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January 5, 2018 8:57 am

Everything You Need To Know About Web Design

The internet has become one of the most important places in the world. Almost every person in the world who has an internet connection is online at some point in their life which has made the internet the best place for everything, may it be business or education. The internet consists of many different websites and all of these websites follow some kind of design pattern.

This is where web design comes in, web design is commonly described as the process of collecting ideas and implementing those ideas by following some principles. The intention behind web design is to present the content on a web page which the users can use to their benefit using a web browser.

Web Design Requirements

As mentioned earlier, web design is a collection of ideas that need to be arranged properly. There are many things that are needed to complete this task and they are commonly referred to as the elements of web design. Below you will find some of the most important elements of web design.

1.      Layout

The first thing that is required for a good web design is the layout of the web site. The layout is the way everything is arranged on a web page. E- Commerce different from M-Commerce, It is important to maintain a balance in the layout of the web page because the user should be able to find the information that they need at a glance.

When you are working on the layout of the webpage then you should keep the 3 second rule in mind. According to this rule, an average user spends just 3 seconds on a webpage and if he is not able to find what he needs in those 3 seconds then he will move on. That is why you should make those 3 seconds count and for that the layout plays an important role.

2.      Color

The colors used in a webpage really depends on personal preference. The web designer will only use those colors that the client approves. The colors that are used in a web page mostly reflect the personality of the person or the organization. It is used to convey a message to the user, bright colors are often used to attract the users. Many websites still use the traditional black and white colors, while other prefer to use many different shades of colors.

3.      Graphics

Graphics are something that are used to enhance the web design. However, it is important to keep in mind that the graphics needs to be placed appropriately so that the experience remains user friendly. Too much graphics should not be integrated into the web page because it will cause the webpage to load slower and will make the page look cluttered and congested. Graphics include the following things:

  • Logos
  • Photos
  • Icons
  • Clipart
  • Videos

4.      Content

Aside from color and graphics, text is also an important tool in a web design. Text is one of the greatest ways of conveying messages to the user. Content is can be used to enhance the website with strong visuals and well written text. One thing to keep in mind is the text that you use on your web page must be relevant to the web page. If it is not the case then the user will easily get confused.

The content should also be search engine optimized so that your web page is able to secure a good rank on the Search Engine Result Page or SERP.

5.      Navigation

Websites that are generally created contain multiple pages and each page serves a different purpose. This is where navigation comes in, the user should have an easy way to browse through the menus and the different pages of your website.

6.      Compatibility

One of the most important things to worry about when it comes to web design is compatibility. Nowadays, people use the internet on various devices and it is the job of a web designer to make sure that the website opens properly on all different machines.

Conclusion

These were somethings that you should know about web design. Beside, you should choose a E-Commerce CMS Platform that are worth using! Web design is one of the most important things as it helps make the internet a better place. If web design is poor then using the internet will become very difficult.

December 21, 2017 2:28 am

E- Commerce Vs M-Commerce: What Are The Differences?

The world has been changing very fast and people do not have time to wait in queues just to get a single article or piece of information. Although tradition commerce is still in use, people in general prefer to use the faster modes of commerce. This is where electronic commerce (E-commerce) and mobile commerce (M-commerce) comes in. E-commerce data is available in many different variations, ranging from text to sound and video. M-commerce on the other hand is a bit different as it allows the trading of data through wireless connections between mobile phones, tablets and other gadgets.

More Insight
To cut the long story short, E-commerce mainly refers to the buying and selling of data with the help of electronic systems like the internet. However, M-commerce allows the transfer of data through telecommunication devices.
There are many differences between E-commerce and M-commerce, some of them are stated below:

E-Commerce Vs M-Commerce
• The devices used by E-commerce are computers and laptops, whereas M-commerce utilizes mobiles, tablets and other handheld devices.
• E-commerce was first developed in introduced in the 1970s and since then it has changed the way we access data. M-commerce on the other hand was introduced late in the 1990s.
• It is mandatory for the user to have a solid internet connection if he wants to use e-commerce. However, internet access is not compulsory for m-commerce.
• E-commerce is difficult to access everywhere as it requires an internet connection and electricity. M-commerce is a lot more portable as it is not restricted by the internet or electricity.

More About E-Commerce
As mentioned earlier, E-commerce stands for electronic commerce and it mainly refers to all types of data exchange that is done over the internet. E-commerce includes things like transactions, banking, insurance, advertising and a lot more. E-commerce includes things like transactions, banking, insurance, advertising and a lot more. Nowadays, we have many E-Commerce CMS Platforms that are worth using, we can choose a platform to create a blog website, online store or online news… What E-commerce does is that it eliminates the face to face interaction between the two parties and helps them communicate without looking at each other.
E-commerce is a very important business tools and it includes the following business models. The business models are business to consumer (B2C), business to business (B2B), consumer to business (C2B) and consumer to consumer (C2C).
E-commerce has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years, especially because of the fact that the internet has become so common. Many people have access to the internet and that is why it has become easier for them to access E-commerce services. There are many advantages of e-commerce, some of them are listed below.
• With the help of E-commerce potential customers or consumers can acquire feedback of a particular product or service through previous consumers. This helps the new consumers to make a better and well informed decision regarding the product that they are about to buy.
• E-commerce has eliminated the middleman that was once important when you had to buy something. With the help of E-commerce a customer can directly contact the seller and get the best price for a specific product.
• E-commerce provides 24/7 accessibility which is a huge bonus as there is no time limitation. It is simple, easy and convenient for the user.
• Since the middleman has been eliminated with the introduction of E-commerce, the overhead cost has also reduced drastically. This is because the money that you would once pay the middleman has been completely eradicated.

