Open Data: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

An explanation of open data, why it's important and how you can do it yourself.

by / March 17, 2014
Volunteers hold signs guiding people to the location of lunchtime food trucks at the Sunlight Foundation's TransparencyCamp 2013, a camp focusing on open data and transparent government efforts. Flickr/The Sunlight Foundation

Open Data Resources

California Open Data Handbook: This is a guide published by the Stewards of Change Institute that explains what open data is, why it's important and the technical nuances behind opening it up.

Sunlight Foundation, Open Data Guidelines: The Sunlight Foundation is a well-known open data advocate. These guidelines offer advice and best practices for governments that want to start an open data project.

Open Data Institute: In Europe and across the globe the ODI is making waves by linking open data with businesses and organizations. The organization offers tools, tips and classes on open data use in addition to certification of open data types.

The Data Transparency Coalition: A transparency lobbying group that has been working with legislators in Washington D.C. and has a website explaining and monitoring the issues around open data.

Open Data Definition: Want examples of "open" licenses that can be added to your data? This site has a collection of licenses for reference and use.

Jason Shueh former staff writer

Jason Shueh is a former staff writer for Government Technology magazine.