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WEEKLY OVERVIEW

Open data startup Socrata brings in $30M to make government data more accessible

Socrata, a startup working to make government data more easily accessible to companies and services, has raised $30 million in new funding. Although Socrata mentions several products on its website, it’s mainly focused on helping to bridge government data and companies and developers through application programming interfaces (APIs), applications, and online data portals. The goal is to increase government transparency and citizen engagement through surfacing government data.

What do businesses really look for in open data?

Businesses would prefer external data to be published under a genuinely open licence. The data is free for commercial use with no restrictions other than the requirement to share alike or to attribute the data to the publisher. However, if businesses are building new products or services, or relying on the data to inform their strategy, a number of characteristics other than just openness become critical in determining success.

In Mexico, open government includes social justice, press freedom, and innovation

In countries with enduring corruption issues, powerful organized crime, and press freedoms under threat, the idea of delivering a more open, effective government through technology is neither an abstraction nor a distraction; it's a necessity for improving public trust, upholding justice, increasing access to information, and securing international investment. The Presidency of Mexico's national digital strategy coordinator, Alejandra Lagunes, speaks about the country's plan for open government and digital innovation.

Open Data Hackathon, December 12-14, Brașov, Colina Universității Transilvania in Brașov

The coalition for open data will organize in Brasov the first programming marathon using open data, provided by public institutions, by Brasov City Hall and by the government platform data.gov.ro. The Open Data coalition is a platform that brings together 20 non-governmental organizations and individuals that promote the use of open data in Romania.

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