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Support Parltrack, an open data tool for European citizens

photo of Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens
28th February 2013


Parltrack is free software that liberates a lot of hard to process data from the European Parliament (like PDFs, word docs, and HTML pages) as reusable open data and presents this as a kind of dashboard for activists, providing fresh and relevant data not only for the concerned but the curious citizen as well.

Stefan Marsiske, developer, explains what the project is about:, and why you should support it:

Parltrack is free software that liberates a lot of hard to process data (like PDFs, word docs, and HTML pages) as reusable open data and presents this as a kind of dashboard for activists, providing fresh and relevant data not only for the concerned but the curious citizen as well. Even pros from the European Parliament have praised it.

I am the developer behind Parltrack, and I care and try to do a lot about topics like privacy, net neutrality, copyright, open data, open government, free software, and so on. Being also an activist got me into trying to increase our efficiency of our work on the European level. You could say that Parltrack is one of the collateral benefits of ACTA.”

The Crowdfunding Appeal by Stefan Mariske:

“Unfortunately building free infrastructure and defending it does not pay as well as selling it. Thus I was quite a bit distracted recently from tending to Parltrack. However the data liberated by Parltrack and the current feature set are only the tip of a very exciting iceberg, so to be able to continue the Parltrack development and to keep it free I started a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo which also works for Europeans.

The campaign is now starting its last week and I must say, with all the support I got from all my friends helping me with the campaign so far and so many new friends made this an experience totally worth it. Datalove is spreading everywhere!

Parltrack might not be the tool that I expect to ever attract lots of users (bots much more), but the impact of those who do use it might be quite significant. Activists all over Europe used the data provided by Parltrack during the campaign against ACTA. Both french rights organization La Quadrature du Net (who also donated very generously to this campaign) operate their Political Memory and the German lobbyplag.eu initiative conducts their impressive amendment analysis based on the free data provided by Parltrack. And by the way Parltrack also pops up prominently in search results, providing good information also for the casual and interested citizen.

For us – who are deprived of huge industry budgets – there is a lot of potential to be developed in the liberated data. However there is only a week left in the campaign, and the final goal is still a long-shot – but then already a few hundred people could make a huge difference.

Here is the main campaign page if you would like to donate right away. If you are interested in a few more details before donating, I compiled some supporting material for your convenience. All support is much appreciated, and will be reciprocated with free software and open data!”

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