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A brief history of open data

In December 2007, 30 open-data pioneers gathered in Sebastopol, Calif., and penned a set of eight open-government data principles that inaugurated a new era of democratic innovation and economic opportunity.

"The objective…was to find a simple way to express values that a bunch of us think are pretty common, and these are values about how the government could make its data available in a way that enables a wider range of people to help make the government function better," Harvard Law School Professor Larry Lessig said. "That means more transparency in what the government is doing and more opportunity for people to leverage government data to produce insights or other great business models."

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Imagine what big data can do for online learning

Big data has been eagerly embraced by the business world. Now it's time to look at how it can be used in education.

The term refers to the trails we leave behind every time we use a website. We're all familiar with sites such as Amazon suggesting that if we enjoyed one book, we might like another book on a similar topic. These recommendations are based on data collected from very large numbers of customers and as a rule work very well. It undoubtedly improves the shopping experience.

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MEPs must address 'wealth inequality', says Oxfam

Members of the European parliament are back in force, jostling for position and power. Where are the most exciting dossiers, what are the hot issues, how best to make a difference? Oxfam congratulates every parliamentarian for their place at the heart of Europe. MEPs do have power, they can take a position and they can make a difference in many areas of policy making. But above all they can make a difference in how citizens see Europe and how they see their place in Europe. Is the Europe we have, the Europe we want?

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Making it Matter: open data, education and the developing world

What real-world problems are there related to education in the developing world that could potentially be solved by open data and technology solutions?

How about: Insufficiently trained teachers, badly informed decision makers, lack of key data sets, the inferior quality of teaching resources and their poor discoverability, inadequate infrastructure meaning that education can rarely be carried out solely online…?

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What about Open Data? An Interview with Joel Gurin

Big Data is a big deal, but what about Open Data? That is, the idea that certain data should be freely available to everyone to use and republish as they wish, without restrictions from copyright, patents, or other mechanisms of control.

This is the subject of a new book, Open Data Now: The Secret to Hot Startups, Smart Investing, Savvy Marketing, and Fast Innovation (affiliate link) by Joel Gurin.

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