Where next for open transport data in Europe?

19 October 2016  •  Author(s): Jonathan Raper, Board Member of the UK’s Department for Transport Transparency Board and CEO of TransportAPI

Where next for open transport data in Europe?

As transport data is consistently the most highly requested type of open data, here Jonathan Raper, Board Member of the UK’s Department for Transport Transparency Board and CEO of TransportAPI1, focuses on the progress that has been made in releasing open transport data in Europe and where the challenges to further progress lie.

The open data movement has gained significant traction around the world since public sector information re-use initiatives were revitalised by the open source movement in the middle of the last decade. Governments saw an opportunity to re-connect with electorates through transparency initiatives such as the data.gov website established by the Obama administration in 2009. In 2011 a group of eight governments founded the Open Government Partnership (OGP)2 and committed themselves to ‘pro-actively provide high-value information, including raw data, in a timely manner, in formats that the public can easily locate, understand and use, and in formats that facilitate reuse’ (OGP Declaration). The EU created the EU Open Data Portal3 in 2012 to release data held by EU institutions and has also driven data releases through Directives such as INSPIRE for environmental data. In 2013 the G8 nations signed the Open Data Charter including an expectation that all government data would be published openly by default. The Global Open Data Index4 created by the Open Knowledge Foundation tracks progress in the releases of open data around the world.

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