I'm part of a local advocacy group working on getting local government to open up more data and adopt open data policies. We're also trying to raise awareness about the role open data plays in our city.

While we're setting up CKAN we'd also like to have a website that demonstrates the uses of open data (and related civic technology). What are the best practices for or successful examples of open data advocacy websites?


2 Answers 2


Public advocacy is effective when it shows decision makers the examples they'd like. But it's not always clear what they'd like. The best bet is to demonstrate them good examples widely used across other locations.

Here are some of them:

GitHub and Government

The most comprehensive collection of public software projects already implemented in the world.

Many of these projects are data-driven, so you can understand what data adds value.

Data.gov Search

You can sort 130,000+ datasets by popularity and find out what're the most demanded data.

For example, this is the list of popular data related to transportation on the city level.

Data.gov Applications

The list of apps that use public data. Though it's difficult to estimate the impact of each particular app, you may ask your stakeholders what they like.

Open Knowledge Foundation (OKFN)

A major organization closest to your requirements. It has branches in various countries, so you can see what many of them do.


A few good examples from their value stories section:


Reports by consulting companies

McKinsey has a very good reputation among top decision makers and its reports get right to the point: how much money the client can make out of the subject. In this case:

The World Bank also wrote on open data, but their report is a way too general.


We're working along very similar lines, [rest omitted upon request, converting to robot mode]

Example (click link) of converting public data locked up in PDF to spreadsheet form and doing it collaboratively.

Tools used: [PDFtk4all][2] to split v.large heterogeneous PDFs into homogeneous sections, [Tabula][3] to convert PDFs.

[Recent bug-fix in Tabula][4] that makes the transcription process far more accurate, would advise that version for anyone dealing with non-English letters.

Working example (click link) to combine data in excel/csv with its geo-location data that is residing in a separate file and render them together on a map using leaflet.js.

Problem this addresses: Difficulty to add data that one may want rendered on a map to an existing geojson/kml format file. With solution, much more convenient to have the location data, and information to render, in separate files with latter being a simple CSV that is easy to edit. Potential for live updating of data by a team on shared google spreadsheet, publishing upon changes in CSV form, directly hooking up with map on website, hence eliminating workload.

Request to question-poster for contact for chance of further collaboration and shared exploration. In absence of any direct communication method on opendata.stackexchange (kindly guide if so), sharing email address for contacting: nikhil.js [at] gmail.com

Removed 3 links since not allowed to post more than 2 links. (Not understood why points earned on other stackexchange platforms not carrying forward to here)

Specific question posted by asker on sharing best practices and examples, answered in this answer. Hoping moderators find satisfactory and don't take umbrage to effort to connect (which might only increase sum total of open data in the world if permitted) or misunderstand as CV-pushing (seriously, some people just don't need that where they are in their life right now).

  • 1
    Welcome to Open Data! :-) Could you please modify your answer to focus more on Carl's question, and move the rest (interesting but not related to advocacy websites) to your curriculum vitae? ;-) Thanks!
    – Nicolas Raoul
    May 1, 2015 at 9:02
  • 1
    Modified, hoping it focuses enough.
    – Nikhil VJ
    May 1, 2015 at 10:04

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