Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science Act of 2015

US Senators Coons, Daines introduce bill to promote open science and innovation in government Bill will authorize government agencies to use open-innovation tools, empower individuals and organizations to help solve problems.

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Eye on Earth Alliance Commits to Supporting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates was the venue October 6–8 for the Eye on Earth Summit 2015, an international conference organized by the Eye on Earth Alliance to address the global challenge of increasing access to information to support sustainable development.

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NASA releases dataset of global temperatures and rainfall from 1950 to 2100

NASA released a dataset projecting temperatures and rainfall throughout the world from 1950 to 2100. The project, called The NASA Earth Exchange Global Daily Downscaled Projections (NEX-GDDP) has been developed using 21 different climate models as well as vast amounts of satellite data and can be visualised on a global map, or down to the spatial scale of individual towns and cities.

The 25-kilometer spatial resolution provides scientists and policymakers with a possibility to study distant-future daily weather scenarios in more detail. Each of the climate projections includes maximum temperature, minimum temperature and precipitation for a given day within the time period.

The aim of the project is to facilitate research on climate change and its impact at local and regional scales, as well as to increase public understanding of potential climate patterns within individual cities and communities. Finally, the information gathered could be useful for policy making processes, allowing decision-makers to react to drought, floods, heat waves and other extreme weather linked to climate change in a timely manner.

Digitizing the Ocean Floor

Researchers at the University of Sydney’s School of Geosciences have created the world’s first digital map of seafloor geology, which provides data on 40 years of changes to the composition of the ocean floor. The map, constructed using data from over 15,000 seafloor samples, will help scientists understand the impact of environmental changes on the world’s oceans. The digital data and interactive map are freely available as open access resources.

The map has been published in the Summer 2015 edition of Geology; it will assist scientists in understanding more about how oceans are affected, and will be affected to environmental change. It has been also found that the deep ocean basins will be more complex than what was thought earlier.

Improved availability of census data: a first look at the Gridded Population of the World, version 4

Erin Doxsey-Whitfielda, Kytt MacManusa, Susana B. Adamoa, Linda Pistolesia, John Squiresa, Olena Borkovskaa & Sandra R. Baptistaa
Applied Geography, published online 24 July 2015 [not an open access journal]

Abstract: Global gridded population data are increasingly being applied to a broad range of fields. This article presents improvements made in the fourth version of the Gridded Population of the World (GPWv4) data set. GPWv4 is a minimally modeled data set that uses uniform distribution to disaggregate census data from their native input units into a thirty arc-second global grid. Due to an increase in freely accessible census data from the 2010 round of censuses, eighty-seven countries are gridded at a higher admini-strative level than in the previous version, with a more than fivefold increase in the total number of census units outside of the United States.

The resultant decrease in unit size has greatly improved the data set accuracy. Additionally, version 4 has expanded to include grids of age, sex, and urban–rural status. Obtaining high-resolution census data and matching census geography remains a priority for improving global gridded population data sets.

Global Open Data Index now open for submissions

After months of work and great feedback from all of you, the Global Open Data Index is now open for submissions.

Each year, governments make more data available in an open format. The Global Open Data Index tracks whether this data is actually released in a way that is accessible to
citizens, media and civil society and is unique in crowdsourcing its survey of open data releases around the world. Each year the open data community and the Open Know-
ledge Network produces an annual ranking of countries, peer reviewed by local open data experts.

Crowd-sourcing this data provides a tool for communities around the world to learn more about the open data available locally and by country, and ensures that the results reflect the experience of civil society in finding open information, rather than government claims of openness. It also ensures that those who actually collect the information that builds the Index are the very people who use the data and are in a strong position to advocate for more and higher quality open data.

The Global Open Data Index measures and benchmarks the openness of data around the world, and then presents this information in a way that is easy to understand and use. This increases its usefulness as an advocacy tool and broadens its impact. In 2015, the hope is to include 100+ countries (up from 90 in 2014 and 70 in 2103) with an emphasis on countries of the Global South.

UN SDGs 2030 Resolution and Agenda published

Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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