German National Data Portal Launched

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Wednesday saw the launch of the German national data portal. While the portal had been longtime expected, in the last days before the launch the German open data community has been vocal in its criticism of the introduction of a newly created national license framework, which includes the option to limit re-use to non-commercial use forms.

The portal will also hold non-open data as well as data in closed formats. This in the expectation that once data is published in some shape or form the pressure on the data holder will rise to provide the data as really open data as well.

Although other national portals have gone the same road, the German community says doing it this way is a missed chance to set a norm at the national level. They fear this will lead to national level agencies, states and local communities further hesitating to embrace fully open data, and will lead to mere 'open-washing' where most of the data considered interesting and valuable will not be published under open conditions. The community also signals that where the national license merely allows for non commercial clauses, but suggests fully open as default, other public sector bodies are considering this as a guideline to take the NC restriction as the norm.

The platform is created under the responsibility of the German Ministry for the Interior (BMI) and was built by Fraunhofer FOKUS.
At launch the platform contains a few thousand data sets, mostly under a license only requiring attribution of the source. The license is a new German national license. German National Data Portal