Geothink&Learn 4: The Open Data Standards Directory

Geothink and the Center for Government Excellence (GovEx) at Johns Hopkins University launched a first-of-its-kind Open Data Standards Directory that identifies and assembles standards for open data shared by governments.

In many ways, a precondition to realizing the promise of open government data is the standardization of that open data. Open data standards ensure interoperability, establish benchmarks in assessing whether governments achieve their goals in publishing open data, and can better ensure accuracy of the data. Interoperability enables the use of off-the shelf software and can make it easier for third party developers to create one product that serves multiple locales. Our project aims to determine which standards for civic data are best to open up government data. We built an inventory of data standards and identified a set of metrics to evaluate those standards. Our goal is to inform civic open data providers about which standards to choose prior to implement and deter providers from standards that lock in users.

The Open Data Standards Directory can be found here: https://datastandards.directory/

Join us on Wednesday, December 20 at 12:00 (EST) as Geothink.ca will host its fourth Geothink&Learn video conference session on the directory. It will highlight Geothink’s unique interdisciplinary perspective and include a myriad of ideas from our faculty, students and partners.

The convener of this session will be Geothink Head Renee Sieber, an associate professor in McGill University’s Department of Geography and School of Environment. Speakers will include Rachel Bloom, a project manager of Open Smart Cities in Canada at OpenNorth; Andrew Nicklin, GovEx Director of Data Practices; Nicolas Levy, a McGill University undergraduate student in Urban Systems and Geographic Information Science (GIS); and, Julia Conzon, who will join Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) as a Data Statistical Analysis Officer in January 2018.

A question and answer session will follow after presentations have concluded. Our four panelists will briefly introduce their role in the project and then reflect on the the launch of the Open Data Standards Directory.

Download a PDF of this event to share.

When:
Wednesday, December 20, 2017 at 12:00 PM

Where:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_G3LxrpzxQAaikBMsaox9ZQ

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Convener:
Renee Sieber

Moderator:
Drew Bush

Panelists:

Renee Sieber: Open data standards ensure interoperability and reusability, establish benchmarks in assessing whether governments achieve their goals in publishing open data, and better ensure accuracy of the data. In many ways, a precondition to realizing the promise of open government data is the standardization of that open data. In this webinar we will discuss what is required of standards and what constitutes good civic data standard.

 

Julia Conzon: As the site’s original developer, I will discuss the research we conducted to understand the site’s users’ needs as well as how we designed and developed the site to account for our findings.

 

 

Andrew Nicklin

Andrew Nicklin: Will talk about the genesis of the site and where it may go in the future.

 

 

 

Rachel Bloom: Will discuss what informed the creation of the directory’s set of metrics. In addition, she will discuss the challenges of communicating the value of open data standards and their attributes to stakeholders.

 

 

Nicholas Levy: If the Open Data Standards Directory hopes to grow through user contributions, a classification scheme must be devised to facilitate the querying of standards. A controlled vocabulary and a folksonomy are both considered for this purpose, but each comes with its own set of drawbacks.