The following post is an excerpt from my thesis entitled Linked open data for public sector information.
Open data creates opportunities that may end up being missed if the challenges associated with them are left unaddressed. The previous blog posts raised some of the questions the open data “movement” would have to face and resolve in order not to lose these opportunities and restore the faith in the transformative potential of open data.
Open data agenda is biased by its prevailing focus on the supply side of open data and its negligence of the demand side that gets to use the data. A significant part of the challenges associated with open data stems from a narrow-minded view of open data as a technology-triggered change that might be engineered. Although open data brings a change in which technology plays a fundamental role, it is important not to fail to recognize its side effects and the issues that cannot be solved by better engineering.
It is comfortable to abstract away from these issues at hand. So far, the challenges of open data are in most cases temporarily bypassed. While the essential features of open data are described thoroughly, its impact is left mostly unexplored. In fact, open data advocates frequently substitute their expectations for the effects of this relatively new phenomenon. The full implications of open data still need to be worked out. The blog posts about the challenges associated with open data can be thus read as an outline of some of the areas in which further research may be conducted and case studies may be commissioned.