“Open data is simply data that has been placed in the commons,” explains Mart van de Ven, programmer and co-founder of the Open Data Hong Kong group. “It’s information that is publicly available – and you’re permitted to use it for whatever means you want.” Co-founded by Van de Ven and technologist Bastien Douglas last year, the Open Data Hong Kong group meets every three weeks and passionately advocates the assimilation of open data into our society. The diverse members include academics, journalists, graphic designers and programmers.
Open Data Hong Kong co-founder Mart Van de Ven explains to Startup HK what open data is and why it matters in an article on January 16, 2014.
“The same thing is true for data,” said Mart: “governments, academics and companies hold on to their data as if it’s their competitive advantage – but if you’re not able to deliver, such as the government not being able to create services citizens can actually use, the data’s potential is squandered.” Mart, like all the other members of the volunteer-run ODHK, believes that most government data should be open and available for competition and collaboration.
Two articles in the Harbour Times featured Open Data Hong Kong.
In the article, “Open Data, Free People“, open data can be a boon to good government and a scourge to the bad. Improved efficiency, revelations that improve public policy and clean government are the upside. Privacy and other concerns must be respected. Indeed, a day is coming where it will be unacceptable for a government not to make all data collected available, machine readable and accurate.
In the article, “Open Data is like a box of chocolates…“, one of Open Data’s appeals is the potential for use by the private and NGO sector to create data driven applications. These applications can benefit millions. HT examines the up and coming potential entrepreneurs with big dreams and the heavyweight of (mostly) open data use in Hong Kong, Centaline.
The following guest post is by Waltraut Ritter, a member of Opendata Hong Kong, the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Local Group. It is the first of two posts exploring the current state of open data in Asia.