The Open Knowledge Foundation has been working for some time on promoting knowledge ‘which anyone is free to use, re-use and redistribute without legal, social or technological restriction‘. (The comprehensive definition of Open Knowledge is also interesting as it makes explicit reference to ‘government and other administrative information’.
As part of their work, OKF have developed a tool to package up information resources in a model which will be familiar to anyone working with open source packages and languages such as Perl. This tool, the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network, now includes packages for some of the information that has been released as part of the Task Force’s work.
As more data is released into the public domain, signposting it in smart ways will become increasingly important. Getting to the right data and being offered clear information about its technical and legal characteristics is a critical part of a sound access layer. While these are still early days for CKAN this does look like a promising approach.
Richard Allan, Task Force Chair