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WEEKLY OVERVIEW

Business Models That Take Advantage of Open Data Opportunities

At last week’s OKFestival in Berlin, Kat Borlongan and Chloé Bonnet from Parisian open data startup, Five By Five, moderated an interactive session to examine how startups are building viability using open data and open data APIs. The picture that emerged revealed a variety of composite approaches being used, with all those presenting having just one thing in common: a commitment to fostering ecosystems that will allow other startups to build alongside them.

Festival shows the promises and perils of open data

From science journals to research data, there is a movement towards setting data free for everyone to use. This was the main theme of this year's Open Knowledge Festival, discussed by scientists, activists, NGOs and law-makers. There have been many open data, activism and hacking conferences over the last few years, but the atmosphere of this one was electric. For once, people believed that they might actually succeed in changing the status quo.

Britain leads the open data revolution

In a recent report on the economic potential created by the concept of open data, it turns out that the UK government has been leading the world. Some previous work carried out by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that open data has the potential to increase output in the G20 economies by no less than $13 trillion over the next five years.

DC commits to transparency with FOIA portal and open data policies
Washington, D.C., took a big step on the road to government transparency. Mayor Vincent Gray announced a new online system for submitting and processing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to District government agencies. He also issued an executive order on transparency, open government and open data.

Advocates move to make open data more beneficial to citizens
Since the release of President Obama’s Open Government Initiative in late 2009, open data volumes have surged. But nearly five years later, open data advocates are saying it’s no longer enough to simply host the data — federal agencies now have to take the responsibility to ensure that citizens benefit from that reservoir of information.

Open data and crowd-funding can breathe new life into democracy
Democracy may be one of man’s greatest inventions, but it has suffered lately in many developed countries due to low citizen participation and general distrust of politicians and government institutions. The open data movement hopes to drive a new era of accountability and transparency in government, while new digital touchpoints enable more direct, real-time citizen participation.

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity
What matters more to New York City open data advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality and values: creating a transparent process of releasing the data, making the data machine-readable and prioritizing release of data sets in high demand. As preparations are underway for City Council hearings on the law, New York City's open data progress and challenges are both a model for and reflective of open data efforts across the country.

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