More About M-Commerce
M-commerce is also known as mobile commerce. To put things easily, m-commerce can be referred to as a slightly upgraded version of E-commerce. M-commerce is very different from e-commerce in many ways, for starters all the commercial activities in m-commerce are done with the help of cellular devices. These activities include things like buying, selling, ordering and browsing.
Since the introduction of M-commerce, E-commerce has also become a lot better. This is because it has increased its connectivity, portability and accessibility. With the help of M-commerce you do not need to be connected to the internet in order to avail its services, instead you just need to have a wireless device.
The latest and greatest technologies in M-commerce are Short Message Service (SMS), Bluetooth and Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). M-commerce has many uses, for example it can be used for mobile banking, money transfer and ticket booking.
Like E-commerce, M-commerce also has a few demerits. Firstly, M-commerce is usually used on small devices, this means that you will be stuck with smaller screen which provides a bad user experience.

Some More Differences
• E-commerce is the best way to go for business activities, especially when you are doing it over the internet. Whereas, if you want to conduct commercial transactions with the help of cellular devices then you should probably go with M-commerce.
• E-commerce is also much older than M-commerce. It was first introduced during the 1970s whereas M-commerce was introduced during the 1990s. Both of the services have their merits and demerits and it is really a matter of preference.
• M-commerce can be described as a part of e-commerce. This is because it was developed along the lines of E-commerce and is similar to it in many ways.
• M-commerce provides a larger connectivity range than E-commerce. This is because a cellular connection is easier to find than an internet connection and there are a lot more cellular devices in the world, hence the connection is also larger.
• M-commerce devices are easier to carry as they are much smaller, portability is a huge advantage that M-commerce provides. It is an advantage that is absent in E-commerce.

Conclusion
These were some things that you should know about E-commerce and M-commerce. Both of the services are very different from each other and have their own specific uses. You will find yourself using both E-commerce and M-commerce as one service cannot be used everywhere.

December 13, 2017 2:55 am

E-Commerce CMS Platforms that are worth using!

Introduction

The concept of online business is one the rise nowadays and there are many companies out there who are making huge profits solely on the basis of their online presence. The names of some of these companies are Alibaba.com and Amazon.com.

As a new entrepreneur if you want to indulge in online business then for that you need to develop a website of your own through a CMS platform. There are many CMS platforms out their which can be utilized by you and some of these platforms have been discussed in the headings below.

Advantages of CMS platforms

Main advantages of CMS platforms are as follows

  • Ideal for non-technical individuals
  • It allows more than one users
  • CMS streamlines the scheduling
  • Design changes can be easily made
  • Content management gets facilitated by CMS

 

Hosted CMS Platforms

The Ecommerce websites which are hosted in nature have their basis in the Software as a service system (Saas). The hosted website allows you to begin the store once you get signed up with the company. In a Hosted CMS platform you cannot access the software for modification and coding. You can take a look at A Detailed Analysis on PrestaShop, OpenCart and Magento. Some well-known Hosted CMS platforms are as follows

1.      3dCart

A 3dCart webpage allows you to sell both the digital as well as physical goods. The biggest feature of 3dCart lies in the fact that it is equipped with a very powerful integration API. Apart from this, 3dCart also has many selling tools under its belt such as social selling on social media platforms and mobile selling. From SEO friendliness to wonderful interface the platform has everything.

2.      Shopify

Shopify is ideal for both medium as well as small online businesses. The beauty of this platform is that many templates are available in the market that can be utilized by you. The templates can be customized as well. Both digital as well as physical goods can be sold; overall the platform is very simple to use and is flexible.

3.      Wix

If you are looking to develop a functional online store then Wix is the platform which you should be utilizing. The platform can get integrated easily via Ecommerce tools which are advanced. The tools include entities like third party apps and social media marketing.

Ready templates are offered by Wix which serves as a serious advantage. The platform also has a drag and drop editor which helps you in making your store professional without any kind of design experience. Wix is ideal for enterprises that are operating at a smaller level.

4.      BigCommerce

BigCommerce is a kind of software which has its basis in Cloud. It is user friendly software which allows you to craft responsive and beautiful web store. The software has the ability to handle coupons, integration, payments, checkouts and shipping. The software also has add- ons in excess of 320.

5.      Volusion

If you are looking for cloud based solutions then the ideal Ecommerce platform for you is Volusion. The biggest feature of Volusion is it’s built in features, which means that you do not need to buy any add-on from the app store. The main features of this platform are my rewards program, eBay and Amazon Integration. Volusion actually helps you in retaining customers by building your brand.

