Apps, developers and coding
We put open data in the same line as open source software, open hardware and open access, something we stand for since the very first beginnings when we campaigned for more bandwidth – just as we stand for net neutrality nowadays.
With Apps for Amsterdam, North-Holland, The Netherlands and Europe we organized app contests on all sorts of scales, from local to international. At first, they were modelled after the successful Apps for Democracy contest in the US and we used them to promote open data, to make it freely available from as many possible sources for developers to build their applications on.
From the first contest we held, back in 2011, we learned many things. Like the fact that all open data are not equal, as data sets can differ a lot in quality and consistency. The data should also be relevant for users. But most of all: the data has to be made available by (local) governments, institutions and companies. This proved to be the bigger hurdle. But since the European Commission is now also behind the idea, many more data has become available. We also reformed the contests, but they may no longer be necessary in the near future.
We turned to promoting fellowships for developers at the government and building linked open data platforms, as we think this can help to resolve urban problems in a better way and will bring more adequate solutions for citizens in the end.