Guinea Opens Mining Contracts

By Dave Johnson on Feb 19 2013

As Reuters just reported, Guinea is opening up all mining contracts. ContratsMiniersGuinee.org is the new open data sites opening more than 70 historical mining contracts, including the contracts signed under the military rule before president Alpha Conde's 2010 election. This open data push is part of the Government's technical committee to review mining contracts - and will be the place where all future mining contracts are published. We worked with Revenue Watch and the World Bank, the main advisors to the Guinean Government, to create the site - our goal was to make it easy to navigate and sorted though all these PDFs.

Leveraging Document Cloud

The site was all built on Document Cloud, a great open source project that enables interaction and direction for what can often be unnavigable PDFs.

The government can now easily maintain all the mining contracts by simply uploading them to their own Document Cloud account, where they can then use the powerful annotation and tagging tools that Document Cloud opens up. All documents have metadata attached to them via Document Cloud's API, letting us build an light filtering interface to search and filter documents by year, resource type, and contract type, as seen on the document listing page below.

Document Cloud's filtering UI

All annotations to the contracts are linked, letting users jump right into the highlighted parts of the contracts, something traditionally really hard to do with PDFs. Click the image below to jump to the document preview page, which provides a jumping point into any section of the contract.

Document Cloud's anotation tool

Building static sites

The open source work of Document Cloud, first funded by the Knight Foundation, powers our continued move towards building light static sites integrating productized software services. As Dave Cole recently blogged about, we have shifted our focus to building static sites with tools like Jekyll or Backbone.js instead of CMS-driven applications.

This gives us the room to focus on design and performance, while depending on the open source community and hosted services for tools that give us dynamic content integration. We anticipate many more opportunities to power our sites with Document Cloud as additional governments and organizations move towards transparent reporting.

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