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Open Data Management – Key to Open Data Utility

Open data is wonderful. But we must do more than simply make data available and place it on an FTP site. To make open data truly useful, we need a number of things which are not evident in most open data programs today.

The first component of open data management is open data models. The model on which any piece of data is based should be quick to determine, and using encodings like OGC/ISO Geography Markup Language in conjunction with OGC CSW-ebRIM can make this easy. In addition, we need these models to be based on open standard dictionaries of object and concept types. Without these two items the open data consumer will spent too much time figuring out what the data means, and whether it is suited for their purpose or not. Also, without standard encodings rooted in open standard models, data integration at the consumer’s site will be almost impossible. Providing a practical description of open data semantics is essential to the consumption and effective use of open data.

A second component of open data management is governance. Consumers need to know the state of the data they are consuming. They will want to look at an audit trail for its development and see who maintains it and how often it is updated.

A third component of open data management is notification and automated distribution on a publication-subscription basis. It is great that a municipality makes its data available on an FTP site or through a web service, but not so great that the consumer has to keep going to the site or service and continually checking to see if anything has changed. Consumers need automated notification of any data changes, as well as dynamic data delivery based on a their subscription. This should require no action on the part of the data provider or the data consumer.

Modern Registry technology can provide all three of these features and more, and it is the ideal companion to open data initiatives. A description of the Galdos INdicio Registry Platform can be found at http://www.galdosinc.com/products/indicio-registry-platform, and more information about the benefits of using Registries can be found in the series of articles on “Registries – Beyond Databases” that begins with http://www.galdosinc.com/archives/Registries—Beyond-Databases-Part-1—A-Better-Place-to-Start.