There is no official repository of all the available public data in Italy.
Nothing like data.gov or data.gov.uk. Nor it seems there will be something even resembling it in a distant way, at least in the next few years.
And no, that’s not because our Public Administration lacks qualified or motivated managers and employees, or because of a diffused cultural attitude of ignorance and suspicion towards the new technologies in an ageing country ruled by an ageing political class. Both statements are prejudicial and false. We do have many greatly motivated managers (many young ones) in our PA, that understand perfectly the competitive advantages and moral appropriateness of putting public data, in standard and exchangeable formats, back in the hands of their owners: us the citizens.
Maybe it’s just that the subject is not ranked so important, as to trigger an organizational effort at a national level, comparable to data.gov.
The way to go with public data here seems to be the Do It Yourself way.
That’s exactly how the Spaghetti Open Data initiative was born a few weeks ago.
A small community of about 50 Public Administration employees and bloggers started assmbling links to sources of public data and to open software tools that can operate on them.
In a couple of weeks, the web site has been set up and it has just been launched today (nov, 3rd 2010). It contains links to 34 sources and 9 tools. It is open, it has been developed in an open standard, ready to be integrated into the italian CKAN.
It’s just a small seed, but it has the potential to grow fastly into a big tree of interconnected persons and projects. Maybe it will then be able to win a bit of attention and change the inertia of the central government with respect to this subject.