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Open data is:

  • Freely available on the web as downloadable data files in machine-readable and open formats - CSV, XML, JSON, RDF (JSON-LD, Turtle, …) and other open specification formats.
  • Provided with terms of use that do not restrict their use. For example, creative commons licenses are appropriate.
  • Registered in the National Catalogue of Open Data (NKOD) as datasets with direct links to the data files that make them up.
  • Provided with full documentation.
  • Provided with contact details of the curator for feedback (errors, extension requests, etc.).
  • Are published according to open formal standards within the meaning of Section 4b(1) of Act No. 106/1999 Coll. on free access to information.

There are no limitations on the possible use of published open data and therefore it can be used for any agenda or non-agenda activities. Published data is made available through NKOD and can be obtained as datasets. The data can also be accessed using third party applications that use the corresponding data. However, when importing data into public administration applications and information systems, the authority should primarily draw data from the Linked Data Facility and the Public Data Facility via the reference interface.

Preparing ISVs to export open data

Ensuring access to IS data is essential. Therefore, the operating IS must:

  • allow access to the database or
  • be able to download optionally structured data (tables) from the reporting module of the system, or
  • offer an API from which complete data in the form of data files can be retrieved on a regular basis.

Suitable open formats:

  • tabular data - CSV, XML, JSON, RDF (JSON-LD, Turtle, …),
  • hierarchical data - XML, JSON, RDF (JSON-LD, Turtle, …),
  • graph data - RDF (JSON-LD, Turtle, …),
  • geodata (spatial data) - GeoJSON, ESRI Shapefile, OGC GML, OGC GeoPackage.

The data structure must be documented with a human readable document, but also with a machine readable schema. Recommended languages for defining schemas Schemas:

  • CSV - CSV on the Web schema,
  • XML - XML Schema,
  • JSON - JSON Schema,

If the above points are followed, the complete data obtained from the IS is ready for publication in the form of open data.

Export of data or API in proprietary format

If this is an extension of an existing IS that does not allow data export or does not offer API in a machine-readable and open format and such modification cannot be done in the IS, the existing export or API already offered by the system (e.g. to MS Excel) is used and this output is further processed into an open format using other tools to achieve the same state as in the case of direct export to an open format.

Final preparation of data for publication in open data format

Data extracted from the IS by one of the methods described above should then be published as open data. This means at a minimum:

  1. In the case of an API, ensure that it is mined to obtain complete data for publication (i.e., direct publication of the API does not satisfy the open data conditions)
  2. Ensure regular updates of the extracted data (depending on the nature of the data, this may be at a frequency of e.g. daily, monthly or annually)
  3. Publish the collected data on the web for download and subsequently publish each update
  4. Provide documentation, terms of use and contact details for the curator
  5. Catalogue them in the National Catalogue of Open Data (NKOD)

This can be done using open data preparation, publication and cataloguing tools such as LinkedPipes ETL. The publication of open data should be ensured conceptually at the level of the whole organisation. Full procedures are available on POD, including the required standards.

The publishing organization should implement appropriate organizational arrangements, assign staff to appropriate process roles, and implement publication process activities into staff job descriptions. As a minimum, assignment of the following key process roles is required:

Data Opening Coordinator, whose responsibilities and duties include:

  • Ensuring synergy and control of the output of all other roles involved in data opening,
  • communicating with all staff involved in data release,
  • external communication with users of VS open data,
  • communication and cooperation with the National Open Data Coordinator,
  • communication with the Data Office and the relevant Chief Data Officer (CDO).

Data Curator - a key role for:

  • ensuring the quality, accuracy, timeliness and thus legal bindingness of data for a particular agenda,
  • publication of datasets in accordance with the applicable legislation of the Czech Republic and the Standards for the Publication and Cataloguing of Open Data of the Czech Republic.

Full recommendations, appropriate internal document templates, all suggested process roles and standard publishing processes are listed on the Open Data Portal and on the Provider Portal.

If personal data within the meaning of Act No. 110/2019 Coll., on the processing of personal data and Regulation (EU) No. 2016/679, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are the subject of the information system record, this does not mean that open data cannot be published from the system. In these cases, the following recommendations apply.

  1. In the case of a public record or register and a specific legal regulation mandates the publication of information, personal data can be published in the form of open data.
  2. The protection of personal data can be ensured by Anonymisation or Pseudonymisation. The personal data is removed from the data and, where appropriate, replaced by a meaningless artificial identifier. The data without personal data can then be published as open data. However, depending on the nature of the data, it is necessary to check that the data in combination does not allow the identification of a specific person even after the removal of apparent personal data. This may include combinations such as city, age and gender and similar.
  3. Data that cannot or should not be disclosed under the previous point may be disclosed in aggregate form. That is, in the form of statistics. However, in the case of publication of statistics, it is desirable to use the finest possible granularity of data and temporal breakdown.

The legislative framework of open data in the Czech Republic is its regulation contained in Act No. 106/1999 Coll., on free access to information and in Government Regulation No. 425/2016 Coll., on the list of information published as open data, which imposes on selected public administration bodies the obligation to publish data from specific information systems managed by them in the form of open data. More detailed information on strategic documents, action plans and related regulations of the Czech Republic and the EU is available in an updated form on the Open Data Portal (POD).

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