What happened in 2019?
Last year, there was a lot of talk about the recast of the PSI Directive. The directive was updated and named Directive (EU) 2019/1024 on open data and the re-use of public sector information. Its main objective is to promote digital innovations by ensuring that public and publicly financed data is easily available and utilisable on an EU-wide scale. To make this possible, the directive defines six categories for high value datasets. These data categories include geographic data, earth observation and environment, meteorological data, statistics, companies, and transport data. Data can be considered high value if it has good commercial potential and/or high reuse possibilities. The directive should be implemented in Finland through national legislation by 2021.
Open data gained visibility in other ways as well. It was mentioned in Finland’s current government programme and opening public sector data was listed as one of the goals in the fourth Open Government Action Plan which began in Finland last year.
Our national data portal, Opendata.fi, was developed in many ways during 2019. We focused especially on making the service more stable. Thanks to the improvements, opendata.fi is now faster and its capacity is better. This means that you can upload and download large quantities of data without problems. We designed and implemented a new front page in close cooperation with our user and added a lot of other features our users had requested. We redesigned some other pages as well and further improved the usability by fixing bugs that were found in the service. Last summer, our team grew with two content creators who produced new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the service and improved the translations on our website. In addition to the FAQs we will publish at least a part of our user's guide in English in 2020.
We got international publicity this year too in international comparisons and by participating in workshops around the world. For example, we took part in workshops in Cyprus and Hamburg that were organised by the European Data Portal. We got many good ideas from these events and noticed that we are all struggling with the same problems, which is why we intend to cooperate even more in the future. Our specialists also participated in other events such as PSI Directive workshop in Luxembourg and Open Government Partnership in Ottawa.
In addition to the international cooperation, we also took part in many events in Finland. We participated in meetups with other Finnish data portals and promoted open data and our data portal in many different events such as GIS Expo.
Cooperation and the data portal’s improvements were worth it because Finland ranked among the top 10 countries on European Data Portal’s Landscaping Insight -questionnaire. The questionnaire is used to evaluate the state of open data in different countries by analysing opening of data, open data portal’s functionality, social impact of open data and open data policies in different countries. Read more about the questionnaire and Finland’s ranking from our EDP Landscaping Insight 2019 -article.
What to expect in 2020?
This year, we want to focus on showcasing the benefits of open data and getting a better view on the state of open data in Finland. To find out the current situation with open data, we plan to contact public administration organisations in Finland during the year. We also have an ambitious goal of adding hundred open data showcases to our showcase gallery. So if you know any kind of visualisation, application or even a company that utilises open data, please let us know by using our New Showcase -form! Or you can tell us about it on Twitter @avoindatafi.
We aim to keep on the good work both internationally and inside Finland. Just like the years before, this year is filled with interesting events regarding open data. We’re planning on participating in the Open Data Day (7.3.) and Open Gov Week (3.5.-11.5.) next so see you there!
We wish an excellent rest of 2020 to all our users and an even better new decade!