Providing open access to the large amount of data from public institutions, educational institutions, and companies is a cornerstone in creating a smart city. Open Data DK (ODDK) is an online platform that promotes democracy, transparency, and economic growth through open data. The platform gives all interested stakeholders access to data that they can use to create services and initiatives which meets the needs of the citizens, and from which companies and entrepreneurs can find inspiration or even a base for new business. In many cases, the data can be used as raw material for developing digital services on many topics including traffic, recreational areas, recycling, health, sports, and much more.
In Aarhus Municipality, the country's first open data portal was launched in 2013 under the name Open Data Aarhus (ODAA). The ODAA approach was and still is based on the involvement of various stakeholders such as citizens, students, researchers, and companies. In this way, it is possible to meet the needs of the external stakeholders and provide open data on specific topics.
Open Data DK
In 2016, the Open Data DK initiative was launched in collaboration with Central Denmark Region and Open Data initiatives in Copenhagen, Odense, Vejle, Aarhus, and Aalborg. It is an extension and replacement for the municipalities’ own platforms. Therefore, all Open Data Aarhus-data is now available on the national open data portal www.opendata.dk/city-of-aarhus.
ODDK is an association of Danish municipalities and regions working together to open their data so that these can be accessed and used for free by everyone. The purpose is to create transparency in public administration, create a foundation for data-driven growth and innovation, and to ensure a higher extent of utilization of the data that is already collected.
Open data can, by increasing the transparency of public administration, support citizens and businesses to become more active participants in our democracy. At the same time, open data can be used in the development of applications and services or be the basis for analyzes, trend assessments, research, etc.
The purpose of the collaboration is also to make it easier for municipalities and regions to start working with open data and jointly to focus on areas such as licensing and standards. There are currently 40 members in the initiative, two of whom are regional authorities and the remaining are municipalities. All Danish municipalities and regions can become members of ODDK.
Open Data DK is a core project of Smart Aarhus. In addition to collecting more data sets, ODDK is working on creating standards, securing metadata, and usable formats. In addition of being a member of Open Data DK on an equal footing with all the other municipalities and regions, the City of Aarhus also serves the chairmanship and as the secretariat of the network.
Open Data Aarhus
ODAA consists of a secretariat and multiple ambassadors in each of the municipals departments to ensure that the work with open data is interdisciplinary. Furthermore, it is the ambassadors' responsibility to collect the data from the individual departments.
The focus of Open Data Aarhus is that open data becomes a natural part of the data production - e.g. that each time new data is received, it is opened as a natural part of the process, as long as it is allowed, and it doesn’t violate the personal data regulation.
Business Region Aarhus
The City of Aarhus is also working with the open data agenda under the auspices of Business Region Aarhus. In this context, they work with open data in relation to the mobility area among the East Jutland municipalities, that Business Region Aarhus consists of.
The focus going forward
In the future, Open Data DK is focusing on financing and partners as well as on scaling the network and the initiatives. This includes a special focus on the quantity and quality of open data sets, so that ODDK data sets are continuously published in a format that is relevant and standardized for everyone.