Yesterday saw the Frisian Open Data Platform go live. Initiated by the Province Fryslân, the City of Leeuwarden (the province’s capital), and the regional historic center and archive Tresoar it is a unique collaborative effort in the Netherlands. The Province initially proposed to create the platform, based on the notion that open data is more useful if it is available from local governments across the region, and seeking to avoid every local government needing to create their own infrastructure for publishing (especially an issue with smaller municipalities), and that creating a single point to search for regional and local data makes it more likely that data will be used. The Province invites all other Frisian government entities to participate in the platform.
Screenshot of the portal
Data can be hosted in the platform (the Province does this, but also very useful for smaller entities), but those that want to maintain their own infrastructure or already do can also use it as a register and increase findability that way (e.g. Tresoar has been publishing a lot of material, also in the form of linked data for a long time already).
The platform was launched during Connect.FRL, a conference bringing IT employers and students together to try and keep more talent in the region. There all three initiators presented themselves together and also provided insight how they currently use data internally.
The launch coincides with a challenge for students and others to solve a specific riddle with the now published data, to suggest a concept of how the data can be used, and to create a prototype.
I’ve been working with the City of Leeuwarden in 2012, as well as with the Province in the past 2 years. Employees of Tresoar attended our Mastercourse open data last year, initiated by the National Archives. All that combines now in together delivering this platform. It is especially great to note how currently there is palpable energy within all three participants to move this forward. In the coming time we will work to bring more participants to the table, expand the data on offer, and further align open data efforts in the region.