Why the Open Definition Matters for Open Data: Quality, Compatibility and Simplicity

Rufus Pollock at Open Knowledge: “The Open Definition performs an essential function as a “standard”, ensuring that when you say “open data” and I say “open data” we both mean the same thing. This standardization, in turn, ensures the quality, compatibility and simplicity essential to realizing one of the main practical benefits of “openness”: the greatly increased ability to combine different datasets together to drive innovation, insight and change. …
However, these benefits are at significant risk both from quality-dilution and “open-washing”” (non-open data being passed off as open) as well as from fragmentation of the ecosystem as the proliferation of open licenses each with their own slightly different terms and conditions leads to incompatibility. The Open Definition helps eliminates these risks and ensure we realize the full benefits of open. It acts as the “gold standard” for open content and data guaranteeing quality and preventing incompatibility. This post explores in more detail why it’s important to have the Open Definition and the clear standard it provides for what “open” means in open data and open content…”

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