6. AusGOAL Qualities of Open Data

The Australian Governments Open Access and Licensing Framework (AusGOAL) makes recommendations to promote the re-use of government data. AusGOAL’s Qualities of Open Data is excerpted below. The omitted parts contain AusGOAL’s rationale.[216]

This document has some forward-thinking recommendations, including the use of RDF, SPARQL, and URIs for identifiers, which are technologies for the semantic web. The semantic web has gained little traction for open data either in government or outside, except at Data.gov.uk where RDF is a core part of the platform. It also addresses bulk data, discovery, and the often overlooked issue of text encoding.


1. Open Encoding: Data must be published in an open text format, using UTF-8 as the text encoding, and XML as the structuring framework. Community benefits: You decrease the cost of adapting consumer applications between jurisdictions

2. Open Discovery: Data sets must be published with an associated description (i.e. metadata) in AGLS or equivalent format. . . .

3. Open Linking: A copy of the data should be published under an RDF standard. Community benefits: . . . You allow consumers the option to extend your authoritative data records with detail they have captured (e.g. your Address record gets extended with community details of business signage, photography, etc) . . . You allow machine automation of these abilities

4. Open Query: An copy of the data should be queryable by an open SPARQL endpoint. Community benefits: You increase the efficiency of data set filtering (e.g. find schools in a single suburb) . . .

5. Open Bulk Supply: A copy of the data should be published as a machine readable open bulk supply. . . .

6. Open Identification: Data copies should be identified by a URI and accessible by HTTP or HTTPS. This URI should be stable for the valid lifetime of the data. Community benefits: You remove the need for consumers to re-discover your data each time they attempt access . . .

7. Open Presentation: An corresponding copy of the data should be made available as a human readable web application. Community benefits: You bring the data within reach of entry-level web users

8. Open Always: . . .

9. Open Now: Data should be released to the public at the same time it is released for internal consumption. . . .

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