In recent years, the Dutch government has made some bold choices to open up its online information in many different ways. This resulted amongst others in 2010 in a brand-new website rijksoverheid.nl, the main site for communication between the Dutch central government and its citizens. This site is based on open-source CMS technology from Dutch CMS specialist Hippo. In 2011 a unified intranet for all government ministries followed.
Since its launch in 2010 the website rijksoverheid.nl applies the Creative Commons zero declaration (CC0) to the content of the website, unless stated otherwise. This means that all content available on the site is in the public domain and is free from copyright or other usage restrictions. This is important in order to facilitate the re-use of the data/content. Other government websites have taken the same approach, for instance www.government.nl and www.answersforbusiness.nl
More recently, the focus has shifted to what comes after openness: the sharing – in electronic, computer-readable formats – of various types of open data produced by government agencies and public institutions.
So what exactly is meant with ‘open data’? What type of information is made available, and how is this being re-used in commercial websites and mobile apps? Read on to find out the answers and get inspired to apply ‘open data’ in your own context.