Press release 13.6.2012
The Apps4Finland competition, which was declared open today, seeks best ideas and applications that make use of open data. In this year's competition, Statistics Finland will award a special Stats4Finland prize for the best entry based on statistical data. Instructions on how to enter the competition and the competition timetable can be found at http://apps4finland.fi/.
Participation in the organisation of the competition is part of the work Statistics Finland is doing to increase the use and influence of statistics in society. "Statistical literacy is an important civic skill these days. We challenge the contestants to find new and innovative ways of exploiting statistics. The entries will be evaluated by, for instance, how they support the understanding and illustration of statistics, highlight the role of statistics in society and in the life of ordinary people in Finland, and advance statistical literacy skills," says Heli Mikkelä, Director of Statistics Finland's Information Services.
"The international statistical organisation ISI (International Statistical Institute) has declared next year as the International Year of Statistics, and we hope that this competition will generate many new ideas for this special year."
This August and September, the Apps4Finland organisers and Statistics Finland will hold joint workshops to explore how statistical data could be utilised. The events will be open to anyone who is interested. Information about the timetables and contents of the workshops will be provided during this summer.
"Statistics are international and we hope to also get competition entries that reflect the internationality of data and social phenomena," says Heli Mikkelä. To support this, open interfaces are being built today to the main tables of Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities. These tables are accessible in PX-Web format via the International Statistics service on Statistics Finland's website. Eurostat's main tables comprise nearly 1,000 statistical tables from the Member States of the EU and from certain non-EU countries.
At the same time, open interfaces were built to the extensive StatFin statistical database. StatFin contains thousands of tables and hundreds of millions of cells of data from nearly 200 sets of statistics and on all statistical topics. StatFin has been built with the PX-Web technology, which enables further usage of the data in it. The content of StatFin is expanded continuously.
Statistics Finland will go on opening its data resources basing on feedback from the users. Classification databases are public data resources that could be potentially opened. Heli Mikkelä points out that the opening of data must progress with due consideration: "Before we make databases open, we must always make sure that sufficient metadata are attached to the data in them to support their use. Likewise, when we make statistical data openly available we must ensure that when opening data concerning small areas we do not jeopardise data and privacy protection."
Further information: Heli Mikkelä, Director of Information Services, tel. +358 9 1734 3200