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Open data and open government data: what they are

There is a big buzz around open data today, but for the non-experts it remains an abstract concept.
Let us try to clarify the things by referring to the most universally recognised definition. The home page of the Open Definition project (managed by the Open Knowledge Foundation) contains the following:

“Open means anyone can freely access, use, modify, and share for any purpose (subject, at most, to requirements that preserve provenance and openness).”

The site exposes also a full definition for those who want to know more about that.

And what about open government data? Open Definition is once again helping us:

“Open”” as defined above, in essence material (data) is open if it can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone, produced or commissioned by government or government controlled entities.

As we can see, open government data are a subset of open data.



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