DrupalCon 2011 Chicago BoF notes

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DrupalCon 2011 Chicago
BOF on Open Data

Who's here?
Kris Olafson, University of Waterloo, helping student developers
Kurt Voelker, CTO of ForumOne, working with NPTech, $1M from Goog
Colan Schwartz (colan), Canadian Gov, buyandsell.gc.ca
Daniel Abadie, in charge of open data init, buenos aires
Bret Husbands, FirmStep, works with 1/3 of UK city govs
Larry Hugg, Sleight of Hand Studios
Anne Keane, NOAA
Alan Palazzolo, Code for America
Barrett Smith, SRA
Craig Grabow, Semantic Roots, semweb tech
Joe Pringle, ForumOne, open data strat with USDA, others
Daniele Degano, EvolvingWeb open data initiative with Montreal
Hanno Lans, works with Dutch parliament
Nicolas Vevier, WEF
Rosy Mondardini
Noneck, no clue :) NYSenate.gov drupal wizard
Chach Sikes, code4america fellow
David Eads, DoE
JR Logan, United Way, here to learn
Dave Cole, with Dev Seed
Eric Gundersen DevSeed
Kevin O'Brien, at Kiva
Sheldon Rampton, also NYSenate
Ryan Blair, NY Senate
Rodolfo Milos, WEF
Andrew Hoppin, Civic Commons, World Bank, NASA, every freaking one

[Brian presented a pre-written item:]
Attributes of an Open Public Data Warehouse

  1. Structured way to store and access raw data sets, queryable by name, time, or text search
  2. Catalog links to other data hosted elsewhere
  3. Easy to set up (system image, ideally) and zero to running with no Drupal et al experience.
  4. Feeds/Services: Provides JSON and RDF interfaces to all data, R data sets, and rsync? API key provisioning/mgmt
  5. Apps built can discover new data – when 2011 data is added, apps built to look at 2009 and 2010 will see 2011 without modification
  6. Tools to make it easy for novices to upload the data as e.g. csv or excel
  7. Tools for data admins – librarians – to sort and restructure
  8. Tools for any user to comment, provide scripts for processing, or mark to be notified of updates
  9. Tools for any user to propose fixes to the data, a la github/versioning
  10. Tools for simple visualizations – a sort of standard plugin model

Examples of such sites?
National Data Catalog (list of pointers)
Data.gov (has the data sets, with URLs and some viz)
Fed IT Dashboard builds on top of data.gov
Socrata (protocols to build visualizations against)

Is Drupal an appropriate platform for building this?
Examples on Drupal?
Canadian data catalog
data.gov.uk, but not data catalog
city of portland, civicapps
data.ed.gov, grant data
see if there's examples from the science drupal community

General comments:
Eric: important that the system you're using can manage data through
Make sure you don't use something that is not NoSQL, but might depend on the nature of the data.

Noel: do we come up with software/distro, or are we coming up with best practices and ideas?

Where is the open data community that we could talk about this?
W3c Open Data working group

Proposal: open data Drupal group (yay)
Start a thread for each of the items up top
Homework: write case studies, examples from our own work
Andrew: let's put a stake in the ground that we're going to have a project.
Federated data sites using the same approach?
What's the tightest, streamlined initiative we could do?
Devil's Advocate: are we calling it “open” when it doesn't need to be?
Look to the GIS community, the OpenGIS community in particular, they've solved a lot of the issues regarding provenance of data, distribution, proper metadata
Turn to the international aid/development community, from the Open Knowledge Foundation based in the UK(?)

Create a Drupal group to continue the conversation. [Noel]