Open data means providing unrestricted data to everyone. Open data is not a "valuable revenue stream" for government. It is a public good. On the other hand, data sharing is providing restricted data to restricted organizations or individuals. Sometimes shared data is restricted because it provides a revenue stream – it is only available to people who will pay for it – or, more frequently, because it is sensitive in some way, either because it is personal or because of security issues.
President Barack Obama enacted the nation's first open data law, signing into law on May 9 bipartisan legislation that requires federal agencies to publish their spending data in a standardized, machine-readable format that the public can access through USASpending.gov.
Instead of being a sinkhole for millions in government funds and donations, recovery after the next big disaster can be more transparent and effective. Open data has helped improve communication between federal agencies and it can help before, during, and after a disaster. It can hold people and companies accountable when they are entrusted to spend our tax dollars wisely while repairing the damage after disasters. Civic startups and others in the open-data space have shown that they are an incredible resource when it comes to creating tools that citizens and government can use to be better prepared for a crisis.
Socrata (http://www.socrata.com), a Seattle-based cloud software company focused exclusively on democratizing access to government data, announced the release of a third edition of its print and digital magazine, Open Innovation. Focused on trends in the global open data and open performance movements, this Spring 2014 issue features mature open data programs in the US, such as in Chicago and New York, as well as an in-person interview with one of the leading global figures in open data, Gavin Starks of the UK’s Open Data Institute (ODI).
In order to use data as a tool to empower young people to effectively hold decision making power, Restless Development, a youth led agency, is developing the big idea project for Post 2015. The project provides solution to how young people can actively access data, interpret and use it to their benefit in the Post 2015. The interesting aspect of the big idea project is the fact that young people are actively placed at the center of the project.
Over a billion people do not currently have easy access to drinkable water; many more face significant contamination of their water systems. That’s why easy, cheap water quality information could be valuable, helping politicians and citizens make the right decisions and springing remediation efforts, new policies, and local action. In this respect, Public Laboratory, a non-profit organization, recently launched the Open Water Project, with the aim of developing a set of low-cost, open source tools that will enable communities everywhere to collect, interpret, and share their water quality data.