About the Aporta Initiative
Aporta is an initiative being promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Energy, Tourism and The Digital Agenda, through the Public Corporate Entity Red.es, and in partnership with the Spanish Ministry of Finance and Civil Service that was launched in 2009 to promote the open information culture in Spain.
The objective for Aporta is to create the conditions conducive to the development of an Open Government Data market and to support administration units in the technical and organisational activities needed to publish the information of an unrestricted access nature they hold in accordance with current legislation and in such a way that fosters re-use.
Aporta provides a link between all those that form part of the data ecosystem:
- Users, citizens or professionals that demand the information.
- Public bodies that provide and use public information.
- Re-users and infomediaries that create products and services based on the data.
These players and main beneficiaries in the field of Open Government Data enable: the launch of new business models, the modernisation of public authorities and the creation of transparency, collaboration and citizen participation platforms.
Lines of action
This initiative, which forms part of the Digital Spain Agenda, is being developed around seven lines of action:
- Disclosure, awareness and training
- National Open Data Catalogue
- Sectoral statistics
- PPC - Public-Private Collaboration
- Legislative framework and national cooperation
- International cooperation
- Asesoramiento y soporte
Disclosure, awareness and training
Aporta, via the datos.gob.es, website, offers news on current affairs, real examples, recommendations and methods on Open Government Data.
The “Interact” section under “Documentation” provides the public with a series of reference documents, such as guides, reports and studies, that offer additional information on open data and their re-use.
The “News” section publishes relevant events and news about open data in the form of articles, bulletins, events and interviews with various players in the open data ecosystem.
The “Impact” section also contains information on outstanding projects in the form of applications and success stories.
Additionally, the latest news and progress in the field - both national and international - is published via the profiles created for the initiative on the social media networks Twitter (@datosgob) and LinkedIn.
National Open Data Catalogue
Datos.gob.es houses the National Open Data Catalogue, which is the only point of access to the data sets offered by the public authorities for re-use Spain.
The “Data Catalogue” section can be used to consult the data sets being made available by public authorities and bodies. In order to make it easier to find the data you want, free text searches can be combined with filters based on category, format, labels, publishing body or level of government to which the data belong.
The data sets present in the catalogue are described and categorised according to the Technical Interoperability Rules on the Re-use of Information Resources (NTI-RISP). However, the files containing the data (distributions) are not housed on this platform but rather reside directly within the systems of the managing bodies thereof in order to facilitate management and avoid the desynchronisation of the information.
The public authorities have two mechanisms for publishing data sets and updating the information already published on them:
- Manual: the body accesses a form that enables it to enter information for registration in a new data set or update a data set that is already present in the catalogue.
- Federation: the registration and update process for the data sets is completed periodically and automatically based on the information published by the body in the open data catalogue to be found on its website.
The public authorities that wish to add their open data sets to the catalogue must request a user account on the platform.
Aporta monitors the activity that takes place involving open data and their re-use. Via the National Telecommunications and Information Society Watchdog (ONTSI) an Infomediary Sector Characterisation Study is drawn up on a regular basis to identify and classify business activity based on products and/or services that re-use public sector information in Spain. The report considers both companies set up specifically for this purpose and those that have a specific department for the development of OGD products.
This study consists of an analysis of the data re-use industry, focusing on three objectives:
- Ascertaining the characteristics of infomediary companies and the activity they are engaged in within the sector.
- Ascertaining the characteristics of the primary information supply; i.e. that provided by the public authorities themselves.
- Building a picture on the products and services that these companies offer.
Hence, the Infomediary Sector Characterisation Study allows more in-depth knowledge to be gained on the essential traits characterising the infomediary sector in Spain, as well as the upward trend being seen in this field. This incentivises the development of new solutions and business models based on the re-use of open data and information from the private sector.
From a public data offer perspective and created in order to raise awareness about the open data initiatives that exist in Spain, Aporta also offers a map of open data initiatives in Spain that provides information on the available initiatives, their characteristics and access to the website of each one.
PPC - Public-Private Collaboration
Within the framework of the Aporta initiative and in order to establish public-private collaboration mechanisms capable of harnessing the maximum socio-economic potential of open data, various representatives from the Ministry of Energy, Tourism and The Digital Agenda, the Ministry of Finance and Civil Service and various private entities have formed the “Public-Private Collaboration Forum on Open Government Data” (CPP-RISP Forum)".
This forum establishes collaborative dialogue between the public authorities and those companies with knowledge of the value to be gained from open data in business development and growth.
Legislative framework and national cooperation
Spanish Law 37/2007, of 16 November, on Open Government Data, contains the basic regulations governing the legal regime applicable to the re-use of information created or held by public sector authorities and bodies. This law transposes Directive 2003/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 17 November 2003, on the re-use of public sector information into Spanish legislation and was amended in 2015 by Spanish Law 18/2015, of 9 July, which introduced the transposition of the amendments made to Directive 2003/98/EC via Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 June 2013.
Within the framework of Aporta, this Law is developed for the field of public State action via Royal Decree 1495/2011, of 24 October, which introduces the right to the re-use of any document of a public nature. This right to re-use represents a qualitative step forward and was subsequently reflected for the EU as a whole in Directive 2013/37/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 26 June 2013, amending Directive 2003/98/EC.
Also within the context of the Aporta initiative, and as a result of the formal collaboration mechanisms put in place via the collegiate bodies for administrative cooperation, efforts are being made to develop the Technical Interoperability Regulations (NTI) on Open Government Data. These regulations are being developed under the auspices of the National Scheme for Interoperability and establish common conditions on selection, identification, description, format, usage conditions and availability of the documents and information resources created or held by the public sector with regard to various fields of interest, such as information of a social, economic, legal or tourism nature, etc. on companies, education, etc. while fully complying with the provisions of said Law 37/2007, of 16 November.
In addition to the work taking place at a national level, Aporta is also involved in various international projects. These include:
- European Data Portal: this is the European data portal that gathers metadata based on public sector information available on public access data portals in the various European countries. Aporta actively collaborates with this initiative so that, via a content federation process, all data sets of Spanish public authorities present on datos.gob.es are also available at a European level.
- Open Data Monitor: a pan-European initiative that identifies and characterises the public data sets made available in 25 European countries.
- Involvement in the Share-PSI 2.0 thematic network has enabled the identification of best practices in both public sector information and cultural wealth or scientific and commercial data.
Advice and support
Since October 2012, Aporta has been offering an OGD advice service to public authorities for resolving any queries of an operational or technical nature.
In the “Interact” section under “Advice and Support”, you can find the various channels for accessing this service.