 

Self-Hosted CMS Platforms

The CMS platforms which are based upon open-source software and which can be run, edited and downloaded as per your need are called Self-Hosted Platforms. Let’s see some of the best platforms in this regard

1.      WooCommerce

WooCommerce is basically a word press plugin which can be utilized by you for the development of your Ecommerce website or store on word press. The plugin has all the exceptional features and is at the same time very easy to install as well.

2.      Magento

One of the best CMS platforms that are available out there is Magento. The software is ideal for you if you are someone who is a professional in web development. Through Magento you can easily develop a store through its splendid extensions and add-ons. The community version of this platform is available free of cost and is ideal for medium sized and small companies.

3.      OsCommerce

One of the most trusted Ecommerce CMS platforms in the open source category is OsCommerce.  More than 7000 add-ons are available in this platform and all of these add-ons have been developed by OsCommerce community. The customization options in the platform are simply awesome.

4.      PrestaShop

The platform which has been designed specifically for online store management is PrestaShop. The platform is relatively easy to install and if you possess web development experience then customization would not be that difficult for you. Some well-known features of this platform are store management, marketing, reporting and checkouts.

5.      OpenCart

OpenCart is free to utilize. The platform is good for individuals who have web development and design experience under their belt. Some reputed features of this platform are PCI Compliant, Unlimited categories, manufacturers and products.

December 4, 2017 7:34 am

A Detailed Analysis on PrestaShop, OpenCart and Magento

What is an Ecommerce Platform?

The software application which actually allows you, as an online business person to manage your operations, website and sales is called an Ecommerce Platform. There are several kind of Ecommerce platforms that are available nowadays however the three most commonly used are PrestaShop, Magento and OpenCart.  We will briefly analyze these three platforms and see which one is more conducive for your online business.

Benefits of Ecommerce Platforms

There are countless operational benefits and tools which an Ecommerce platform can actually provide you, some important benefits have been listed below

  • Search capabilities
  • Product management suite
  • Promotions
  • Merchandising
  • Pricing

Things to look!

You cannot just go into the market and purchase an Ecommerce Platform without doing any kind of research on it. You have to keep into consideration certain aspects before you actually buy a platform. Some of the things to consider are

  • Can you talk to the real person when you need any kind of assistance or help?
  • Does the Ecommerce Platform which you want to purchase integrate with modern day social media platforms
  • Are there any product limits?

The Analysis

Now let’s do some Analysis on the three major Ecommerce Platforms which are commonly utilized by the masses. We will start with PrestaShop.

 

1.      PrestaShop

PrestaShop is very much similar to Magento and OpenCart. It is more of a Platform which is Open Source in nature. It is home to some wonderful collection of modules and themes. The platform also has the privilege of being backed by a very vibrant community. Some key features of PrestaShop are

  • It is an Open Source Application
  • As a user it provides you with a network or group of certified partners that can provide you necessary assistance with respect to any issue you face in the platform
  • Prestashop menu navigation is friendly, especially when the website is enabled with Prestashop Mega Menu – top Prestashop navigation module – winner of “Best module for navigation” award 2018
  • The default theme of the platform is highly responsive
  • Live editor is very much their

Usage

The biggest plus point which PrestaShop has under its belt is that this application is very easy to use especially when compared with wordpress. The back end of the platform depicts the analytics clearly; of course the information is highly detailed.

Outstanding documentation is available in PrestaShop which actually assists you in learning the ropes. Even if you skip the documentation part, still you can learn the dynamics and operations of this platform with ease provided you have some experience pertaining to CMSs and Webpages.

 

2.      OpenCart

OpenCart is also an open source platform which is very easy and simple for you to utilize. As a user you can start new stores and at the same time customize these stores via premium and free themes that are provided by OpenCart.  The features which have made OpenCart popular are as follows

  • Wonderful extensions and themes are offered
  • Backups can be managed from the interface
  • Important store metrics get tracked automatically. The tracks get displayed in admin interface
  • Built-in discount and affiliate systems are their
  • From a single dashboard, multiple stores can be managed
  • Products can be distinguished as per their attributes

Usage

OpenCart is one of the simplest to use platforms. The official documentation helps you learn the entire store setting process. Other advanced resources can also be utilized by you.

 

3.      Magento

It is an open source platform which has been written in PHP. The platform has the ability to power stores regardless of their size. The application powers more than 200,000 stores. Magento is available in three different editions in the market.

The names of these editions are Cloud enterprise, Enterprise and Community.  Some significant features of Magento have been stated in the points below

  • The platform has a very healthy community behind its back
  • The platform provides you with outstanding scalability
  • The platform is equipped with a library having hundreds of different extensions
  • The checkout process can be customized by you
  • Built-in Search Engine Optimization functions are their
  • Order Management tools like gift registries, wish lists and reward systems are very much their

Usage

As compared to other two platforms which we have mentioned above, Magento is not that simple to utilize. You do not need to be professional developer to operate this platform however still you need to go through the documentation if you wish to make valuable use of the advanced tools that are available in this Ecommerce Platform.

Which is the best Ecommerce platform?

