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A “World First”: France's Data.Gouv.Fr Opens Platform To Citizen Submissions

BY Jessica McKenzie | Tuesday, January 7 2014

Data.Gouv.Fr is an open book, and you can help write it. (Flickr/muffin9101985)

The French task force for open government data, Etalab, launched the new open data platform in December, one that is open to submissions from anyone. This marks “a world first for a government open data portal,” write Rayna Stamboliyska and Pierre Chrzanowski, of Open Knowledge Foundation France.

Now data.gouv.fr hosts both official, “certified” data as well as data from NGOs and local authorities. The platform also promotes the high quality, not the quantity, of their datasets, like widest geographical representation and highest granularity. (Remember when Australia cleaned up their open data site and lost more than half of their datasets?)

Data.gouv.fr was built using CKAN, open source software developed under the oversight of the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Stamboliyska and Chrzanowski note that they are still waiting on the release of some crucial public sector data:

Given this new version of data.gouv.fr, it is now up to the producers and re-users of public sector data to demonstrate the potential of Open Data. This potential can only be fully met with the release of fundamental public sector data as a founding principle for our society. Thus, we are still awaiting for the opening of business registers, detailed expenditures as well as non-personal data on prescriptions issued by healthcare providers.

Cheers to progress, and let's hope for some more in 2014.

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