information New Zealand. I have been tempted to get a licence $270 per quarter to the LINZ data and see how cheaply I could on-sell/licence it. It would go well with an open source project to create transformational scripts, to load and integrate the standard LINZ data into Open Source GIS programs (And Google Earth too).

I am convinced of the value to the above to the New Zealand public. Maybe we can start to make it happen from BarCamp. I hear in the distance the loud sucking sound of my free time being vacumed up.

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