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Over 650 datasets to be released in first year of government open data plans (with photo/video)

The Office of the Government Chief Information Officer announced today (January 3) that over 80 government bureaux and departments (B/Ds) had published their first annual open data plans before the end of 2018. Over 650 new datasets will be released in 2019 via the Public Sector Information (PSI) Portal ( for free viewing and use by the public.

In her first Policy Address, the Chief Executive outlined eight major areas for innovation and technology development. One of these areas is opening up government data to provide raw materials for technology research, innovation and smart city development. The Steering Committee on Innovation and Technology personally chaired by the Chief Executive subsequently firmed up in September 2018 a new policy on opening up government data. The Government Chief Information Officer, Mr Victor Lam, said, "Under the new policy, B/Ds should endeavour to release their data for free public use on the PSI Portal, unless there are justifiable reasons such as involvement of personal privacy. B/Ds should also explore with public and commercial organisations to come up with measures in opening up data with a high degree of public interest."

Open data provides raw materials for technology research and city innovation. Members of the public can browse, download, distribute, reproduce, print and hyperlink all datasets disseminated via the PSI Portal free of charge, for both commercial and non-commercial uses.

"Over 650 new datasets will be opened up in the first year. By the end of 2019, the number of datasets on the PSI Portal will be increased from around 3 300 to close to 4 000 in total, an increase of about 20 per cent," Mr Lam added.

The new datasets cover different areas, including data related to the economy and livelihood, real-time meteorological data, geospatial data, digital maps that can facilitate smart city development, and data that can enhance city management.

To enhance the usability of data, all datasets on the PSI Portal follow international practices and are released in machine-readable formats commonly used by the industry, such as JSON, XML and CSV. The datasets are also annotated with appropriate data descriptions for easy understanding by the public and facilitating search through search engines. Other measures include retaining historical data, encouraging B/Ds to provide geospatial data, providing more Application Programming Interfaces and updating data in a timely manner.

A dedicated feedback form has been provided on the websites of B/Ds and the PSI Portal to allow the public to provide comments and suggestions at any time on the annual open data plans and applications of data.

The annual open data plans of B/Ds can be found on their respective websites and a full list of the plans is available on the PSI Portal.

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Press conference on open data policy