The Open Data movement is reaching all countries in Europe. Data Portals give you access to re-usable government information. But have you ever tried to find Open Data from another country whose language you do not speak? Or have you tried to see whether data from one country exist also in a similar way in another? The European Data Portal that we just launched can help you.

European Data Portal OpenData

The European Data Portal project main work streams is the development of a new pan-European open data infrastructure. Its goal is to be a gateway offering access to data published by administrations in countries across Europe, from the EU and beyond.
The portal is launched during the European Data Forum in Luxembourg.

Additionally we will support public administrations in publishing more data as open data and have targeted actions to stimulate re-use. By taking a look at the data released by other countries and made available on the European Data Portal, governments can also be inspired to publish new data sets they had not though about in the first place.

The re-use of Open Data will further boost the economy. The benefits of Open Data are diverse and range from improved performance of public administrations and economic growth in the private sector to wider social welfare. The economic study conducted by the European Data Portal team estimates that between 2016 and 2020, the market size of Open Data is expected to increase by 36.9% to a value of 75.7 bn EUR in 2020.

For data to be re-used, it has to be accessible

Currently, the portal includes over 240.000 datasets from 34 European countries. Information about the data available is structured into thirteen different categories ranging from agriculture to transport, including science, justice, health and so on. This enables you to quickly browse through categories and feel inspired by the data made accessible.

To help access the data made available in different languages, we've set up a multilingual search interface. In order to translate also the metadata, the important descriptors of data machine-translation technology is used. This should help the you (developers, companies, journalists and interested users) to find data from around Europe on subjects of your interest. Re-use of data will get this way easier, allowing for example a developer in Bratislava to be in a better position to develop an app based on data published by the City of Oslo with Norwegian metadata annotations.

Automated assistance with licensing conditions

Additionally, we are experimenting with automated assistance on licensing conditions, i.e. the conditions public administrations oftentimes attach to re-use of the data published. When mashing data from different sources, there is potential of conflict between licence conditions. The licensing assistant will be there to help you understand what licences have been attached to what data sets.

If you still feel clueless about Open Data or simply convinced it’s too complicated for you to take advantage of, here are some tips for you:

  • Follow the online training modules made available on the European Data Portal
  • Take a look at the checklist for using data
  • You want to start publishing data? Read the data publisher’s Goldbook
  • Go and just browse yourself and check out what data are there for you. We have visualisation tools for many data that shall help you to get a quick idea on what the data are
  • Plot the data on a map, thanks to the maps application available on the Portal when browsing through the data
  • Other parts are published more in view of professional developers and this is on purpose: With this portal we seek to encourage economic activity

How does this fit into the wider picture? The launch of the European Data Portal is an additional element in the realisation of a Digital Single Market, one of the 10 big priorities of the current Commission. In particular access to a free flow of data feature in this Digital Single Market strategy.

The European Data Portal is also one of the key realisations of the Connecting Europe Facility, supporting the development of digital enablers for the Single Market.

Please keep in touch and follow us on Twitter. We are @EU_DataPortal.