The attention to make data available in machine-readable formats is something that is addressed in more articles related to open data for better proliferation. The Swedish government is proposing a bill for better reuse of public transportation data trough machine-readable format and we have addressed the importance of machine-readable format in a article about liquid open data. What is often not mentioned is the importance of metadata in regards to machine-readable formats to augment use and reuse of data. Therefore, we want to give our perspective on why metadata are an indistinguishable part of open data and machine-readable formats. Continue reading “Machine-readable in open data context”
The Swedish transport administration authority Trafikverket, offering several open data services. One of these is the API for traffic information, which contains data and information for nation-wide train and road traffic. The API began as a information service for train, which was later on expanded to include road data. Our reviews of open APIs are part of an effort to highlight barriers and requirements from a user perspective. We hope that the reviews providing constructive feedback to the data owners, and inspire others by showing examples and solutions. Read more about the background to why we are reviewing open APIs and open data sources.
Continue reading “Review of Trafikverket API for traffic information”
Västtrafik handles and coordinate all public transport in west Sweden with the city of Gothenburg as its main transit hub. Västtrafik offers several APIs to search and plan journeys by train, tram, ferries and bus in West Sweden. The API can be found at Västtrafiks development portal (in Swedish), which serves as a focal point for their open API service. The aim of our reviews of open API:s is to shed light on common obstacles and requirements from a user perspective. Note that the portal around the API is in Swedish, but the documentation and the API syntax is in English. The review will try to guide user with no knowledge in Swedish on how to get started. Continue reading “Review of Västtrafik API for public transport”
Open data is undergoing a paradigm change where the focus is shifting to user demand driven publication of data in machine-readable formats, with open standards and licenses that is appropriate for its application area. This is often refereed to as “liquid information” or “liquid data” which can be read about in this report from McKinsey’s 2013. The report address the potential value that can be achieved if standards, formats and metadata are functional for its intended use. Open data 2.0 is another emerging term which refers to data that is being made available based on demand and provides means for participation and collaboration, where users can report suggestions for improvement and provide feedback on flawed data. Continue reading “User demand driven and machine-readable open data”
For the data to be put to use, there are several common obstacles that needs to be mediated. Previous article explained the affect of deficient metadata and choice of formats that makes data more inaccessible in regards to machine readability. Still data are being published today which raise barriers and impedes usability instead of the opposite. A swift overview of the registered datasets on the Swedish national portal for open data Öppnadata.se (similar to data.gov), shows that the most common format is ZIP. This format is one of the worst in regard to metadata and machine readability. Which shows that open data owners and providers in Sweden at least, don’t follow good practice and principles concerning putting data on the web. Continue reading “The Swedish national open data portal drops in ranking”
People working with data knows the importance of metadata for its usefulness. Metadata are needed to describe characteristics of data, such as whom and when it was created. Still there are data that are published without sufficient description of its characteristics, which will limit the use and affect user trust. It seems that owners and providers of open data are not taking the usability perspective and focusing more on publish data regardless if metadata is complete or insufficient. Continue reading “Metadata and the implication of data format choice”
We are currently working on evaluating the API for public transportation data and journey planing in the Gothenburg and west-coast area of Sweden. We used the API client Postman to access the transportation data. The current guide for the API portal is only in Swedish and we stumbled upon some problem setting up the OAuth 2.0 authentication. Which is why we thought of sharing how to configure the authentication, so you can start exploring the data. Continue reading “Postman OAuth 2.0 guide for Västtrafik API”
Previous article described various obstacles commonly related to service development based on open data. Obstacle is the first dimension of a model intended to gather and categories problems related to third-party development based on open data. The second dimension of the model concerns different phases that third-party developers goes through when creating services. Continue reading “Development phases for building services on open data”
Studies carried out by Viktoria Swedish ICT, on behalf of the Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) shows that service development based on open data are consistent with various obstacles. To better understand problems related to the use of open data when developing services, a project was initiated 2014 to explore how owners and providers of open data could create better value for service developers. The premise for the project was to view open data as a service and study what created value for third-party developers. The reason for the focuses on third-party developer is that they portray a heterogeneous user group with a wide array of incentives for using open data. Continue reading “Common obstacles related to service development based on open data”
For third-party developer to be effective in their work creating product and services that uses open data. The providing organisation of data must provide value generating mechanism that facilitate and support their effort. One recent study done by Viktoria Swedish ICT in collaboration with the Swedish Transport Administration (STA), investigated which mechanism that third-party developers values when drafting services that uses open data.
The study conducted in-depth interviews with enterprises and individuals that uses traffic information from STA and has developed a embryo for a model that points-out process and principals that are important to support third-party developer working with open data. The value generating mechanism that emerged during the interviews with third-party developers related with supporting functions that are common in a service-provider and consumer relationship. These are documentation, customer support and relation etcetera. Other supporting mechanism are more specific and concerns data format and level of data resolution that third-party developer need to handle when working with API:s and web services. One of the findings in the study was that although open data is per definition free service doesn’t change the fact that customers need support from the service-provider.
Future post will in detail explain each value generating mechanism more in detail. The list below show the mechanism that emerged from the study, notice that list can change since this is ongoing research.
- Data format
- Data resolution
- Refinement of service content
- Support and documentation
- Customer care and partnership
- Openness and transparency