What is Open Data?

Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike. The complete definition of Open contains precise details about the meaning, but in summary, the following are the most important features:

  • Availability and Access : the data must be fully available and at a reasonable reproduction cost, preferably downloadable for free on the Internet.
  • Reuse and Redistribution : the data must be provided under terms that permits reuse to make products, combine with other sources of information, and distribute them for free.
  • Universal participation : anyone can use, reuse and redistribute without restriction in the scope of the data. For example you can not use restrictions as "non-commercial" that prevent commercial use, or restrictions as "educational only", which imposes restrictions on use for certain purposes. 
  • No technological constraint : there must be no technological barrier to access, reuse and redistribute. This is possible as the data published in open formats. Note: Open format is a format whose specification is publicly available and free of charge, also for use must not impose restrictions of monetary or other.

 

Open Data is a rapidly growing movement worldwide, spurred by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) initiative (http://www.opengovpartnership.org/), which has already seen over 50 countries as signatories to the principles and action plans of the Open Government charter. The English –Speaking Caribbean is expected to become an active part of this global community in the near future. The Caribbean Open Data conference will be an annual event, and has become the signature activity in the increasing momentum and importance of the Open Data movement in the Caribbean, as a driver of greater public sector transparency, improved service delivery andopen participative innovation.

The conference will also become an important contributor to the ongoing growth and maturation of the local and regional software developer community as a locus of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. Developers and other civil society collaorators have the ability to use Open Data to create services for the public interest and / or the Government. Thus, releasing Open Data will enable the Governments of the region to strengthen their role as a provider of information, thus providing a catalyst for civil society to generate new and innovative services from the reuse of available open data.

For more information, articles, videos, websites, catalogs, and Open Data related organizations, we invite you to visit our resources page open data.