Our history with open data began with closed doors – and with the iPhone. When the iPhone arrived in Switzerland in 2008, we introduced the first Swiss iPhone app to the store thanks to Liiper Marc Ammann. GottaGo was its name, and it was the app of the hour: it found the relevant, up-to-date public transport links for wherever you were thanks to GPS – and to public transport data, which did not in fact exist at the time.
The data came very unofficially (and virtually illegally) from the SBB website, as at the time Switzerland did not have any public, machine-readable data sources – i.e. open data.
An early adopter – and still going strong
In 2011, this journey resulted in the founding of the open data promotional association Opendata.ch. Right from the outset, my fellow board members included not only ex-Liiper Matthias Stürmer, but also Andreas Amsler, who was about to join us.
The CKAN data portal opendata.swiss, which we developed for the federal government, was launched at the 2013 Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva. This represented the definitive arrival of the topic in Switzerland. And in 2017, GottaGo came full circle: we worked with the SBB and the Federal Office of Transport to launch opentransportdata.swiss – thus becoming a world leader for open transport data matters.
The next chapter: EMBaG and Lovato
A new chapter is now beginning for open data at Liip.
Firstly, because Juan-Pablo Lovato will soon be joining our open data circle led by Stefanie Taepke. Lovato has been running opendata.swiss for many years, most recently as the head of the Open Government Data unit in the Federal Statistical Office. This gains us additional open data expertise and will enable us to provide consulting and support in even greater depth.
And secondly, because this long-term commitment founded on conviction is resulting in the accelerated implementation of a binding agreement in the form of EMBaG, thus making ‘open by default’ actually law.
Do you also want to speed up your open data plans? Then get in touch with us!