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Open Data refers to data that is made publicly available, is discoverable and interoperable, and has little restriction for reuse.
Governments, organizations and institutions publish data openly to build engagement among their constituents.
Journalists, researchers, and entrepreneurs use Open Data to understand important trends, share insight and create better web and mobile applications for the public.
Everyone benefits when confusion and lack of knowledge yields to better understanding and transparency.
Watch Tim Berners-Lee talk about the successes of Open Data (from 2010).