Article: Open Data: A History

History, Open Data

Open Data: A History

his term “open data” is becoming increasingly commonplace. That’s what Data.gov is all about. But what is open data? A new article in the Paris Tech Review offers a snapshot of how open data was born, its evolving purpose, and how it can make a difference in all our lives. “Open data” did not come out of thin air, and it’s interesting to discover its rich context.

While the term “open data” isn’t even 20 years old, the author puts the concept in a historical context; the idea that scientific research should be free to all was popularized by Robert King Merton in the early 1940s. Research (which produces data) should be shared freely for the common good.

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Article: A brief history of Open Data

History, Open Data

A brief history of Open Data

Data is currently in the spotlight, be it open data or big data. It is important to consider these two types separately, even if they share a common object: data. Big data focuses primarily on the possibilities offered by exploiting a volume of data in exponential growth.

Whereas with open data, the creation of value depends on the ability to share data, to make it available to third parties, rather than on sheer volume. Open data responds to a set of technical, economic and legal criteria: it must be freely available online, under a format that allows re-use.

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