On December 6, a two-month consultation will be launched on the ministry’s Open Data platform. Objective: to improve the service provided and open new datasets based on users' needs.

Since 2011, the Ministry of Culture has launched a policy in favour of the openness and sharing of public data, which since 2016 has resulted in the opening of a platform, which today has more than a hundred data sets intended for all citizens, but also for professionals who can, thanks to tools, make the most of this data in the form of cartography, graphics or data visualization.

Starting December 6, the department is proposing a consultation to its users. A list of questions will make it possible to better target the future datasets made available and to improve the service provided. Explanations with Roselyne Aliacar, in charge of Data Circulation and Openness in the Digital Service of the Ministry of Culture.

Since 2016, the Ministry has been opening its data to everyone on the dedicated platform data.culture.gouv.fr, in connection with data.gouv.fr. What can we currently find there?

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La plateforme data.culture.gouv.fr propose notamment des chiffres sur les grands événements comme la Nuit des musées.

With this platform, the Ministry of Culture wanted to offer a space for the enhancement of its digital cultural resources to the attention of all citizens, but also developers and businesses thanks in particular to APIs (Application programming interface, an IT tool that allows data to be exchanged between two administrations or between an administration and a private company) integrated and the various open formats available for download.

The data.culture.gouv.fr platform currently offers statistical and economic data such as visits to museums or assistance to the press, data on simplifying administrative procedures or figures on major events such as the Night of Museums or the European Heritage Days. A large number of cultural data can be found with the dissemination of the Joconde database, a collective catalogue of museums in France that lists about 650,000 objects.

This data is updated regularly and freely accessible and reusable by all to operate, modify or develop services, solutions and analyses based on this data. For example, data on cultural places will be reused in a mobile application dedicated to tourism, the list of events proposed during the heritage days will be taken up by the regional newspapers or by the cities to make a focus of the events on their territory, etc.

What does this freely available data mean for users?

The openness of public data is first of all a principle and a legal obligation justified by the necessary transparency of public action vis-à-vis citizens, who thus have access to analysable data on state action. In addition, citizens' feedback on open data allows them to offer data better adapted to their needs. For example, geolocation, which is much in demand by users, has become an indispensable information to be taken into account in our databases. In general, open data promotes knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer.

Open data also creates economic value by allowing businesses to exploit public data to make their business more efficient or to innovate and offer new services. This makes it possible to share public data with all market players and to reduce the hegemony of Internet giants who have the means to consolidate all the data they want.

Why launch this digital consultation on 6 December?

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The Ministry has opened its catalogue of data held by central government, decentralized services and services with national competence. This census describes the data sets but does not always give access to the data because a certain number are not yet open.

The purpose of this consultation is therefore to ask users which data would be most useful to them. Their responses will enable the department to identify these data and prioritize their openness based on the expectations expressed. More generally, the user will also be able to share data that he would like to see open to reuse and that would not appear in this catalogue.

The second objective of the consultation is to improve the service provided on the open data platform, data.culture.gouv.fr, and to help the ministry improve the quality of the data such as the frequency of updating, the export format, etc.

How’s this consultation gonna go?

The consultation takes the form of an on-line questionnaire with questions on what data users would like to see open and what data they would like to see improved. It is aimed at all citizens who reuse data: entrepreneurs, digital actors, researchers, journalists, local authorities, tourism stakeholders, cultural and social associations, students, etc.

One month after the consultation closes, the department commits to publishing the results. We will then publish the datasets on which the department’s services will work in priority, either for an opening or as part of an improvement in the service provided.