Aberdeen launches open data hub

A hub designed to develop learning in open data has been launched in Aberdeen in what is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Aberdeen has been announced as home to the latest Open Data Institute (ODI) ‘node’, joining a list of cities that includes the likes of Chicago, Paris and Dubai.

The node will seek to share insight on open data across the public, private and third sector as well as well as support open data projects and communities.

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The ODI was co-founded by Professor Sir Tim Berners-Lee – best known as the inventor of the world wide web – in 2012.

It is a non-for-profit organisation set up to promote open data, that is data which is publicly available for anyone to access, use or share.

ODI Aberdeen will be hosted by Code The City, a civic hacking initiative which has been up and running in the Granite City since last year.

Code The City trustee Ian Watt said: “We intend to run networking events to bring partners together, to provide learning opportunities, to disseminate best practice and to run talks and events as well.

“It is about improving on the work that is already being done and building on that. The node provides a resource and support for those who want to start or want to improve on what they are doing with open data at the moment.

“The ODI’s remit for nodes is that we do collaborate and share with one another so if we develop best practice in Aberdeen we can share it with the likes of Chicago and vice versa.”

The Scottish Government launched its Open Data Strategy earlier this year with an ambition for all public authorities to make data available online with an open license in a machine-readable format by 2017.

The strategy encouraged all organisations to have an open data publication plan in place and published online by the end of this year.

“As the only node in Scotland, we’re not restricted to work in Aberdeen,” added Watt, who also works as digital transformation manager at Aberdeen City Council

“We’re obviously keen to remain local in terms of keeping best practice going here but we see our role – for the moment – much more across Scotland in terms of pushing for the provision of more open data, at the highest standard,  as a central platform for service improvement.”

Colin Marrs

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