The Past, Present, and Future of Governement Data Publishing

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The Past, Present, and Future of Governement Data Publishing
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The future of open data
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The future of open data
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oh thank you all for coming it is the last talk before lunchtime so yeah we'll keep the energy high so yeah I'm here today to talk about the past the present in the future of government data publishing so I'm the
customer experience manager at coordinates I've spent 10 years or so in geospatial about five years I was doing and I was a geospatial analyst working and the conservation yeah Department of Conservation and doing all conservation work and in the next five years Isis teams working and mostly geo marketing so my degree and when I went to university I'd studied environmental studies and economics because those two things were my interest and economics had this thing called externalities and it just seemed like a little side thing that they talked about you work out the economics and do the thing you want to in externalities or a thing that you don't worry about I was like ah that's the environment let's bring that back in and why I got so into geospatial was because I felt that with geospatial data and modeling we could actually start to have conversations about what those externalities are and make sure that when we look after and create new products and businesses that we take into account communities and the environment so that's how I got into geospatial and why I'm still here so at coordinates our goal is to realize
the potential of geospatial data and why I'm so passionate about this and I've stayed in the industry is because I feel that all these geospatial data assets are out there but there tend to be locked away and as an analyst working for 10 years doing all sorts of modeling across a huge range of businesses and projects and environmental things I found it so challenging to create a full picture of the scenarios that people want to know about because of lack of access to data and lack of value of creating datasets to be able to communicate all facets of an environmental yep whether it's a physical environment or business environment and so as a yeah our company as a geospatial data publishing platform and we have users who are professionals or people that come to take datasets to put into their projects and we have publishers who are folks who publish the data out who might have huge amounts in the organization's so to give you a story
about an example of frustration and look throughout all my teen years this is one the most recent example I have so and about three years ago I decided because I was working in business but like my passion is the environment to work four days a week instead of five in fridays a nature day so on nature day i volunteer on conservation projects and that's one reason I'm enjoying this conference so much because I see everybody here and all the people I'm meeting have their side hustles they've got their jam you're all looking to you all have things that you're passionate about and really into and fitting them around paid employment whether that's working for a larger agency and finding that within your work and giving your free time to open source or for those people who are out there doing you know I've gone freelance and doing contracting and figuring out how yeah you want to spend your time basically so broke and I had some friends who work for a charity called sustainable coastlines which is all about taking and single use plastic or reducing single-use plastic but also picking up trash on the beach and they were their big really passionate surfers like they love surf so who's here heard of Cloudbreak awesome awesome so Cloudbreak as one of the top surface reefs surf breaks in the world and it's in Fiji it was managed by American resorts for a long time and then it was opened up so all these businesses suddenly local businesses forests of taking people out to the strike so that they could surf it but that meant quite big pressures on the break as well because you've got people dropping anchors and all these boats out there and also they're starting to you'd be really aware of what climate change could do to a reef that is yeah coral so my friend said I'd you want to help us out and do some mapping for us yes I do trip to Fiji and I thought well I'll use yeah I'll just do some research before I leave and figure out what datasets I can get to be able to kick this off because I don't know if they really need me someone over there I'm sure could do it so I went online and I managed to find an incorrect atlas of all these marine reserves that yet see if there was this massive marine reserve already there so I print out a map and took it to the locals and they're like no no one's ever spoken to us about this there is no way this marine reserve or it exists so it was like okay so the one thing I've seen found that was authoritative is completely wrong and I couldn't find any topographic data so by chance I run up some friends and New Zealand's and said oh hey you guys work in Fiji eh I'm going over on these dates can you help me out with some Tovar data and they happen to be there at exactly the same time for a week working with the Ministry of lands and mineral resources so I'm just using this as an example but as I have so many examples in New Zealand leading up to this one of exactly the same kind of story so my friends were in Suva I was around at Cloudbreak and it took them sort of a good four days of working with the administrator say look can you please find a license and can you hook how to hook us up with some data to take to our friend so that she can do this work and I took them a few days to like get it downloaded and a format that I could use and get a license associated weather texture on a USB Drive all the way around the island and then I took them to the break and we went snorkeling it was amazing and I created this map so it was a complete mission and yeah that happen many many times in New Zealand all my career I was tended to be based around who I could phone up to say oh can you first of all do you have this data and do I need to call somebody else like a policy analyst to get you permission to share it with me so all that roundabout machining as where we were and we're mostly out of that now and how we've got from their
evolution of that space was first of all Creative Commons licensing has been awesome and people who I feel are a lot more socialized about how to use them and what these licenses mean there's some awesome YouTube videos to explain what they are I remember when they came out I was like we had licensed Googler legal Tech's not getting it but now yeah they're quite common uptake and we also have open access um a licensing framework and the policy has kind of filtered down right through government agencies now so that's kind of settled in so it has left us with a space where
we have quite a lot of data available but it's not that usable so in winner is our it might be our only interviewer so for starters like wicked the stata exists I can see it I can see it but you can't necessarily take it and put it into your system and then realise the value of it by using it for one or the second part is to embed it in your own businesses and your own processes because you don't know really about how frequently it might be updated or the quality of it and they may not be so many people using it that there is enough demand for the agency to prioritize caring for this data and and
