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lecture: Open Source as part of an Open Data initiative.

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In 2011, the New Zealand Government released the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, a directive to government agencies to establish open data programmes to enable data reuse, for the wider benefit of New Zealand.


This presentation discusses one environmental research agency's approach to providing
open data that is not just accessible, but genuinely reusable.


Early feedback regarding the programme was positive - but there was a frequent question. Many potential users of open data have had no GIS background, and wanted help in finding tools, and training in the use of those tools to actually make use of the data.


In answering this question, it became apparent that a genuinely successful open data programme has three components, with far too many such programmes stopping at the first:



  1. Discoverable, accessible metadata and data;

  2. Effective, available and affordable tools to work with the data, and;

  3. Affordable training for interested users in the use of the tools with the data.


This presentation discusses this three pronged approach to an open data programme, actively enhancing and making use of open source and open standards to provide usable open data. One outcome of this programme is presented as “The Democratisation of GIS”, where open Source GIS tools are enabling GIS to become as pervasive as an office suite or web browser on a personal computer.