Power of open data reveals global corporate networks

Open Data Institute: “The ODI today welcomed the move by OpenCorporates to release open data visualisations which show the global corporate networks of millions of businesses and the power of open data.
See the Maps
OpenCorporates, a company based at the ODI, has produced visuals using several sources, which it has published as open data for the first time:

  • Filings made by large domestic and foreign companies to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Banking data held by the National Information Center of the Federal Reserve System in the U.S.
  • Information about individual shareholders published by the official New Zealand corporate registry

Launched today, the visualisations are available through the main OpenCorporates website.”

How Open Data Can Fight Climate Change

New blog post by Joel Gurin, Founder and Editor, OpenDataNow.com: When people point to the value of Open Data from government, they often cite the importance of weather data from NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That data has given us the Weather Channel, more accurate forecasts, and a number of weather-based companies. But the most impressive – and one of the best advertisements for government Open Data – may well be The Climate Corporation, headquartered in San Francisco.
Founded in 2006 under the name WeatherBill, The Climate Corporation was started to sell a better kind of weather insurance. But it’s grown into a company that could help farmers around the world plan around climate change, increase their crop yields, and become part of a new green revolution.
The company’s work is especially relevant in light of President Obama’s speech yesterday on new plans to fight climate change. We know that whatever we do to reduce carbon emissions now, we’ll still need to deal with changes that are already irreversible. The Climate Corporation’s work can be part of that solution…
The company has developed a new service, Climate.com, that is free to policyholders and available to others for a fee….
Their work may become part of a global Green Revolution 2.0. The U.S. Government’s satellite data doesn’t stop at the border: It covers the entire planet.  The Climate Corporation is now looking for ways to apply its work internationally, probably starting with Australia, which has relevant data of its own.
Start with insurance sales, end up by changing the world. The power of Open Data has never been clearer.”

'Wiki' style government policymaking means everyone is a lobbyist

Robert Halfon MP is a member of the  UK Commons Public Administration Committee (PASC) in the Guardian: “We need to end phoney consultation in policymaking – and stop trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to implementation… Another week, another lobbying scandal. But what if the government found a way to really listen to all its citizens, to genuinely involve the public in policy making? So that it would no longer be an issue of who has the government’s ear – because everyone would?
A report published by the Public Administration Select Committee, which I sit on, calls on government to adopt an open, “wiki” style approach to policy making, where public opinion, ideas and contributions are sought and welcome at any and all stages of the policy cycle. This kind of genuine public engagement would contrast sharply with the status quo: tokenistic exercises in phoney consultation about issues that have already been decided.
We all welcome the government’s moves towards more digital engagement, but what our committee really wants to see is more direct, real public involvement in policy making, whether that is via the internet or other means. The most important point is that government treats public engagement as a serious part of policy-making. That will mean communicating and engaging in ways that are tailored to every audience, in new and more traditional ways. This is not just a time or cost-saving exercise, although using existing and new technology and media well should bring those benefits. This is about making better policy. To those who say it can’t be done, our report contains examples from New Zealand, the US and even as far afield as Redbridge councilshowing that if there is real will, crowd sourcing of policy and real public engagement can be possible…
We have moved from being subjects to citizens to active open-source citizens – and yet our policy making does not recognise this. The public no longer want to be handed out policy like tablets of stone from Mount Sinai. In fact they want to go up the mountain with Moses. However, they have to be able to believe that their input can make a real difference. Genuine engagement means ensuring that a good proportion of the public actually participate in open policy-making. Although this will be a challenge for government to achieve, without it there’s little point.”

Quarter of time online is spent on social networking

Experian: “Insights from Experian, the global information services company, reveals that if the time spent on the Internet was distilled into an hour then a quarter of it would be spent on social networking and forums across UK, US and Australia. In the UK 13 minutes out of every hour online is spent on social networking and forums, nine minutes on entertainment sites and six minutes shopping.”
Social Networking table