Why open data?

Easy, but legitimate and very important question. Here is a brief explenation in our words and wordy by examples from around the world.

Let’s start this article with an interesting insight into maybe first, but for sure very important data opening.


One example for all. In 1957 USA started to develop first version of GPS system for military purposes. They continued for almost 3 decades. Then, in connection with accidental shot down of Korean airlines flight 007 and killing 269 people in 1983, President Regan offered in the GPS system for all civilian commercial aircraft to improve air safety. Then in 2000 USA ended the purposeful degradation of the system because of Gulf War and overnight made it ten times more powerful for everyone. Not even 2 years from that companies like Tom Tom or Garmin started their thing. And how it end up? Would you get home without Waze?

Let’s get back to these days and take it from every possible angle and see examples of what open data does all around the world.

There are different areas where opening any type of data can have a great impact:

  • Increasing transparency of governments
  • Delivering new types of information to citizens
  • Enabling new types of business and job creation

United Kingdom

On Britain’s open data portal is published 47.097 datasets and 36.213 of them are with Open Government Licence. 425 applications are using at least one of the datasets. Their whole legislation and flooding warnings has its own API which for example resulted into application with is updated every 15 minutes on river levels.

United Kingdom transport

Almost every information possible to get from any type of transportation is published by Department of Transportation. Now it is more than 1.234 datasets only about transport. One very good example of job creation would be https://www.transportapi.com/. They make API from transport datasets. Their API is used by Heathrow airport, Ford, First Group.

United Kingdom’s TheyWorkForYou

Main goal is to bring people closer to governance, by easily reached information on every Member of Parliament and Lord. Just by entering city postal code you see who is your MP represantative. And all information sticks on the internet page, so everybody can see in just in few second how their MP voted, even 2 or 3 years ago. This helps to encourage every MP to stand fot his promises given to his voters and not just be part of parliamentary party and vote as somebody said. We need that in Czech republic.

Transparency portal in Brazil

It is working since 2004 and its purpose is to increase transparency regarding the spending of the state budget by brazilian government. In these days on average 900 000 unique visitors come to the site every month. And 3 other countries in South America embedded the same model for them self.


Up-To-Date address data from Denmark

Denmark institutions like Building and Dwelling Register, Cadastre, the Land Registry, the Central Business Register and the utilities sector decided to release for free all of their address data information. Small amount of money were charged by few institutions. But the important thing is that Denmark spent 2,6 million EUR between 2003 and 2009. In between 2005 and 2009 the economic benefits were 63 million EUR and in 2010 alone it was 1 million.