CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

The open data phenomenon is no longer a novelty. Many government bodies and public enterprises have systematized the opening up of their data by setting up digital publishing platforms, the management of which constitutes a sizable task in its own right. A review of the last ten years would appear to confirm the emergence of a new and lasting dynamic regarding the production, publication, and reuse of open data (Cardon 2019). However, this dynamic has brought with it a variety of new issues that are far from being resolved. Actors must still fulfill a variety of conditions in order to open up their data. The concept of open data can be traced back to 2010, with different social worlds each endowing the term with their own particular definition. Intimately linked to the history of computer science, open data was initially defined in legal terms, by applying the legal principles of free or open-source software to the publication of databases. Then, in the wake of the open access movement, which argued for the unhindered diffusion of knowledge in the scientific domain, open data was defined by the open government movement that emerged in the political arena as the application of the principles of transparency to democratic governance in the United States. These principles were later joined by a series of technical criteria proposed by the World Wide Web Consortium to define degrees of data openness based on the extent to which the data can be processed automatically by software from the semantic web…


Even though open data is no longer a novelty, it raises questions that are far from being resolved by data producers and reusers. This article proposes an immersion in a hackathon organized around the first data sets opened up by a rail transport operator, to understand how they are co-produced by the reusers who integrate them into mobility applications. By combining an ecological approach to social worlds with an ethnography of technical activities, it shows that the originality of this process lies less in the development of applications (as the data producers initially hoped) than in the work of equipping open data with new properties that allow them to be integrated into various information infrastructures. This is achieved through definitions that are shared to a greater or lesser extent, at the crossroads of social worlds whose efforts they help to coordinate around the opening up of new data.

  • open data
  • intermediary object
  • equipping work- boundary object
  • information infrastructure
  • technical activity
Dilara Vanessa Trupia [1]
Université Gustave Eiffel, LATTS, INSERM
  • [1]
    The author would like to warmly thank Patrice Flichy for his advice and support. She also thanks Gaël Musquet and Andrew Byrd for their close guidance regarding databases.
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
You still have to read 98% of this article
Purchase full-text 5,00€ 35 pages, electronic only
(html and pdf)
add_shopping_cart Add to cart
Other option
Member of a subscribed institution ? business Authenticate
Uploaded on on 22/09/2022
Distribution électronique pour La Découverte © La Découverte. Tous droits réservés pour tous pays. Il est interdit, sauf accord préalable et écrit de l’éditeur, de reproduire (notamment par photocopie) partiellement ou totalement le présent article, de le stocker dans une banque de données ou de le communiquer au public sous quelque forme et de quelque manière que ce soit.
Loading... Please wait