What is Open Data?

From the Open Data Handbook we get the following definition…

Open data is data that can be freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone - subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and share-alike.

Here are the most important features of open data:

Why is being so specific important?

Providing a clear definition of openness ensures that when you get two open datasets from two different sources, you will be able to combine them together, and it ensures that we avoid our own ‘tower of babel’: lots of datasets but little or no ability to combine them together into the larger systems where the real value lies.