Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Activity Proposal: eGovernment Activity (March 2011)


Activity Proposal: eGovernment Activity (March 2011)

This Activity Proposal is public.
This Activity Proposal restarts and expands the eGovernment Activity. As before, this Activity includes the eGovernment Interest Group, which functions as a wide bridge between W3C and people involved with governments around the world. This time the Activity also include a Working Group chartered to document best practices and establish standards needed for successful deployment of Linked Data by governments.
This activity proposal extends the eGovernment Activity for two years until 31 May 2013. At that point, if it provides ongoing value, it may be renewed again.
The current climate is extremely favorable to this work. When W3C began to move into this space, with our 2007 workshop Toward More Transparent Government, "transparency" (via web technology) and "open government" and "government data" were fringe terms; now they have moved into the mainstream. As of this writing, CTIC, the W3C office in Spain, has identified 86 different government data catalog sites, around the world. While this is very encouraging, a great deal of work remains in making good on the promises of Web technology to materially help citizens around the world. This activity will take next steps toward that goal.

MetadataFlask project

MetadataFlask project

The objective of this project is to provide tools for supporting the 
process of finding, collaborating and working with metadata for 
an open and linked-data web.

The first subproject is the Open Data Directory, which is a search 
engine for open data sets published by governments, private companies and other organizations.


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Open Data Directory API details published

posted Apr 9, 2011 3:48 PM by Ricardo Cabral
Instructions for using the Open Data Directory API are now available.

More sources added to the Open Data Directory (now indexing +20K datasets)

posted Apr 9, 2011 2:49 PM by Ricardo Cabral
Datasets from the following sources were added to the Open Data Directory last week. We now index 
over 20 thousand. Check out our stats page.

 Canada Gov
 World Bank
 Paris Data
 European Commission Eurostat
 United Nations Data
 London Gov
 Gapminder Data
 Australia Gov
 New York City Data
 Sweden Open Gov

New dataset sources for the Open Data Directory

posted Mar 27, 2011 7:36 AM by Ricardo Cabral
The Open Data Directory is now indexing datasets from the following websites on a weekly basis:

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

CNN: How to make data look sexy

How to make data look sexy

From Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg, for CNN
April 19, 2011 -- Updated 0833 GMT (1633 HKT)

  • Key the making a good graph or chart is to tell a story
  • New techniques in design and web development that make data more engaging
  • Putting emotion into data visualization is not a sin
Editor's note: Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenberg are 
leaders of Google's 'Big Picture' project and pioneers in data visualization.
(CNN) -- We all know what makes a good graph or chart. It
should be a clear, precise presentation of the data. Right?
That was certainly the conventional wisdom of the 20th
century. Psychologists such as William Cleveland ran experiments
to rank chart attributes such as position, area, angle, and color
by how precisely we perceive them.
Others wrote papers proving that animation was distracting
and unhelpful to comprehension. Edward Tufte proposed
maximizing a "data-to-ink ratio," ushering in an era of
bare-bones chart design.
The single-minded pursuit of clarity and precision led to designs
that were, sure enough, clear and precise. Grid lines receded discreetly into the background; Tufte's beloved beiges and tans became standard recommendations.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Welcome to the Virtual Statistical System!

The VSS is an online resource for national statistical offices, other data producing agencies, data users, including policy makers, academics, students, or anyone who wants to know more about official statistics.  Users can access the information directly, and through links to other resources. The VSS provides in-depth information on how effective statistical systems/organizations operate and the essential knowledge prerequisites of official statisticians working in these organizations. The VSS also provides a knowledge exchange for users of statistics as well as access to multiple eLearning training modules.
The site's information is organized under Activities and Themes.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Google Data Viz Challenge: Visualize Your Taxes

Google Data Viz Challenge: Visualize Your Taxes

Google has partnered with Eyebeam to sponsor the Data Viz Challenge: Visualize Your Taxes using data provided  I really like the data viz styles used as a font, similar to the Goole Doodles.
Every year, Americans fill out income tax forms and make a payment to the IRS. It’s an important civic duty, but it is also a lot of money. Where does it all go? Using data provided by, we challenge you to create a data visualization that will make it easier for U.S. citizens to understand how the government spends our tax money.
The Prize: $10,000 in prizes with $5,000 for the top entry.  Winning entries will featured on website, the Official Google and Fast Company’s design blog, Co.Design.
The Deadline: Submit your entries by midnight of March 27, 2011. Finalists will be announced the week of April 11, and winners will be publicly announced on Tax Day (April 18, 2011). 
Participants must be residents of the U.S., which is an issue for many would-be designers.