Portuguese public data
Portugal, as many other countries in the world, suffers from corruption in the political system. The corruption is a disease that thrives in ignorance, lack of interest for the political and economic status of the country and a failed state in terms of law. The topic of ignorance is, in some part, more easily tackled. The information is always somewhere today the biggest difficulty is the dispersion of the data on one side, on another when information is available is not in way that is easily read by computer programs. Many of the tools to fight corruption rise from automatic analysis but automatic analysis rests on the hypothesis that data is easily available to be consumed and computed. This is simply not true. Most of the public data is available through a poor web page interface without web services to fetch easily the data. This poses a problem to the automation of analysis and to the development of tools that leverage this pool of public information to the greater good.
This leads me to the projects WebPTData and webpt-ws which are a library to scrap public web platforms and a web service that uses this library.
In the next posts I'll be a little more hands on.