Open Data Goes Mainstream With G8 Charter

David Eaves | techPresident | June 26, 2013

Last week marked a major turning point for open data. It was a moment when the ideas around open data took a big leap out of the CIO's office and the world of advocates and entered more forcefully into the more general world of public policy.

One of the clearest symbols of this shift was the G8 communique - the formal communications published the end of the gathering of some of the world's most powerful heads of state. The communique had a whole section on open data - with the G8 members, through the Open Data Charter, committing their governments to making data "open by default."

This will be a powerful tool. Now when a G8 government is known to have data and is either refusing to publish it, or is publishing it in ways that are not open, this document becomes a powerful way for both advocates and public servants to drive change. Even outside the G8, this document could serve as a best practice and example that may cause other governments to shift.