If you are someone who wants to get things done simply in a low budget then the best option for you is OpenCart. Yes PrestaShop is also not a bad choice however its cost can go up drastically even if you are working for a small store. Overall it also depends on your business dynamics as each of these three Ecommerce platforms have their own strengths and weaknesses.

November 23, 2017 1:14 am

An Insight into CMS

Importance of a website

Today we live in a world which is tech Savy and there are predictions that many contemporary businesses will go online in coming years. Under such a situation it is very necessary for you as a business person to focus on your online presence.

Social media is a key factor nowadays when it comes to virtual marketing however even for that you need a strong base and that strong base is your website. No matter how brilliant may be your product or service, the first interaction which a customer will have with you is through your website. The first impression is the last impression hence website is something which cannot be taken lightly.

Advantages of a website

There are many advantages which a website provides you. Some of these advantages have been stated in the points below

  • The biggest advantage which a website has over other promotional mediums is expense. As compared to a television ad, a website is a much cheaper promotional medium with high effectiveness
  • A website is more conducive for advertising and there are several effective ways through which you can advertise yourself through your webpage
  • A website is more convenient for your customers provided you have online buying facility in it
  • A website has high accessibility. Day and night people can review your page and even make a purchase.
  • Nowadays there are many types of software through which you can actually monitor your page. You can know how many people visited your page and in which area lies your target audience
  • You can foster much better relationship with your clients provided you have a nice website. You can talk to them through your online chat facility too or install a blog module such as Prestashop BLOG (if your website is based on Prestashop e-commerce software) on your website and submit daily useful posts to give useful information to your customers

To make a professional website you have many options that are available to you. Generally the two most popular options are CMS and HTML. In the headings below we will discuss these two programs and see what they have to offer.

What is CMS?

CMS basically stands for content management system. It is more of a software application which is utilized for the management and development of digital content. There are many E-commerce CMS platforms that are worthing to use, we can choose to build a web design or app. The software basically allows you to edit, create, publish and manage content via a graphical user interface. The application is very much similar in nature to the Facebook app which you utilize for the publishing of you status etc.

 

Advantages of CMS

There are several advantages which CMS offer; some of the major ones are as follows

  • The application provides you easier and faster page management
  • The brand and navigation via CMS is consistent
  • The content management gets facilitated via a workflow process which is integrated in nature
  • The content can be easily manipulated and there is no chance of the design getting changed
  • The data needs to be changed only once and it will automatically get updated throughout your site
  • Shared resources can be accessed by the website managers

What is HTML?

HTML basically refers to Hypertext Markup Language. The language is primarily utilized for the creation of different web applications and webpages.  The language utilizes several tags for the making of a webpage hence it can also be termed as a tag based language.

The HTML tags are encompassed by an angular bracket. The HTML has the ability to utilize a wide range of layouts, colors and objects. The Language is ideal for those who are in the beginning phase of their web designing learning process.

Advantages of HTML

Some of the common advantages which are associated with HTML are as follows

  • The majority of available browser support HTML
  • The language is fairly easy to utilize as well as learn
  • No need to purchase software since the language is already there in the windows.

CMS is far better than HTML!

Yes both CMS and HTML have their own set of advantages however it is recommended that you should Utilize CMS instead of HTML. Though using CMS will require a theme or design made via PHP or CSS however still there is a huge difference between CMS websites and HTML only webpages.

For business webpage HTML is not suitable reason being that usually business website exceeds 2 pages which is too much to handle for HTML. Secondly updating the HTML website requires serious technical knowledge which everyone does not possess.

On the other hand CMS has all the tools that are necessary for the creation of applications and webpages which are large and have several pages.  Some major reasons why CMS is better than HTML are as follows

  • CMS as a software is very simple to setup as well as to install. The majority of webpages today have One-Click-install tools through which you can easily get CMS installed
  • You do not need to be an expert in technical programming for the running of CMS. The interface of CMS is so simple and versatile that any tom, dick or harry can use it with ease
  • The third thing which makes CMS dominant over HTML is the fact that the software can support multiple utilizers with ease.

 

Conclusion

Yes both HTML and CMS have their own offerings and features however if we compare the two software head to head then we come to the conclusion that CMS is far better than HTML. As a business person it is highly preferable that you should utilize CMS for your webpage.

You do not need to be a rocket scientist to use it. All you need to do is to make a little effort. There are many credible tutorials available on the internet which you can consult for knowing more about this software.

November 20, 2017 3:53 am

OpenData, OpenGov and Italian Spaghetti (part 2)

You must hear the roar of the battle! She wrote Michel Foucault

The declination of transparency has its exceptions, you know. Other than rumors!

Online data, data only available via the web and we can use CMS in web design. Just assert: An Insight into CMS can help you to know how to create a Pro web… without reflecting on the eminent issue that is the basis of transparency and is not look, but find! But we are still grappling with spaghettiopendata that I know so much about SPAGHETTI WITH clamsA’mmare (ie fake spaghetti vongole, ie no clams!): Spaghetti without OpenData! Because? Because sooner or later the accounts with the original request will have to do it! Open Data Signori! Not given to the need and in all sauces!

The spaghettiOpenData line just can not … digest it!

