1. 17 Principles

The recommendations in this section address how to make public government data open, starting not with what should be open but what it means for data to be open and how to do it well. Public government data includes reports, audio/visual media, databases, transcripts, and other government records and products in digital form that have no privacy, security, or copyright ramification as given by the law. Government records that are not public, by law, are simply out of the scope of these recommendations.

Of the 17 recommendations that follow, machine processability and promoting analysis are the most crucial principles of open government data. Evaluating machine processability in terms of data quality — not only accuracy but also precision and cost — is discussed in section 5.2. Of note is that accuracy refers not to whether a digital record captures the physical details of an event or object but whether it captures facts in a way that admits reliable automated analysis.

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