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Open Data

An Introduction to Open Data Sources

What is Open Data?

According to the Open Data Handbook

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike.

It meets three criteria:

  • Availability and Access: the data must be available as a whole and at no more than a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably by downloading over the internet. The data must also be available in a convenient and modifiable form.
  • Re-use and Redistribution: the data must be provided under terms that permit re-use and redistribution including the intermixing with other datasets.
  • Universal Participation: everyone must be able to use, re-use and redistribute - there should be no discrimination against fields of endeavour or against persons or groups. For example, ‘non-commercial’ restrictions that would prevent ‘commercial’ use, or restrictions of use for certain purposes (e.g. only in education), are not allowed.

Open Data Handbook

Why Open Data is Important