Types of data and information each one says about it. What matter !, In fact then the “open date” umbrella is always open! Beware! Be careful not to shield it with what is not open date, and more so about what is only open but not connected with the rest of the data crammed into other databases, making the information (the data at first instance) not completely clear, contenting us half trying to look but not find!

Give, these strangers, but not too! Here is the encyclopedia of the mirrors of the various data possibilities.

given legally open (opendefinition.org): so it is allowed to reuse anybody’s data and without any restriction, even of a commercial type, that is without copyright, that can be used for future jobs

technically open : machine readable not only available via APIs

Open Gov data : issued by gnaristic appminations, not those related to the subject matter of which they are quantitative expression

data socially open : data that can be found in the context of the context and on which there is exchange of jokes, impressions and evaluations among those who re-use the data themselves with any feedback.

public data (Italian terms): given by public entities because they are collected or used by public entities within their institutional ends. Public entities, by virtue of their institutional duties, collect and handle large amounts of information encoded in data, on citizens, businesses, institutions, territory and the main phenomena of the country’s life. The knowledge of such data is made up of a set of rules governing the usability of the subjects concerned by the public entities that collect and treat them. Consciousness involves two fundamental data quality: security, understood as a set of measures aimed at providing access to only data known to a subject, and usability,
A known knowledge can be made known to the subject concerned by three modes of exchange: access, communication, dissemination. Access allows the subject concerned to directly access the data; communication is to send the data to one or more authorized and predetermined recipients; the dissemination is to make the data available to an indefinite number of subjects, including through their publication, in the traditional form or on the internet. The growing availability of digital data and the spread of Internet technologies have led to a review of the problem of awareness, due to the increased accessibility, the lack of territorial limits and the reduction in cost. New technologies, however, while favoring the usability of data,

The evolution of technologies offers many modes of representation for data. Data, both when stored and processed using traditional techniques, and, as always assumed in the following, when represented in such a way as to be processed directly with digital computers, take different forms:
1. structured data having acceptable format in the fields and archives of a database;
2. documents, ie unstructured data, characterized by being expressed in natural language.

The term public data can be interpreted in different meanings:
– publicly accessible data: this definition refers to the absence of confidentiality requirements, and therefore reflects an aspect related to the legitimacy of consultation by interested parties in any case. It is therefore applicable to a subset of data held by public entities (for example: laws);
– data held by a public entity: refers to the public nature of the data controller (for example: personal data of individuals and companies) which may also be the producer. This is the concept adopted by the European Commission’s ‘Green Paper on Public Sector Information in the Information Society’;
– data of interest of a public entity: refers to the public nature of the user in the interest of the community and relates to information which, even if held by a private individual, must be detained in conditions made accessible to public entities for the pursuit of institutional ends (for example, tracking data for telephone contacts).

Public data can be classified according to different features. Here are some of these:

1. Identification: Data may be referenced to individuals, individuals or legal entities, identified or identifiable, in which case personal data (sensitive data or not) or are not attributable to individual natural or legal persons, in which case data anonymous.

2. presence in public or similar registers: In some cases the data comes from public registers, lists, documents or documents that can be accessed by anyone, without any conditions. They are held or formed by one or more public entities, under a law or regulation; the norm that is the basis of know-how in these cases can provide for particular access modalities or time constraints that must be respected even in case of communication or dissemination of data. The only fact of finding personal data, such as the e-mail address, in a public Internet space, does not make it known to anyone and therefore does not authorize the free use of the data.

3. aggregation and generalization: The data are said elementary when they represent an aspect of reality that can not be rethought, given the hypotheses adopted, to simpler aspects; statistics when they are the result of processing through aggregation functions on elementary data. An example of elementary data is the age of a person; Examples of statistical data are the number of subjects with that age in a specific territory and the average age of the population of a municipality.
According to a different process of abstraction, usually termed generalization, the metadata and the data patterns are distinguished. Metadata is a property of a data set. A data schema consists of describing a set of data classes and relationships between them. Eg:
– a picture of a timetable is a set of data;
– the property for which arrival and departure times are represented by two digits per hour and two digits per minute is a metadata;
– knowledge of the relationship between trains and cities connected by trains, through the time of arrival and departure of trains to or from these cities respectively, is the schema of the data of the framework

4. degree of processing: a) raw data: data collected but not yet subject to significant processing and therefore found essentially in the form in which they were acquired; b) Basic data: Data already processed to make it possible to process them outside a single system or single technology, usually by subjects other than the one that collected them, for example:
– standardized postal addresses; – names of professionals enrolled in a record; c) enriched data (or processed): data resulting from search and comparison operations with information of different origin but related to the same phenomenon. Examples of enriched data are: – the tax position of an enterprise as shown by various databases of the Ministry of the Economy and Finance; – the data contained in the family status of a citizen; – consumer price index linked to a city; – a map obtained from raw photogrammetric data.