this is where we come to the concept of dormant data so it's this data that exists so it might be in a little zip file somewhere on the internet but it's not realizing the potential of vodka and and so I just want to go quickly through these ideas where we have data that requires technical expertise to access so someone asked the question and the last talk about a journalist's using data sets and it's people like that is it discoverable for those people do they even know how would they even know it exists or who might hold that data to even go and find it again that data sets our view only so a lot of things I've seen online or talk to people they're like yeah data's available you can find it and then I find an online catalog or a list and it's like yeah you know I have to email someone and ask them and go through that whole engagement process and that's a lot of time and there's no updates that are going to be associated with that that data requires proprietary software to access we all know about that he has been open-source conference and that data is not available API or web service in a key part of the API the web service is the reliability so raising the standard and saying it's not good enough to just go yeah we've got like a WMS available but then if you have an emergency and you have half the country smashing that WMS it's not designed for that purpose and your team may not or a team may not be yeah and the business of providing that and that data can't be previewed or appraised before export flow you're stuck downloading a huge massive data set when you only need certain slices of it that it's not easily discoverable within a site or within Google I'm sure we all know about navigating through websites and then figuring out how do I even get to that last time I was here for the update and I was so confusing or contradictory licensing statements and we can say thank you for your creative commons for helping us along with that
so i love this quote because it's not just us feeling this pain this is a quote from the civil analytics network saying that getting data out there the single-most is arguably the single most important obligation but it's not enough anymore we can raise our standards of expectations that's a yeah like eyes up while we can do better than that we need to think about data as something as a product that can be published and served like other products and it needs to be usually easily accessible and usable for everyone and it's an easy trap to fall into to think because I can use it and my mates can use it easily great job done we've got to think and I feel I'm talking to an audience that's very friendly to this concept that it's really for a much much wider group of people and how we can get it into the hands of everyone not just technical experts so the parts of the open data
puzzle that we see we've got cultural change and we feeling really good about the changes I've seen in the last 10 years on that coming from someone who had I deserve once sneaked data onto a DVD and seen it to an island because we had gatekeepers who were fearful that these people who needed the data weren't able to use it and there was no licensing and it wasn't someone else's data but there were attitudes of very much yeah we can't share it we have the legal tools now government policies in a pretty good place so the last part and this is where coordinates Watson as the technology and that's changing dramatically with cheaper cloud storage we've got better browsers than we had and ultimately easier ways to distribute data and I mean that's a major thing like 10 years ago it was a very different technological environment even if we had all the other things in place we didn't quite have the technology to be able to meet our objectives so we've
designed this data lifecycle and this is what we believe all the steps are that need to happen for data to be in a really good place of people sharing and getting what they need so I'll just talk about the green side is about data users so we believe that data you wants to find the data really easily they don't need to know who's publishing that they just usually want to go into Google or a browser and type in some words and have datasets returned to them there they want to appraise the data they want to actually see it pull it apart check what attributes are in a licensing and just have all that human readable and accessible they didn't want to access it and whatever format they want to consume it and so that means like projection transformations API is PDFs whatever you need you want to be able to get it already prepared that way you then want to use it in your own systems and this is when we jump over into the publisher side so if you're holding data you want to have clear insights as to who's using it what formats are using it how they're using it and what value they're getting from it so you then know how to give great customer service as far around your data sets and that allows you then to prepare the data store it and the cloud or yeah wherever suitable and then publish it again so that and that's how we believe with all these things in place you're then able to realize the value of it in
three key concepts that we also want to bring unto the idea of data services the universality so that word we mean everybody can use it and whatever format the usability to make sure again that it's yeah already pre-prepared so not spending loads of time preparing data before you're using it and also the reliability of it so that's talking about uptimes api is that you can rely they're going to be their URLs not changing regular updates and just that you can trust it basically to build it into your business processes and not worry about how it's going to affect or change any of your analytics so one of
our customers Aslan information new zealand and we've seen a radical increase of the use of their data sets through publishing this way ten years ago they were showing 30 DVDs a month that went out to various agencies and now they're getting sort of turning 26 thousand views and thirty thousand downloads in a year and just to give you some context we've got four million people in New Zealand so yeah it's Apes sorry that's the prison
what does yeah really proud of where
we've got to so far and now I want to
talk a little bit about the future so I've talked a lot about data services and the idea of data been a published product that then served out with customer service and everything you need wrapped around it where we see in the future and what we're thinking about and getting really excited about and come and check to us please because this is all our new exciting roadmap stuff and is looking at geospatial data as a supply chain so it's not just one little piece it's what does the whole end-to-end supply chain and and we've come from a
place where we were like this is the geospatial data market where we've got great food publishers and you may publish out too many professional users and like yeah a job done that's great reality it's a connected network of
loads of different people doing lots of different things huge amounts of data sharing before you might get one little published product that's been nice shiny and careful that you can then put out to a large range of people but that's sort of the tip of this massive iceberg of projects sharing and on the go data stuff and we also think that there's a bit of a flow so you have at the top the federal the national level and in that filters down a little bit to and say state level that filters down to study level and then you've got sort of tech firms big tech firms dotted in there and then businesses sort of down the bottom doing a lot of consumption of data products and what we're working to do
now is to make it really trivial to distribute data across these complex networks and to be able to synchronize updates Becker so moving from a place of here's a data product we've published up rad and so here's some data we're sharing I need feedback from you and comments and pull requests and all that kind of stuff and so that you can basically customize data for your projects and then prepare the data for use for many people and that can be the kinds of things we're thinking about as you know I publish a data set worth fifty attributes for everyone to use and you only want that data set filtered down to a region with an area and drop off the other fifty attributes so it's really about doing that preparation and an app rather than if you have 50 different contractors all trying to do that for themselves with their own slightly different flavor yeah
so come and talk to us for a demo and yeah we're based in Auckland New Zealand but yeah we're here this afternoon and really going to chat to anyone yeah or we'll give your email address and talk soon but thank you for your time it's almost lunchtime [Music] [Applause]


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