Open Data as a New Commons. Empowering Citizens to Make Meaningful Use of a New Resource
An increasing computing capability is raising the opportunities to use a large amount of publicly available data for creating new applications and a new generation of public services.
But while it is easy to find some early examples of services concerning control systems (e.g. traffic, meteo, telecommunication) and commercial applications (e.g. profiling systems), few examples are instead available about the use of data as a new resource for empowering citizens, i.e. supporting citizens’ decisions about everyday life, political choices, organization of their movements, information about social, cultural and environmental opportunities around them and government choices. Developing spaces for enabling citizens to harness the opportunities coming from the use of this new resource, offers thus a substantial promise of social innovation.
This means that open data is virtually a new resource that could become a new commons with the engagement of interested and active communities. The condition for open data becoming a new commons is that citizens become aware of the potential of this resource, that they use it for creating new services and that new practices and infrastructures are defined, that would support the use of such resource.
KeywordsOpen data Social innovation Commons
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