World Bank gets ahead of the pack in the race to open data

This page in:

With perfect timing, as Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web predicted in his highly popular TED talk that open data is the web's future, the World Bank last week released its new API. From the developer's blog:

The World Bank has been collecting massive amounts of data, for the past 50+ years, and now possesses one of the richest repositories of information about economic development in the world. World Bank Open API is an initiative of the World Bank that opens the wealth of the World Bank's global economic data to the outside world, in a standard, easily accessible way. Open API allows third parties to develop mash-ups and applications with the World Bank data and easily create different kinds of interesting visualizations and insightful reports.

Currently, the API exposes a variety of data for approximately 200 countries over a time period of more than 50 years. In a parallel move, the OECD recently released a new version of its OECD eXplorer, a tool to analyse regional statistics.

So it looks like we beat the US government in the rush to make data publicly available. On the other hand, looking at the big picture, I would venture that my 2008 New Year's wish of freeing development data is still a long way from becoming reality.

Join the Conversation

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly
Remaining characters: 1000