5. Benefits for interested parties to access them: Essential data are public data that citizens, businesses and other private operators must be able to exercise in order to exercise their rights. Essential data can be both anonymous, like standards, and many statistical data, as well as personal (most administrative data). Examples of essential data: 1. existing laws and regulations; 2. the most important or necessary national statistical data for individual or collective decisions; 3. the personal data held by the public and concerning the applicant; 4. the indications needed to take advantage of the services provided by public entities and to verify the status of the administration (portals and unidirectional access points to services, organization charts, postal addresses, telephone numbers, etc.).

There are four distinct situations as far as the knowledge of data held by public subjects is concerned: 1. data known to anyone; 2. give limited confidences to certain public subjects, or to some professional categories or other categories of subjects; 3. data known under Article 22 of Law no. 241/1990 by those who have a personal and concrete interest and for the protection of legally relevant situations; 4. data known to the sole public entity that holds them, covered by secretarial or statistical confidentiality or subject to special protection by law no. 675/99.

Data quality is a feature that users want. Connected to the know-how are two qualities: security and usability. Additionally, it is important that the data are up to date, that is accurate, that is, they correspond correctly (if possible) to the observed phenomenon, or at least accurate, that is, they are a good approximation.

But while it is possible to determine whether the data are legally open and technically open in an extremely simple way, how can one determine the socially open level of a given data? Agreed that the data should only be available by everyone, but putting the data on a public or local public sector website is not enough, then it is useless if the data is not simply found. Because of this, it is necessary to make use of public registers, government data catalogs, optimized search engines with high degree of indexing, semantic management, even from metadata, from microformats, to the level of linked open data.

Large databases managed by public entities, often national coverage, make it increasingly easy to produce new data from existing ones by simple elaboration. Such operations can be carried out for institutional purposes within a single subject, or at least partly exploiting data from other subjects. And then what happens? Do these data serve if they are not re-usable by everyone?

Do not call them open if they are not! We say rather that here in Italy the battle for transparency is carried on, but if like a zibaldone we collect all the data, let’s not run behind the open battle given simply because this is the trend of the moment with good pace of the followers hunters !!

Diffused always by those who make a principle or a law simply a flag .. because you know: the flags follow the wind!

November 20, 2017 3:28 am

Linked Open Data: Because only Open Data is not enough, not even in Italy.

The value of an “open” license is that data released with that license can be shared and reused without restriction.

In order to address the developer community, the opening of licenses is the first step: without this step the rest is like a card castle.

But the “open” license also has another value: to make data mashups or to link them if data is allocated to different databases, such as Europeana or DBpedia , it is necessary to have compatible license schemes to avoid incurring some set of data for which the license to use is restrictive, thus, in return, an incomplete or ineffective data set.

A valid example of Linked Data is Linked Geo Data, spatial data is crucial to interconnecting geographic resources by providing browsing and authoring facilities.

Linked Open Data: where do you prodest ?

Let’s go for order: because only Open Data is not enough.

The web of documents becomes the web of data, these describe “things” that have “properties” to which certain “values” correspond.
Imagining a table: the rows are the “things”, each column represents the “properties”, and the intersection represents the property of the thing.
In summary, we tend to think of data in this way: “what”, “property”, “value”.
Every “thing” can have more property and more things can be related. From a graphical point of view, imagining a graph the nodes are things and strings the relationships between things.

The precipitous issue is that of identifying things globally and univocally from the point of view of a database. The Linked Data Key is the URIs that allow the above identification. GLi URIs identify things that are described rather than actions about those things, and if two people create data using the same URI, then they are describing the same thing by making it easy to merge data from distinct data sources, with the ability to recognize the distinction between resources and representations of such resources: the same URI might return a different representation of the resource, such as HTML or XML or JSON .
So if we are going to publish the data on the web, we need a standard to express the data so that a receiving client data can figure out what a thing is, what a property is, what is a value and, since this is the web, even what is a link. This is the key rule we need and this is what gives RDF: Data expressed in RDF format can use URIs from different websites. If two sets of data use the same URI then it is very easy to work when they talk about the same thing, for example, allowing to gather information published by a school with information obtained from statistical surveys elsewhere published according to the standard, of course. And the great thing about the RDF model (which uses URIs to identify properties) is that those data sets can be combined automatically, because the standard lets you know where to look for the information you need.

Using HTTP URIs facilitates the retrieval of a document from the web. This allows you to program on-demand access to information. Developers need not download huge databases while they are interested in a small part of those data. How can we easily create structured and reusable data from Excel or (worse) formats from PDF files? How to address the changes over time, and record the origin of the information we provide? How do we represent statistical information? Or localization information? These are things you learn by going to work!

It’s complicated to start adopting Linked Data for both social, cultural and technological reasons. Nothing will happen from evening to morning, but little by little there will be network effects: more shared URIs, more shared vocabularies, which makes it easier to adopt Linked Data patterns offering more benefits for everyone.

Once the data is modeled and modeled, you have to query them and this is done with a standard query language: the SPARQL .
In fact, what is needed is generating larger data sets, combining granular link data in lists and charts, this is essentially what SPARQL does.

