Launched in the United States in 2005, Open Data has become a democratic and political issue for every country.
The American pioneer ChicagoCrime.org
Created in 2005 on the initiative of a journalist, the ChicagoCrime.org platform collected information from municipal databases on crimes committed in the city. Since renamed EverBlock, the information portal now includes 16 other cities and provides information concerning different neighbourhoods, events shared by residents as well as data from local bodies, varying from building permits granted, the location of public bicycle racks, road closures for roadwork, etc.
From private initiative to a national policy in favour of Open Data
The enthusiasm for these local platforms was subsequently transformed into a national initiative in the United States in 2009 with the opening of the government platform data.gov.
It currently holds close to 400,000 data sets, 1300 data extraction applications, 236 web applications and 85 general public mobile applications.
The American initiative has been closely followed abroad with the opening of similar platforms in Great Britain (data.gov.uk, with 8,200 data sets, 180 applications including 12 for the city of London alone) and Australia (data.gov.au, 820 data sets, 16 applications).
Since 2009, Open Data has been developing rapidly throughout the world. France launched its Open Data site in December 2011 (data.gouv.fr, over 350,000 data sets). A map of all these government initiatives is available.
Open Data on every level
Alongside Open Government Data, Open Data can also be found at regional or local levels, data being made available for regions such as the Basque Country (Euskadi) or municipalities such as Montreal, London, San Francisco, Paris, etc. And even at the international level, an example being the Open Data platform of the World Bank.