12 September 2006

Open Data: Past, Present and Future

Peter Murray-Rust has an interesting post on the concept of open data, its (short) history and its present status, with some good links. As he notes:

There seem to be several related threads:

* scientific data deemed to belong to the commons (e.g. the human genome)
* infrastructural data essential for scientific endeavour (e.g. GIS)
* data published in scientific articles which are factual and therefore not copyrightable
* data as opposed to software and therefore not covered by OS licenses and potentially capable of being misappropriated. (this is a very general idea)

He points out that "the current usages are sufficiently close that we should try to bring them together", a move that would help open data's future greatly.

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