rOpengov project: a community of R package developers on open government data analytics

Pyry Kantanen and Leo Lahti (University of Turku)

Open science is a discourse, a movement and a practice (Lahti et al., 2017). Open data (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Reusable, FAIR) and open software (free and open-source software, FOSS) are some of the building blocks that enable the practice of open science.

rOpenGov is a collaborative software development project that has contributed to the development of FOSS R tools for interacting and accessing open data resources. The maturing of the R ecosystem has made it possible to interlink various R packages together to build e.g. interactive websites for easy visualization of statistical data. From the perspective of digital humanities, easily accessible open government statistical and geospatial data can help explain different social and cultural phenomena.

Currently, rOpenGov tools are suited for accessing datasets that are currently available from APIs and open data repositories. Challenges remain in accessing historical statistical and geospatial datasets, long-term archiving solutions for currently available datasets and creating and maintaining a set of rules for harmonizing data from changing spatial boundaries over long periods. Some of these challenges can be potentially solved by national-level capability and infrastructure building.

Aalto HELDIG DH pizza seminar on Friday 6 May 2022 at 12.00 (Zoom).