The Power of Open Data

author: Florian Bauer, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP)
published: May 16, 2013,   recorded: April 2013,   views: 3424


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The world actually already has virtually all of the data it needs to manage the energy and climate transformation. However, this information is not currently accessible to those who need it most. Policy-makers lack the best data to support decisions, and investors and project developers cannot easily identify and exploit the best opportunities. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Information is scattered in silos – largely in “closed” databases at public, private and academic institutions around the world. Most institutions still share the traditional view that data is an asset. Thus, they also believe that holding data privately and restricting access to it actually creates value for the owner.
  2. Every human being and organisation naturally classifies and categorises things in a way that fits their own world view. This means that the information is not indexed or tagged consistently, and that there is no universal library-style catalogue or directory of the content that is (and is not) available.

Opening up and linking data (Open Data), and then categorising it automatically using consistent terms based on common thesauri ("controlled vocabularies") can help dissolve both of these barriers. Government data on everything from energy consumption to traffic, population and infrastructure is already in the public domain. Making it all available for public re-use is a first step that can unleash whole new waves of development. In parallel, using consistent terminology to classify all online resources - whether public or private - will improve collaboration between companies, across sectors and regions.

The presentation will:

  • explain why opening up data and increasing consistency in describing knowledge is essential for the energy transformation
  • give an overview on existing examples of beneficial (linked) open data cooperations,
  • show how terms based on common thesauri can help to increase consistency in describing and tagging documents
  • demonstrate how free and easy to integrate services (such as the reegle tagging API) can help to connect knowledge brokers

See Also:

Download slides icon Download slides: dataforum2013_bauer_open_data_01.pdf (3.0 MB)

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