Pieter Colpaert

"If you work open source you should always document everything you do."

HDYD Session

We like to call ourselves the open data avant garde.
iRail used to be a rather simple website for your mobile phone, we used data of the NMBS. In 2008 no one made such an app yet.
Later on, we got a letter that we had to get the website down, and we got a lot of media attention.
So people got interested about making such apps. In 2010 we released an API, and people start to make mash-ups and apps theirselves.

If you work open source you should always document everything you do.
It takes more time than the actual programming, but in this way people are able to contribute.

We advise the NMBS to start to use open data as well. Neelie Kroes just talked
People are afraid of IT, but then I should actually explain the internet...
In France, the Netherlands and London we're talking to many people.

We started the Open Knowledge Foundation in Belgium, it consists of four parts: open transport (iRail), open education, creative commons and apps for cities (Ghent, Antwerp). We want to organize apps for Belgium as well. We want to show that Belgium is into open data as well.

After the presentation of Pieter Colpaert an interesting discussion about Open Data emerged.
Is it an interesting model for the whole society? Who benefits from it?
Will be continued.


Pieter Colpaert leads the Open Knowledge Foundation Belgium and is a researcher at iMinds and Ghent University. Peter pushes for openness in Belgium by pushing for things like Creative Commons and open data, for example in the field of public transport.

Why we invited him

Peter is a designer of processes. He works across borders between groups as varied as academics, public servants, entrepreneurs, data experts, archivists, hackers and web developers. What has he learnt about the languages and processes in these teams? And if you want to promote openness, what are good arguments?


*Watch Pieter Colpaert's interview for REC Radiocentrum at http://vimeo.com/53679842

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