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As I write we have 246,389 live opportunities from 250 countries around the world on the OpenOpps.com site, all available for free.
How do we do collect this data and why is it free?
We collect the data using an army of scripts, or robots as we like to call them, that go and gather the data for us from the internet. Each robot is given the task of visiting the pages on different sites that store the data and gathering it up before we insert it into our database.
We gather data from over 700 different sources around the world, from Contracts Finder in the UK, to the World Bank sites in Washington and beyond. We create a custom robot for each site, which is sent out every night to go and get the data and bring it back. So our data is never more than 24 hours old. We keep an eye on all our robots every day and if one is failing, we send it to our workshop to get fixed.
We provide the data for free for two reasons; firstly the data is public data, it is government data that belongs to the citizens, making it openly available is our way of giving information back to people. Secondly, the internet runs on free services. It is inevitable that someone will come along and make this data available for nothing, so we thought we'd get in first.
If you want to know more about how we gather data and where we gather it from, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.