Augusto Herrmann

 Blog posts

It’s 2020. Why are you not opening up data yet? Bingo!

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When I started advocating for and building open data eleven years ago, the world was a very different place. Brazil had neither open data portal nor policy, and even the countries that pioneered the open data agenda were just beginning. Now we can see a very different landscape. Most nation states have joined the open data agenda and feature a one stop shop portal where people can download a plethora of data about almost any subject, including the most important ones. Many local governments do so, too. It may seem so that public sector managers have been since then mostly convinced already of the reasons for opening up data, be they for economic growth, job creation, public sector cost savings…

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On the State of Open Data: does it face an identity crisis?

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What is the current state of open data around the world? Is open data facing an identity crisis? These are some of the questions that a recent book and its launch event tried to answer. Six months ago, a book contemplating the state of open data around the world was released by the Open Data for Development (OD4D) initiative. The OD4D is a global partnership that supports southern leadership and locally-led data ecosystems around the world as a way to spur positive social change and sustainable development – OD4D’s website The program is hosted by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada. The IDRC has also published the book, in partnership with African Minds, a non-profit, open access book…

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Counting tabular and map datasets in CKAN

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It has come to my attention that some international open data ranking systems, specifically, the Open-Useful-Reusable Government Data (OURdata) Index, measured by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), do measure not only how many datasets a given national open government data portal has, but also how many of those are tabular and how many are maps. I don’t think measuring the number of datasets in an open government data portal is a very useful metric, considering that governments may just as well split large datasets into smaller ones in order to achieve a larger “amount of datasets”, without adding any benefit or value to the data user. On the contrary, that practice might make relevant data more difficult…

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Tokens and tribulations

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After fifteen years looking from afar at the evolution of the Brazilian Public Key Infrastructure – ICP Brasil, I have, at last, acquired my own certificate. And, with it, a hardware token to store the private key. I have decided, then, to try and install and use it in an Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS operating system while documenting the steps in order to help other people that may want to use it in the same system and might face difficulties. Installing the usb token for digital certificates In order to install the GD Starsign token drivers from Giesecke & Devrient GmbH on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, download the drivers from the drivers page from GD South America and unpack the files. Even…

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Notes on the course: new advances in digital and open government

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This week, once again, we were participating in the course New Advances in Open and Digital Government. The course is lectured by Prof. Dr. Marijn Janssen of Delft Technical University in the Netherlands, and is promoted in Brasília by the Secretariat for Digital Government – SGD – and the National School of Public Administration – Enap. This is the second time such a course was offered, after having debuted in 2018. Most of the participants are public officials from many different organizations in the Brazilian federal government. In this series of posts I will share my main observations and comments on the contents of the course. Note these are my own views and observations and they do not represent in…

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