Open Knowledge Foundation

Data Journalism Handbook to launch under CC BY-SA

Jane Park, April 26th, 2012

This Saturday’s International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy will unveil a months-long collaborative effort — the Data Journalism Handbook, a free, CC BY-SA licensed book to help journalists find and use data for better news reporting.

Open data
Data Journalism Handbook – Cover Mockup / jwyg / CC BY-SA

A joint initiative of the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation, the collaborative book effort was kicked off at the 2011 Mozilla Festival: Media, Freedom and the Web — which gathered reporters, data journalism practitioners, advocates, and journalism and related organizations from around the globe. Over three days, participants researched, wrote, and edited chapters of the handbook. Contributors include the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC, the Chicago Tribune, Deutsche Welle, the Guardian, the Financial Times, La Nacion, The New York Times, ProPublica, The Washington Post, and many others — including Creative Commons. Creative Commons contributed to various pieces of the “Getting Data” section, including “Using and Sharing Data: the Black Letter, Fine Print, and Reality.” You can preview the outline here.

From the announcement,

Now more than ever, journalists need to know how to work with data. From covering public spending to elections, the Wikileaks cables to the financial crisis – journalists need to know where to find and request key datasets, how to make sense of them, and how to present them to the public.

Jonathan Gray, lead editor for the handbook, says: “The book gives us an unprecedented, behind-the-scenes look at how data is used by journalists around the world – from big news organisations to citizen reporters. We hope it will serve to inform and inspire a new generation of data journalists to use the information around us to communicate complex and important issues to the public.

You can sign up to get the handbook when it goes live at http://www.datajournalismhandbook.org. The entire handbook will be available for free under CC BY-SA, with an alternative printed version and e-book to be published by O’Reilly Media.

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Guide to Finding Interesting Public Domain Works Online by the Open Knowledge Foundation

Jane Park, January 25th, 2012

The Open Knowledge Foundation has published a nifty guide on the basics of Finding Interesting Public Domain Works Online. You can skim the guide in well under ten minutes, and it includes useful links and accompanying descriptions to online collections where PD works can be found, including Europeana, the Internet Archive, and Project Gutenberg. It also contains quite a few references to Creative Commons and succinct explanations of the relevant CC tools, such as the Public Domain Mark and the CC0 Public Domain Dedication. The guide, like all articles at The Public Domain Review, is available for reuse under CC BY.


Bibliotheca Buloviana (Ausschnitt) / Georg Daniel Heumann / Public Domain

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Launch of The Public Domain Review website

Timothy Vollmer, August 10th, 2011

We’re pleased to see the launch of The Public Domain Review. The Review is a website with weekly updates in which scholars, writers, artists, librarians and others present an interesting or curious work (including films, photographs, texts and audio) from the public domain and write short accompanying articles about it that provide background, context, history, or other commentary or criticism. There are already several articles up on the site. The Review is also accepting submissions.

The Public Domain Review aspires to become a bounteous gateway into the whopping plenitude that is the public domain, helping our readers to explore this rich terrain by surfacing unusual and obscure works, and offering fresh reflections and unfamiliar angles on material which is more well known.

The Public Domain Review will highlight public domain materials from Wikimedia Commons, The Internet Archive, Flickr’s The Commons, and other sites. While all the multimedia content featured on the site is in the public domain, the reviews themselves are published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Congratulations to editors Adam Green and Jonathan Gray on launching this fascinating site that will share and celebrate the vast wonders of the public domain! You can sign up for updates, or follow on Twitter.

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Open Knowledge Conference 2011

Mike Linksvayer, June 24th, 2011

The Open Knowledge Foundation’s annual conference, OKCon, is next week in Berlin. They’ve put together an amazing program featuring some of the most exciting projects and speakers in the free/libre/open universe beyond software — though free software is not unrepresented — Richard Stallman is giving what should be an extremely interesting talk on Free/Libre Software and Open Data.

I’m very happy that CC’s policy coordinator, Timothy Vollmer, will be co-presenting with the OKF’s Jordan Hatcher on Open Data Licensing. This follows up on my and Jordan‘s presentations at the Share-PSI workshop in May.

I would also like to highlight sessions by CC project leads from France, Guatemala, and Poland:

Go if you can!

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Open Milton

Jane Park, December 11th, 2008

Happy Belated Birthday John Milton! The poet that English majors belabor and grow to know so well turned 400 earlier this week, and to celebrate, the Open Knowledge Foundation launched Open Milton. What is Open Milton?

Open Milton is “an open set of Milton’s works, together with ancillary information and tools, in a form designed for reuse. The Open Milton project has two main objectives:

  1. Provide the works of John Milton, along with textual apparatus and tools all in an open form.
  2. Deliver this material as a knowledge package that allows for easy deployment, redistribution and reuse. 

Specifically [they] provide a full open set of Milton’s works along with ancillary material, a variety of tools and a python API. In addition to the works themselves there is a chronology, statistics, a concordance and search facilities.”

The great thing about Open Milton is that it is a specialized resource, organized and pieced together in novel and thoughtful ways—but it doesn’t prevent you or anyone else from tinkering with it, adding to it, and making it better. Why? Because it’s licensed under CC BY and therefore discoverable (machine-readable), even if it doesn’t conform to some aggregator’s notion of a proper resource. Open Milton is an excellent example for self-publishing; anyone can give their work the advantage of open licensing.

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