Therefore, to publish Linked Data it is necessary
1) to understand the principles (Use RDF data model with RDF links, typed links between two resources, to link data about the same things)
2) understand the data (with FOAF SIOC Dublin Core shared vocabularies , geo, SKOS , Review)
3) choose URI (http URIs) for the things expressed in the data (such things as people, places, events, books, films, concepts, photos, comments, reviews)
4) link to other data sets ( with RDF links)
In summary RDF is the format for Linked Data; RDF uses URIs to name things; when an URI is called, it returns RDF descriptions of things called with the same and always via RDF describing relationships between things. Finally, zenith is achieved by linking different data sets.

In spite of problems and issues that might be raised about the difficulties of developers or resource scarcity, I believe that Linked Open Data Data is the best approach available for publishing data in an extremely varied and distributed environment in a gradual way and sustainable.

Because? Linked Open Data means publishing data on the web while working with the web.

 

November 20, 2017 3:13 am

EC Open Data Portal: call for tenders

The European Commission has taken a new step in realizing a European Data Portal.

The purpose of this tender is the purchase of services:

– To develop and administer a web portal to act as single point of access to data sets produced and held by European Commission services (and by extension to data sets produced and held by other European Institutions/bodies and other public bodies);

– To assist the Commission with the definition and implementation of a data set publication process;

– To assist the Commission with the preparation of data sets for publication via the portal;

– To assist the Commission in supporting for engaging the stakeholders’ community interested in re-using the published data sets..

November 20, 2017 3:02 am

Open Data: the budget of the Municipality of Faenza

Although leopard-colored, the op-ed mode of openness dates to the boot.

Far from being a widespread practice in government – whose issue will return with thoughts targeted – qualcheduna of variations of open data is also becoming a requirement of some local authorities, by virtue of that triad ” Transparency, evaluation and merit” that the Italian legislature has laid down the general principles to be informed of the administrative activity.

And along with transparency, another figure in e-Gov is participation. One of the nonsense points of municipal administrative action is that of the budget. Investments, spending cuts, family income support, education, expenditure on goods and services, public transport, state and / or regional funding, purchasing power of wages and so on are key elements to facilitate a comparison between Administration and citizen, especially with respect to the constraints of the Stability Pact

On the budget, the Municipality of Faenza has raised the open date challenge by publishing on the institutional site a first set of data:

We got the challenge and started off by publishing open comments and tables about the last two approved budgets, the 2011 forecast and the 2010 statement – Claudia Zivieri’s Budget Appraiser, states – aware that we can improve a lot because we are moving our first steps in an innovative context like Open Data, but determined to invest because we are convinced that today’s free access to and re-use of data is a necessary step for the renewal of institutions in the direction of openness, transparency and participation .

Publication of text data is online on a web page, while the number data is on exported spreadsheets in csv format. The license to use is just that IODLv1.0.

It is possible to view the Summary Scoreboard divided by Titles, Revenues, Expenditure, Investments, and Financial Economic Indicators, with an appreciable level of granularity.

The open question is on the CSV format and the dual format of data publishing.

As other times pointed out , la category of non-technically experienced but interested citizens randomly lists users who have no interest in downloading a csv containing hundreds or thousands of data listed: they just search through the data set to see if a data for them whether they are relevant or not, or they want to sort the set based on a certain indicator (frequency of participants, subscribers, insured persons, visitors etc). The needs of this group are more fulfilled when data is made available online in a consistent order, or downloadable but in an interactive format that allows searching, filtering, and viewing data. Downloading a mass of data in CSV is a useless access barrier for a significant percentage of citizens.

The advantages of choosing a suitable format are visible not only to the consumer, to any category he belongs, but also to the publisher of the data. There are a large number of devices, machines, programs and websites through which people can directly and indirectly consume and use government data. The more governments make it easier to connect, incorporate, share and socialize their data in these devices, machines, programs, and websites, and more generally people will have access to data – perhaps without even knowing it. CSV publishing reduces the likelihood that data will be discovered or shared; that people discuss, collaborate, or reusable your data or that people create views – tables, charts, and maps once the CSV has been downloaded, What happen? Nobody knows. Would not it be interesting for the publishers to know who, how and where are their data used?This is the missing link for civic engagement! Of course, you can see the number of pages viewed and count the number of downloads, but that’s all you know. It is not possible to measure any of the indirect activities. How many times have the data twitched? How many times have you been discussing on Facebook? How many times have data been added on all kinds of websites and blogs on the Internet? How many applications are they incorporating?

Not to mention cost savings. There are real costs associated with sharing public data. Two of the direct costs are the cost of storage and bandwidth cost to provide data. When an agency publishes a CSV, it supports the transmission cost to deliver the entire file to anyone downloading it, even after downloading and finding the required value, then throwing away the file. By allowing consumers to access data selectively, only records they want will reduce the amount of data transferred, reducing bandwidth costs. How can people be allowed to selectively select registers? API activation enables applications, widgets, and controls, providing data streams in small  chunks or in response to explicit search requests or filters.

Public data must be online, interactive, integrable, and linkable.

Linked Data missing.

November 20, 2017 2:40 am

Open Data: I did not understand anything. Is Italian zeitgeist ignorant?

The people say that when alms are generous, the people are distrustful.

And here’s what to worry about. The alms that abound in Italy are a meme: open date. A mystification, a dissemination of information not based on the precious knowledge of facts, intentional dissemination – is the concrete risk of dragging Italy into a dangerous position.

