Helsinki Region

2 years of open public data

There are many good reasons why we should open public data. Strong evidence indicates that just making data publicly available has produced significant results. The open data movement is young and international but is making rapid progress and inspires people to new achievements. Open data helps society develop towards a more open and international direction, increasing equality and involvement in all fields.

Opening public data, which also means releasing it free of charge, makes sense from the perspective of public finance. Opening up data can mobilise great creative reserves and user-oriented design. The new services and products designed in this way will also save production costs. In other words, open data will not only simplify your daily life but also create more options for consumers, contribute to the creation of new jobs and enable collaboration across borders. Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen will develop greatly as open cities.

Asta Manninen
Director, Helsinki Region Infoshare project City of Helsinki Urban Facts

Opening public data is an undertaking with a vast number of positive effects. In the hands of active developers and enterprises, public data will be refined into new services and business.
For the ordinary citizen, solutions that make use of the new data reserves will mean increasingly uncomplicated daily routines and services. It also brings new business opportunities for the private sector and more tax revenues for public service. It is hard to think about another action which can bring about so many positive effects.
So far, a major disincentive for opening data has been the government agencies’ concern about losing sales revenues. Solutions have now been found for this issue as well. The decision on central government spending limits not only gave whole-hearted political support but also allocated significant funding to the Open Knowledge Programme for 2014 through 2017. This finance plan can compensate the government agencies for the income lost by opening their data reserves to the public.

Timo Valli
Director of Public Government ICT
Ministry of Finance

The Public Sector ICT operational unit is responsible for the overall development of public administration information management, e-Government and corporate data, for information management governance in central government and for the coordination of joint development projects. Public sector ICT promotes information management cooperation between central and local government, formulates joint functional and technical solutions and methods and is in charge of overall development of information security in public administration as well as data security governance in central government.

The Helsinki Region Infoshare project opens up public and cost-free information on the Helsinki Region for use by all. Unlocking public data resources will increase citizens’ awareness and understanding about the development of their region, thus improving the conditions of civic participation. The availability of open knowledge can also create new services and business in the region as well as advance research and development. HRI is a joint open data project established by the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen, co-funded by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra and the Ministry of Finance. Forum Virium Helsinki has played a key role in the implementation of the project.

Petja Partanen, Tarinatakomo
Terhi Upola

Cover image
Lauri Vanhala

Design and layout
Valeria Gasik, Frendo
Marko Tanninen, Frendo

Timo Vuorikivi

The texts of the publication are licensed under the 'HRI-nimeäattribution. All reuse of the material must be accompanied by the name of the author (Petja Partanen or Terhi Upola) and the publisher (Helsinki Region Infoshare).

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