Glossary

Agile software development

Agile software development refers to different software development methods in which product development is planned and executed in short cycles. There are multiple agile software development methods, for example Scrum and Kanban.

Anonymisation

Processing data in a way that makes it impossible to identify individuals from it. This means removing all identification data, such as names, social security numbers and addresses, from the data.

API (Application Programming Interface)

An API, or an application programming interface, is a computing interface that enables programs or systems to communicate with each other. They can for example make requests or exchange information through an API.

Data

Data refers to potential information saved in a digital, machine-readable format. Data can form for example documents, databases or audio recordings. It can be understood as the raw material that can be processed to form relevant information.

Data category

Data categories are a way of classifying open data into different themes, such as transport or environment and nature. Each dataset belongs to at least one category, which makes finding data easier. You can find information about the categories opendata.fi uses on the Dataset categories page.

Data resource

A data resource is a part of a dataset. It contanins the actual data. A dataset can have multiple data resources, some of which can have the same information in different formats, and some that can have different kinds of data. For example, a dataset titled "Most popular names" could have four data resources: most popular first names and most popular surnames as separate files in both Excel and CSV formats.

Dataset

Datasets are the heart of opendata.fi – open data. A dataset is a collection of separate sets of open data that is treated as a single unit by a computer. It consists of resources and metadata. Each dataset belongs to an organisation and is categorised into at least one open data category.

Harvesting

Harvesting refers to the automatic gathering of data from different websites to one place, like opendata.fi.
Opendata.fi harvests for example HRI, which means that all of HRI’s data can also be found up-to-date on opendata.fi. Harvesting makes it easier to find data, since you can search for data from one place rather than multiple different websites.

Information

Information refers to data, for example text, that has been created to describe a certain fact. The more detailed the information's description of the fact is, the larger its informational content. Information is a form of processed data.

Interface

In computing, an interface is a shared boundary across which two or more separate components of a computer system exchange information. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Interoperability

Interoperability refers to the ability of data systems to communicate with each other in a way that they can use each other's information on a routine basis.

Knowledge

Knowledge is true and validated information that the receiver has given a meaning to. Knowledge is processed information.

License

A license defines the terms and conditions for the use of open data.

Machine-readability

Machine-readable data is, as the name suggest, meant to be processed by a computer. Machine-readable data is a data that has been saved in a form that a computer can process (e.g. JSON, XML, CSV). For example, PDF is not necessarily a machine-readable format because even though it is usually easy to read for a human, a computer cannot always process it.

Metadata

Metadata is data about data. Metadata includes descriptive information about the contents and format of the data, which helps the user to utilise the data correctly. Metadata can be for example the location data of a photograph and the information of the camera used to take the photo. Metadata also makes it easier to find the data as it enables the use of different kinds of filters while searching.

MyData

MyData-principle states that people should have the possibility to control and utilise the personal data (e.g. health records or purchase records) collected about them. MyData is never open data. (Source Wikipedia (in Finnish).)

Open data

Open data is machine-readable data in a digital form that can be used freely for any purpose by anyone, as long as its original source is mentioned. Open data can be for example population census data, geographic data or even real-time information about the locations of buses.

Open license

An open license is a license that allows the data to be distributed, edited and used for any purpose, including commercial use. We recommend using the Creative Commons BY 4.0 or Creative Commons CC0 1.0 licenses.

Open source

Open source, or open-source model, is a decentralized software development model that encourages open collaboration. A main principle of open-source software development is peer production, with products such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. Generally, open source refers to a computer program in which the source code is available to the general public for use or modification from its original design. Open-source code is meant to be a collaborative effort, where programmers improve upon the source code and share the changes within the community. (Source: Wikipedia.)

Organisation

See Publisher.

Publisher

A publisher is an organisation that has opened their data for public use. On opendata.fi, it refers to an organisation that is used to publish and manage datasets. A publisher can be a public administration organisation or a private sector company, but also an association, an individual or anything in between.

Raw data

Raw data is machine-readable data that is not under any copyright.

Showcase

Showcases are concrete examples of the utilisation of open data. Showcases can be different kinds of data visualisations, computer and mobile applications, and websites. These showcases are created e.g. by researchers and software developers, but thanks to development and visualisation tools becoming easier to use, anyone can do that.

WFS interface

Web Feature Service (WFS) interface allows requests for geographical features across the web using platform-independent calls. (Source: Wikipedia.)

WMS-interface

Web Map Service Interface Standard (WMS) provides a simple HTTP interface for requesting geo-registered map images from one or more distributed geospatial databases. A WMS request defines the geographic layer(s) and area of interest to be processed. The response to the request is one or more geo-registered map images (returned as JPEG, PNG, etc) that can be displayed in a browser application. (Source: OGC.)