Open Data Community to shine light on flooding and government spending, Feb 22nd

Feb. 20, 2014

This Saturday 22nd February, the Open Data community around the world will gather to showcase and explore the power of open data, on Open Data Day, now in its fourth year. In the UK, the Open Knowledge Foundation will be hosting events around the country, including a major London event focused on flood data and government spending, in partnership with the Open Data User Group.

In the context of the recent floods across the UK, participants will explore how open government data could be used to improve forecast and response to these kind of extreme weather events. They will also be building on the Local Open Data Census, a global Open Knowledge Foundation initiative which will be the focus of Open Data Day events across the world, and using OpenSpending to develop insights into government spending. With the UK local elections on the horizon, this dual focus on local government and government spending are well-timed.

Rufus Pollock, Founder and CEO of the Open Knowledge Foundation, said:

“The UK Government has released an unprecedented amount of open data over the last few years, but it’s only when people use that data to create insights and applications that it actually becomes valuable. This event is an opportunity for anyone - whether you’re an ordinary citizen interested in what your government does, or an expert technologist looking to build a great app - to make open data genuinely useful.”

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said:

“The UK is an international leader in open data, which is helping us compete in the global race. Open data exposes waste; sharpens accountability; informs choice in public services; and is a raw material for economic growth. Events like Open Data Day are crucial in turning raw data into useful applications and organisations such as the Open Knowledge Foundation make a significant contribution to their success.”

Heather Savory, Chair of the Open Data User Group, said:

“The Open Data User Group looks forward to supporting Open Data Day on Saturday. We have been pushing for the release of more open data since 2012, but open data is only useful if people use it and reuse it. This event is one of many opportunities for everyone in the UK to get involved. We look forward to meeting you there and seeing the results of the day.”

For further comment or interviews, please contact: Rufus Pollock, President, +44 (0) 7795 176 976

Notes to editors

  • Open Data Day in London takes place on 22nd February 2014, from 10.30 to 18.30, Centre for Creative Collaboration, 16 Acton Street, WC1X 9NG, London. Journalists are welcome to join for all or part of the day. No prior technical skills required. Contact Rufus Pollock for more information. and
  • The Open Knowledge Foundation, founded in 2004 is a worldwide network of people who are passionate about openness, using advocacy, technology and training to unlock information and turn it into insight and change. Our aim is to give everyone the power to use information and insight for good. Visit to learn more about the Foundation and its major projects including and
  • The Open Data User Group is an independent advisory group to government, championing the needs of open data users. It highlights public sector data with real potential to bring social and economic benefit and works with the Government to promote its release as open data. More information at: and follow ODUG on Twitter: @oduguk
  • Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world's local, regional and national governments.
  • In addition to the UK events, the Open Knowledge Foundation is joining with the Sunlight Foundation and Code4America to organise events across the United States as part of a weekend of Civic Innovation. Events are scheduled across the world, from Argentina to Iceland, Kenya to Canada.

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