Data is considered to be “open” if anyone can freely use, re-use, and redistribute, for any purpose, without restrictions. While large amounts of data are published on government websites, most published data is intended only to be read as stand-alone documents, not re-used for other purposes. To be considered “open,” the data must be re-usable and can be downloaded in open formats and read by software, with the legal right to re-use.
The concept of Open Data originated with the belief that the enormous amount of information routinely collected by government entities should be available to all citizens. This resource helps organizations learn where to find and how to apply open government data to their programs.
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