Singapore makes strides in Open Data

As part of its strategy to drive social innovation and deepen co-creation efforts with the citizens, the Singapore Government has announced that it will release more data to the public and work towards making all datasets on and OneMap machine-readable by end 2013.

“By opening up more data, and through innovative use of technology, we can crowd-source ideas and co-create applications with the wider community,” said Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam.

Since the Government’s one-stop data portal was launched in 2011, it has seen a 60 per cent increase in the number of datasets. The public can now access over 8,600 datasets from more than 60 public agencies for apps development or research.

More than 60 map themes have also been made available on OneMap, the Government’s one-stop geospatial data sharing platform. The latest offering is PopulationQuery, a new service developed by the Department of Statistics and the Singapore Land Authority to help users get various forms of data on the Singapore population and display the results on a map. Users can then choose to overlay this with other OneMap data such as the location of schools, public facilities or property prices, to assist them in decision making.

To date, more than 100 apps have also been developed using government data. For example, private sector app developers have made use of data from the Land Transport Authority to create apps to inform motorists about car park availability and Electronic Road Pricing, while community groups have also come up with apps for topics ranging from clean public toilets to street cats.

Speaking at the opening of the eGov Global Exchange Forum on 17 June, Mr Tharman said Singapore will be moving ahead with the Open Data initiative by releasing data-sharing principles to guide government agencies in sharing more data and co-creating with the public. Upcoming open data initiatives include the sharing of more granular data on road accidents by the Traffic Police, the mapping of past rental transactions onto OneMap by the Ministry of National Development to help the public make more informed rental decisions, and the release of new lightning data by the National Environment Agency.

The Government will also work towards making all datasets on and OneMap machine-readable – up from the current 50 per cent. This will give the public easier access to the data and make it convenient for them to analyse different datasets together, said Mr Tharman. Unlike PDF formats where information is “locked”, machine-readable formats enable users to slice and dice data easily. For example, a mobile app developer can pull real time data such as transport or weather data, for use in developing his application.

Other announcements at the eGov Global Exchange Forum included the launch of a new interactive website by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the introduction of a CorpPass for corporate e-services.

The new MOM website, which provides official statistical information on Singapore’s labour market, will allow employers and employees to benchmark their organisations’ performance against the national or industry norms on wages, employment conditions and staff turnover using tools available on the website.

To increase convenience for businesses and improve productivity, the Government will also be implementing CorpPass, which will replace the use of SingPass for corporate e-services. CorpPass, which will be introduced in early 2016, will bring about better segregation of personal and corporate passwords and allow authorised staff to access multiple corporate e-services through one common authorisation system.

The eGov Global Exchange Forum was part of the eGov Global Exchange which took place on 17-21 June alongside the Infocomm Media Business Exchange. Themed “Engaging Citizens, Co-creating the Future”, the event brought together some 500 delegates including 70 ministers and senior government officials from 60 countries/regions.


Sectors: Communications, Digital Services, and Technology
Countries: Asia Pacific, Singapore, and South East Asia
Topics: Getting Started, Innovation, Product Development, and R&D
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