iCareCoops aims to offer innovative ICT-driven solutions as support for elderly care cooperatives in their day to day activities regarding elderly care and support open access to information to facilitate third parties in processing and using the gathered data. In this state of the art approach, principle of Open Data will become part of the project.
What is Open Data?
Open Data is information that is free to use and process, and is published in the initial form or in an altered format. The principle is based on three main approaches:
- Availability and access: this means that the data has to be public, as complete as possible and with a low cost to acquire. Also the data has to be published in a universal format so that any system can access and read it.
- Usage, processing and distribution: all open data information must not be restricted to certain terms of usage, development by processing or addition of other data and distribution of the results or of the data in its initial format.
- Universal Participation: the information published in this way must not be limited to discriminatory usage of distribution. The data has to be available to all public not limited to age, gender, country and available for usage in commercial and non-commercial environments.
Tim Berners-Lee 5-star deployment scheme is a suggestion of improvement on how open data should be provided in order to reach more benefits. He suggested a 5 star approach on how the data should be published:
- The first star would be awarded if you only publish the data in a random format, free to use and relieved of any obligations
- A second star is awarded for data that is structured (e.g. Excel format). With this, the data processing possibility will be enabled, but restricted to use certain tools, in this case Microsoft Excel.
- The third star is awarded for data published in a structured way but in a non-proprietary open format (e.g. CSV)
- The fourth star is awarded for linking the data internally to individualize information. This will allow others to point to your data through URIs.
- And the fifth start is awarded for linking data with others, preferably with ontologies or wikis that will define the respective piece of information and will provide the context in which it can be used.
Why Open Data?
In the current context, Open Data will be provided to support interoperability. Interoperability is a key feature of modern web solutions and applications being the cornerstone of information exchange. As user interfaces are a necessity in human to machine collaboration, the interoperability interfaces are the go to for machine to machine communication rendering a high shareability of data.
iCareCoops will publish “5 star open data” to ensure the context of information exchange. The non-personal data from our project will be open, free of charge and will support future market developments.
The general approach when opening data is to focus on non-personal information, restrictions are applied on information about specific individuals, business information and parts of government data.
In the context of iCareCoops, considering the privacy and restriction of information, we can open up data considering documents, organizations, cooperatives and solutions.
Looking to the future
Open Data is just a principle at this stage but in the future will become a pillar of machine to machine communication and semantic data processing (also known as Semantic Web). iCareCoops starts early to use new interoperability approaches which will be a great benefit in terms of the platforms sustainability, maintenance and extensibility.