Yesterday, OpenCorporates added 5 million German companies and over 4 million associated officers from the official German company gazette notices and register.
As well as being an important jurisdiction in itself, this was one of the most challenging jurisdictions we’ve added, due to underlying data quality issues and the lack of structure in the gazettes notices from which most of the data was taken. It took months and months of work in analysis alone, let alone the data modelling, and the coding and testing of the parsers.
It’s also different because we’ve been working behind the scenes with both journalists and civil society, to help ensure that this data gets as much use as possible, to show how and why it’s important that that this critical official public dataset is made available to all as open data. As part of that, we’ve donated our German data to the Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland, to make available to all under an open licence.
Not only have they done this – allowing bulk download with just a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence – in record time they’ve created a website front end for the dataset – Offeneregister.de, with search, visualisations and much much more.
Brilliant work, OKFDE. We look forward to seeing other uses of the data over the coming weeks.