Are you still asking yourself what means “Open Government” and “Open Data” and what has it to do with you?

(originally published on saluanassabay.wordpress.com)

In the last time have appeared all around the web different subjects like “Open Government” and “Open Data”, who are not really directed to a special public or have a special orientation. If you are still wondering what that all means, by reading this blog you could befind some answers to your questions.

This words do not belong to any subjects that you can not understand, instead, they relate a lot to our environment and our basic life.

“Open Government” and “Open Data” means that the information that has been collected, processed and presented by the governments must be open, while at the same time privaty and safety have to be protected.

In generals words “Open” means all data must be published with open licenses so that everyone can use and reuse the information. “Open” also means open formats (.cvs), as well as without discrimination, that means that everyone can get the information without access restrictions and for free.

Why is this so important? There are a lot of reason that we could give you; some of them are: “Open Data” allow us all to make better political decisions, that is because politicians’ programs (investigations, results, etc) are open and accessible to everyone, so that everyone can better follow it. “Open Data” allows to promote innovation because by opening the data companies can build new services according to the new requests and necessities of the population.

And now… where are we? What has all this to do with us? What does it bring us? Think in subjects like for example global warming, energy, geo-information, finance, transport, education system (school, universities, etc.), etc. All this needs to use “Open Data”.

Already now you can find in internet lots of applications using “Open Data”. That means that people have been collecting the information, putting all together, processing and presenting it with the aim that you can see it all in a friendly visualization.

This applications give you information about for example: weather in your city (maybe you should take an umbrella with you before you leave to work); transport, how to get from point A to point B by car, bus, bike or walking. If you are cycling: In which areas in your city you should be more careful because they have a high probability of accidents, etc. In the subject education, “Open Data” allows us to answer different kinds of questions like: Which schools are in your area?, What kind of schools are there? (private, public, just for girls or just for boys, mix, etc.), Are there good schools?, If there are not that good: What could be the reasons? What needs to be improved? In the area of travel, meals and entrainment, these apps allow you to find out which are the best place to go to eat, which places have been having hygiene problems, which are the most visiting cities around the world, etc. About Hospital and clinics, when, for example, you are new in a city it would be important to know for you: Where are they? What is their speciality? If you are having problems for example with your heart, which would be the best option to go and get a treatment? Which are the problems of hospitals and clinics and how can it be improved? Another field where “Open Data” has been in use constantly is for crime and the different statistics that police and government present to the population: Where are the most dangerous/safe places in your city? What could be the reasons? What can the government do, the citizens, etc, to improve it?

What is the future of “Open Data”? As you can see “Open Data” allows to have a bigger panorama to make better decision based on the reality, so as to improve services by extracting all important points by a transparent process. The future of “Open Data” should be directed towards having open up the highest quality information with the aim to integrate all it.