There are a lot of Government Web sites that have made the data that they collect and compile freely available to the public. The licenses that data has been released under are described on the following Pages:
ODC Public Domain Dedication and License (PDDL)
Open Data Commons Open Database License (ODbL)
Open Data Commons Attribution License
If you are considering starting a project using that kind of data, you should read the Open Data Handbook, which provides a lot in the way of details, and much more information is available on Data.gov, including a broad overview of different types of topics that data is available about, including:
- Local Government,
- Public Safety,
- Science & Research.
There’s some interesting discussion of Licensing, the openness of data, and attribution in a blog post from the Open Knowledge Blog, titled Open Data: Openness and Licensing.
There’s a lot more information available than just that from the federal government (Read about the Open Government Initiative). I found data streaming out of:
NYC Open Data – 1,200+ Data sets available.
Open Data Cincinnati – using “government data to encourage transparency, innovation & civic engagement.”
Open NASA.gov – Following the White House Mandate to “Set Data Free”
Million Song DataBase
Open Data Philly
The World Bank
Here are some examples of apps and websites made from Open Data:
- An Interactive Visualization of NYC Street Trees
- Cincy Steps Historical Landmark Mobile App
- Skywatch – An API for the Universe
- World Justice Project (WJP) Open Government Index
- Open Street Map
- Human Genome Project
- Walkshed Philadelphia
- Baltimore Fixed Speed Cameras
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that data from some of these Open Data Commons sources are used to power sites that you may be familiar with. See, for example: Google uses MusicBrainz data in some of its searches!
Added: April 27th, 2005
I had written to a few agencies to see if they could provide more information about their usage of Open Data, and had any words to offer people to encourage them to create with the data government was making available. Rebecca Williams, Senior Engagement Liaison at Data.gov sent me a response, pointing me to the pages at Project Open Data about Open Licenses which describes the obligations of government workers to offer licenses to people to use Open Data. The page is very informative, and if you want some insight into the feelings and beliefs in which Open Data is shared, it is very informative. Thank you for sharing, Rebecca!