It’s been a really hectic week, and it’s not over yet, but before we head off to San Francisco for Data2.0 it’s worth updating the community on a couple of small but significant developments.
First, two of the leading open-data local councils – Lichfield and Redbridge – have started to use OpenCorporates URIs to identify their suppliers. Lichfield are using it in their linked data, identifying their suppliers as sameAs companies identified by OpenCorporates URIs. Redbridge (whose shiny new open data site by the way is well worth looking at and apparently ties in closely to their back-end systems) have gone even further, linking to the OpenCorporates information page for the company.
Why does this matter? It matters because not just because it’s helping support an open database of company information, nor because it shows a willingness to embrace the wider open data world outside the traditional boundaries of government. It matters because by using common identifiers it allows you to draw connections because things (and allows the councils to do same, bringing all sorts of potential for efficiency improvements).
It also allows links to be drawn with the other data on OpenCorporates, including, soon, the 60,000 UK companies that OpenlyLocal has already matched to local council spending, and which we’re looking to include in OpenCorporates.
But it’s not just about links in, it’s also about links out too, and this week we started matching the US Securities & Exchange Commission IDs to companies in the OpenCorporates database:
Again, it’s perhaps worth stressing why this is important: although there’s a wealth of data filed by large companies who do business in the US with the SEC, there’s currently no way of linking that to the registered entities, and hence to loads of other information, including government spending. (Many thanks here should go to Skye Bender-deMoll and Greg Michalec who did the amazing work of parsing the SEC data and then building a cool open api to it, and we’re already talking with them about the best way of pulling more data in.)
So far we’ve matched over 1000 companies, of which 384 are UK companies, and 259 (!) Bermuda ones. As new countries are added, more companies are automatically matched, e.g. 5 from Iceland, the first fruits of our bounties for open data scrapers.
If you’ve got a dataset you think should be on OpenCorporates, do let us know, and we’ll do our best to oblige.