The Deputy Head of the Analytical Center Vasily Pushkin talked about the benefits that open data offer to the state and society in a live interview for the Startups, Investments and Innovations show on the json.tv media portal.
Data for download online do not mean open data
“Open state data mean all the information that state authorities publish on their official websites. These data can be used without restrictions,” Mr. Pushkin said, "As for open data in general, what is meant by that is all data, including data made available by businesses, private and personal data, that can be used and reused without restrictions.” However, it is important to understand that if some information is available for download online, it does not necessarily mean open data, the expert noted. “The vast majority of websites use licenses that restrict the use of the information they publish. In other words, this information is not open data,” Mr. Pushkin said, “Internationally, when no restrictions are imposed on how data are used, people talk about the data in question being made available under an open license. In Russia, the reverse is true, whatever data is published online, and no restrictions apply by default unless such restrictions are imposed explicitly, in other words, by default all published data can be used in any way possible.”
The expert also talked about what the Analytical Center has been doing in the open data department. “The Analytical Center supervises innovations, open data and open government,” Mr. Pushkin said. “With regards to open data we cooperate with the open data portal of the Russian Federation, helping them process the requests they get via their portal. Our job is to help establish communications between the developers and state authorities. The amount of data disclosed by state authorities is limited. However, there is growing demand for state data from the public and businesses. They can have this demand met via the open data portal but submitting a request. We forward these requests to relevant state authorities, then keep track of what happens to them and report on it to the Russian government.” According to Mr. Pushkin, today over 3,000 data sets are available at the portal, most of them being federal data. In addition to the open data portal, ministries and government agencies have their own websites where they publish their data, the expert explained, citing the examples of the Federal Statistics Service, the Finance Ministry and the websites of some regional governments. “Our job is to consolidate all sources of information on the open data portal and allow both developers and the public to get the data they need,” the expert summed up.
Mr. Pushkin also noted that people take a lot of interest in information about cultural heritage properties protected by the Ministry for Culture, which could be used to develop tourism applications. “We are talking about registries of cultural heritage sites with their addresses; these would be most useful at both federal and regional levels,” the expert believes. Geographical data are also very popular, especially information about the location of social facilities such as hospitals, schools, daycare centers, the expert noted. In addition, there is a lot of demand for information about transport and cycling tracks, he added.
Mr. Pushkin also said a few words about the federal contest for active representatives of technology and creative communities Data.gov.ru Hackathon, which took place at the Analytical Center in June.
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