Challenges for Open Data – India
Recently Carl Malamud who runs Public.Resource.Org and Sam Pitroda were in town to talk about Right to Information and Knowledge. I was asked to talk about Open Data Community in India. This post is my notes.
Intro: 1 Minute
I am Thejesh, I am one of the co-founder of DataMeet, Community of Open Data enthusiasts from India. We are like the stackoverflow for Open Data Community in India. I am talking here on behalf of community which includes individuals from public, private and not for profit sector.
Challenges for Open Data in India and what we are doing as a community.
Availability: 1 Minute
- There are three categories in this
- Available and usable – There are many data sets that are available and usable. Examples are Census, data.gov.in
- Available and not usable – There are datasets that are available but not usable, since they are not clean or machine readable format etc. We do hackathons to clean up the data, make them machine readable and share it wider community. For example BMTC dataset, Rajasthan Rainfall Data, BBMP Bills and Work order data, Indian Railways, State and District Boundaries, Assembly Constituency and Parliamentary Constituency boundaries etc
- Available and will vanish – There are datasets that are available today but may vanish very soon for various reasons. To avoid link rotting sometimes we do backup data for example India Rainfall Data and many other data sets. Community members have also been backing up Gazette of India, Jan Dhan Yojana etc
- Not Available – We do RTI, Generate from other datasets etc. One such is maps of India. DataMeet and other geo communities have created various maps based on data from various sources. One such is Indian Village Boundary Maps.
Community: 1 Minute
- DataMeet community has members from government, private and civic society
- We have an email list to help community
- Collect, Clean, Host Data
- We believe in Free Software and Open Source Software and Data.
- We host OpenDataCamp, Workshops etc
- We write letters, comment on RFCs etc
Privacy: 1 Minute
- Privacy vs. Open Data – A False Dichotomy
- Define/Discuss: What’s the balance?
- How government uses privacy to close the datasets (Customs data is an example)
- We try to help others when violations happen
End note: 1 Minute
I welcome you to join the email list and participate. We have only one rule – be nice. Some of the project links are below.