Other than open date! We go with an order, trying a synthesis.

A few years back twisted Alberto Cottica’s Twitter tweets, with which they were spitting for open data, which was actually just public data. Then, it is known that matter was interesting and appetizing, birds cannot write but pass syntactic laws according to a group of scholars led by Kentaro Abe. That’s why the situation has begun to emerge in the right direction: spread the knowledge of the date and specification open. It had already shaped the Open Knowledge Foundation Italia initiative it.okfn, thanks to the foresight of Steko– to Stefano Costa in the century, alongside the open-date intervention in the government supported – not by the government, for the time being – by the datagov.it group Hence, the rules to be observed even for the chirping, or at least so it seemed. Is spaghettiopendata born , from a series of increasingly frequent exchanges in a mailing list dedicated to the open date theme, on Alberto Cottica’s idea and what happens? Here we go again! They start to enter the list of data on data still open for open, even published in pdf! Being registered at the mailing list then I must point out the necessity, for correctness of information, before respecting the dissemination of these, to clarify within the same list to each of us whoopen date NOT EQUAL TO public data . With the same amount of solariums that could not be counted among the open data those published in pdf that were considered by the team spaghettiopendata as open. In that case they saved the stars of Sir Tim Berners Lee for the classification of public data into categories that included that of the Linked Open Data the most brilliant, with 5 stars, for the very least. I do not think I miss the shot if I interpret that classification not as a static point of arrival, but only a dynamic and trustworthy starting point in exploring publicdata but not openup to data released in Linked Open Data format. So Excel data, in pdf, are listed, though among the least brilliant, but only to then open “open” those public data and link them. Conversely, what do we do? We call them Open data and chissene! Spaghetti has continued to indicate as open date, spread data in Excel format! He has been polished to the first who by miracle have jumped, for their shimmer in the highest category, … ” and return to see the stars.”

In addition to the damage, the mockery! And yes, because recently “appearance” was the case of Enel , which Napo has already written in the century Maurizio Napolitano: in this case the damage comes up for legal issues regarding the type of license with which the data are released, Contrary to what is stated on the site, the data is definitely not open. Napo’s article goes into detail, so for my part I am overwhelmed by the question.

And it is not over! Yesterday there was a chirping on pensions and similia by Dario Pagnoni that of those rules mentioned at the beginning of this post did not want to know: normal! For every rule, there is the transgression of the same. Symmetry issues, even in ugliness – not just in beauty. Other public data published in strict Excel format, sold as Open Data.

I lost patience! Hence the post you are patiently reading and whose internal links refer to the most technical motivations that lie to my reliefs in these rows listed below: I told you, I lost patience. But do we really seriously, or really ignorance, understood as a lack of knowledge, begins to make sovereign and INDISTURABLE ? The title of the post is clear: strong message, definitely provocative. No offense, no one.

But now some consideration on the difference between transparency and open date citing who, beyond the boot is ahead of us and has more ideas .. clear. Recently, in New Zealand, the Minister of Finance, together with the Minister of Internal Affairs, officially released the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government and new Information Management Principles .This initiative is worthy of note and I would like to see a clear contradiction with open-date policy in other countries committed to Open Data Linked Open Data. While other policies have laid the foundations of open openness to the one of transparency or democracy, that of New Zealand puts as the founding element from which to begin concretely the need for the economic value that the open date release brings with it. The cardinal principle is the economic value: this is the most important, it is at least preceded by the two others playing a secondary role as well as that of the prevalent value of citizen participation in democracy. Recently The United Kingdom is movingon high-impact data, expressing the willingness (?) to “open” also the data that is open for now and are not of economic value they have to sell (think geodata). According to Tim McNamara of okfn.org, from them in New Zealand, transparency and accountability have always been preceded by the economy in the scale that moves government management: New Zealand is considered to be the country’s least corrupt to the world . The issue would be more subtle, but we would say that appealing to transparency to set the open date machine open would not fly, it would be less persuasive in the economy of changing the status quo, compared with the release of data that is not yet available to increase economically the country.

We take the sums: in Italy as it is submerged, in the economic sense, we can not complain. “Country of dishonesty” is often felt to be repeated and the facts of politics in recent years do not deny the affirmation “and above all without guarantees of transparency at a widespread and shared level. Therefore, the active participation of the citizen in the life of the country and the transparency are cogent, very sensitive and High, Most High Value: it was nothing but the sustainability of Ethics and Morality for young generations to whom we are delivering “Italy” dishonest “and” bunga bunga “,” veline “and … ignorant. What is the Italian zeitgeist?

But from here to confusing the Open Data, LInked Open Data with simply public data wants it.

Let’s stay the memories : Open Data and Linked Open Data are not, they do not have to be! And let’s stand up, ranking and similar: we are honest please! Let’s talk about transparency, correctness, accountability, and then first disown the literal meaning (and also that side) of the terms?

The world runs only ignorantly , Baudelaire asserted. Do we show the opposite?

There is ignorance from illiteracy and ignorance by doctors. 
Michel Eyquem de Montaigne