How do different communities create unique identifiers?

Identifiers are part of data infrastructure. They play an important role, helping to publish, structure and link together data. Identifiers are boundary objects, that cross communities. That means they need to be well-documented in order to be most useful. Understanding how identifiers are created, assigned and governed can help us think through how to strengthen … Continue reading How do different communities create unique identifiers?

Talk: Documenting Identifiers for Humans and Machines

This is a rough transcript of a talk I recently gave at a session at Pidapalooza 2019. You can view the slides from the talk here. I’m sharing my notes for the talk here, with a bit of light editing. I’d also really welcome you thoughts and feedback on this discussion document. At the Open Data … Continue reading Talk: Documenting Identifiers for Humans and Machines

When are open (geospatial) identifiers useful?

In a meeting today, I was discussing how and when open geospatial identifiers are useful. I thought this might make a good topic for a blog post in my continuing series of questions about data. So here goes. An identifier provides an unambiguous reference for something about which we want to collect and publish data. … Continue reading When are open (geospatial) identifiers useful?

12 ways to improve the GDS guidance on reference data publishing

GDS have published some guidance about publishing reference data for reuse across government. I’ve had a read and it contains a good set of recommendations. But some of them could be clearer. And I feel like some important areas aren’t covered. So I thought I’d write this post to capture my feedback. Like the original … Continue reading 12 ways to improve the GDS guidance on reference data publishing

A short list of some of the things I’ve worked on which I’ve particularly enjoyed

Part of planning for whatever comes next for me in my career involved reflecting on the things I’ve enjoyed doing. I’m pleased to say that there’s a quite a lot. I thought I’d write some of them down to help me gather my thoughts around what I’d like to do more of in the future. … Continue reading A short list of some of the things I’ve worked on which I’ve particularly enjoyed

FAIR, fairer, fairest?

“FAIR” (or “FAIR data”) is an term that I’ve been bumping into more and more frequently. For example, its included in the UK’s recently published Geospatial Strategy. FAIR is an acronym that stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable. It defines a set of principles that highlight some important aspects of publishing machine-readable data well. … Continue reading FAIR, fairer, fairest?

What kinds of data is it useful to include in a register?

Registers are useful lists of information. A register might be a list of countries, companies, or registered doctors. Or addresses. At the ODI we did a whole report on registers. It looks at different types of registers and how they’re governed. And GDS built a whole infrastructure to support them being published and used across … Continue reading What kinds of data is it useful to include in a register?

How can you help support the use of a dataset?

Getting the most value from data, whilst minimising its harmful impacts, is a community activity. Datasets need to be governed and published well. Most of that responsibility falls on the data publisher. Because the choices they make shapes data ecosystems. But other people have a role to play too. Being a good data user means … Continue reading How can you help support the use of a dataset?

Exploring registration agencies as data institutions

A key focus for our research and delivery work at the ODI at the moment is exploring how to design sustainable and trustworthy data institutions. Data institutions are organisations that steward data on behalf of a community. They have a variety of legal forms, roles and purposes. Yesterday I wrote (again!) about identifiers and specifically, … Continue reading Exploring registration agencies as data institutions