Open Knowledge Foundation launches Australian chapter | ZDNet
"The Open Knowledge Foundation (OKF) has launched an Australian Chapter to push for greater public access to data held by governments, businesses, and researchers. The organisation, founded in 2004, seeks to promote better governance, culture, research, and economies through greater access, redistribution, reuse, and openness of information. Speaking to ZDNet on the rationale behind the launch of an Australian chapter, OKF co-founder Dr Rufus Pollock said that a local open data community is required in order for governments and businesses to be persuaded to open their data. 'The real hope is that the chapters which have started up become leaders, and the communities they build become central in the open knowledge and open data movements in their countries, pushing to get information opened up,' he said. 'Also, that they do stuff with that data — create apps and insights — and bring people together.' Pollock likened the emergence of the open data movement to the environmental movement four decades ago, and argued that the issue of open data would become as mainstream an issue within politics as the environment has become. 'I think we are really seeing the beginning of an era,' he said. 'Just as we saw the emergence of the environmental movement in the 1970s ... we are at the beginning of the open movement for the information age. We are working to put open at the heart of the knowledge society.' According to Pollock, the benefits of opening up data across government, business, and science are already being realised, as seen in the mapping of the human genome and in new tools, such as Where Does My Money Go, which provides an analysis and visualisation of information about UK public spending. In the world of business, it is foreseeable that open databases on everything from mobile phone tariffs to food product ingredients to medication side effects would be created and shared, Pollock said ..."