By opening up their public datasets online, cities and regions have found a new opportunity to spur innovation and economic growth. The creation of open and interoperable technological architectures to release public data offers tech companies a live test bed for experimentation and demonstration. Open data strategies have the potential to radically reshape the traditional citizenlocal government relationship
Open cities: leveraging on the local data revolution ahead
By opening up their public datasets online, cities and regions have found a new opportunity to spur innovation and economic growth. The creation of open and interoperable technological architectures to release public data offers tech companies a live test bed for experimentation and demonstration. European local open data strategies differ in terms of:
- open and commercialmodels;
- governance and organisational structures;
- open data prioritiesand principles.
However, all open data strategies have the potential to radically reshape the traditional citizen-local government relationship. Open cities results from the necessity for cities to leverage digital transformation. Open data platforms are an important component of success of smart cities which should act as open test beds. The online publication of public data allow for a prototyping and experimentation approach. It should be adopted to test solutions on a small scale especially since testing has become a gateway for industries to the population
Open data platforms for public sector accountability and citizen engagement
In the new era of accountability, opening up public data has the potential to provide a platform for increased transparency and greater participation from the civic tech communities and large and small companies in local government decision-making and service delivery.
Measuring the impact of open data strategies
Numerous local governments are carrying out cost-benefit analyses to decide whether or not to launch an open data platform. Given the difficulty to assess the tangible benefits stemming from these data platforms, local governments often lack of incentives to create them or to maintainand update the data regularly. Although the direct impact of open data platforms can prove difficult to measure, evidence suggests that the creation of open data portals often leads to the development of digital solutions to tackle local urban societal and environmental challenges. The creation of indicators to measure this impact is therefore a difficult but yet necessary task to effectively adapt open data strategies. Potential benefits notably include social, environmental, political, economic and commercial dimensions that can only be measured though the use of relevant indicators. The Insight Centre for Data Analytics of Galway has created the Open Data Ireland Roadmap. This report has put forward a comprehensive plan to monitor the Open Government Data.
Bristol is Open
Bristol has recently claimed to be soon the first ever smart city operating system that is pro-open standards and can offer bandwidth to developers and service providers as per their needs. Bristol City Council is aiming to become one of the most important ‘Internet of Things’ test beds in the world, assisting international cities in their quest to become smarter and more digitalised.
Ensuring the accessibility, interoperability and usability of datasets
Assessing government data accessibility and usability Digital European cities need common standards and interoperability. Dealing with these hurdles by making all these datasets more accessible and useable would make it easier for local businesses and for the civic tech community to leverage on government data to tackle local challenges.
The cost for the collection and processing of public data
The cost for the collection and processing of public data can sometimes prove prohibitive and therefore raises the questionof the monetisationof data. The majority of local governments make their data freely available however a considerable part of local authorities are rethinking their open data strategy. Different licence models exist for the provision of public data. Local governments need to find the right balance between the provision of entirely free Open Data platforms and the creation of platforms with different license options differentiating open data re-use for commercial and non- Commercial purposes. Local governments also need to consider the IP rights that can be attached to the datasets and therefore to the potential creation of restrictions to the re-use of data.