EU to Launch Open Data Portal

This blog post has been updated to clarify the portal's launch date

The European Union's governing body has developed an early version of a public data portal and plans to launch the final website by Spring 2012, the European Commission said in a press release Monday.

"In time this will serve as a single-access point for re-usable data from all EU institutions, bodies and agencies and national authorities," the Commission said.

The portal is aimed at providing open data to academics and journalists as well as for industry and entrepreneurs to develop "smart phone apps, such as maps, real-time traffic and weather information, price comparison tools and more," the Commission said.

The EU also will disburse â'¬100 million in grant money through 2013 to fund research into improved data handling technologies, the Commission said.

Open data sites have become a basic building block of government transparency, bolstered by the soon-to-be-released in a box, a joint open source public data platform being developed by the U.S. and India.

Several EU nations have already set up their own public data portals, including the United Kingdom and France.