CGU, NIC.BR e FGV-DAPP mapeiam ecossistema de dados abertos

- May 21, 2019 in Dados Abertos, governo aberto

  • com informações da CGU
A Controladoria-Geral da União (CGU), o Centro de Estudos sobre Tecnologias Web ( do Núcleo de Informação e Coordenação do Ponto BR ( e a Diretoria de Análise de Políticas Públicas da Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV-DAPP) estão mapeando o ecossistema de dados abertos para o Compromisso nº 2 do 4º Plano Brasileiro de Governo Aberto. O questionário tem como objetivo entender como funciona, na prática, as atuações individuais e em rede que dão forma ao ecossistema brasileiro de dados abertos. As informações coletadas servirão para identificar e mapear os atores deste ecossistema nas três esferas de governo e na sociedade. O mapeamento proverá informações importantes para as organizações avançarem no desenvolvimento de soluções conjuntas na área. Interessados podem contribuir até o dia 2 de junho. Clique aqui para responder o questionário. Flattr this!

For a fair, free and open future: celebrating 15 years of the Open Knowledge Foundation

- May 20, 2019 in Featured, News, Open Knowledge Foundation

Fifteen years ago, the Open Knowledge Foundation was launched in Cambridge by entrepreneur and economist Rufus Pollock. At the time, open data was an entirely new concept. Worldwide internet users were barely above the 10 per cent mark, and Facebook was still in its infancy. But Rufus foresaw both the massive potential and the huge risks of the modern digital age. He believed in access to information for everyone about how we live, what we consume, and who we are – for example, how our tax money gets spent, what’s in the food we eat or the medicines we take, and where the energy comes from to power our cities. From humble beginnings, the Open Knowledge Foundation grew across the globe and pioneered the way that we use data today, striving to build open knowledge in government, business and civil society – and creating the technology to make open material useful. We created the Open Definition that is still the benchmark today – that open data and content can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose. With staff on six continents, we became known as Open Knowledge International and launched projects in dozens of countries. As we celebrate our 15th anniversary today, our world has changed dramatically. Large unaccountable technology companies have monopolised the digital age, and an unsustainable concentration of wealth and power has led to stunted growth and lost opportunities. When that happens it is consumers, future innovators and society that loses out. We live in powerful times, where the greatest danger is not the chaos but to rest in the past. So as we reach an important milestone in our organisation’s own journey, we recognise it is time for new rules for this new digital world. We have decided to re-focus our efforts on why we were created in 2004, ‘to promote the openness of all forms of knowledge’, and return to our name as the Open Knowledge Foundation. Our vision is for a future that is fair, free and open. That will be our guiding principle in everything we do. Our mission is to create a more open world – a world where all non-personal information is open, free for everyone to use, build on and share; and creators and innovators are fairly recognised and rewarded. We understand that phrases like ‘open data’ and ‘open knowledge’ are not widely understood. It is our job to change that. The next 15 years and beyond are not to be feared. We live in a time when technological advances offer incredible opportunities for us all. This is a time to be hopeful about the future, and to inspire those who want to build a better society. We want to see enlightened societies around the world, where everyone has access to key information and the ability to use it to understand and shape their lives; where powerful institutions are comprehensible and accountable; and where vital research information that can help us tackle challenges such as poverty and climate change is available to all. Our work will focus on health, where access to medicines requires new thinking, and on education where new EU-wide copyright law impacts on both academic research and on people’s ability to access knowledge. We will also concentrate on employment, including tackling the growing inequality from working patterns and conditions, and the ability for creators and innovators to be fairly compensated. This reaches to the heart of a fair, free and open future where there is opportunity for all. We have also set out five demands for this week’s European elections and will push for MEPs from across Europe to prioritise these when the European Parliament returns in summer. Firstly, we will fight the introduction of Article 17 of the EU’s copyright reforms which threatens to restrict the sharing of data and other content on the internet for half-a-billion people in Europe. We also want to see improved transparency measures at social media companies like Facebook to prevent the spread of disinformation and fake news. We recognise the concerns that people have about the misuse of data, so we will champion ‘responsible data’ to ensure that data is used ethically and legally, and protects privacy. We also want to persuade governments and organisations to use established and recognised open licences when releasing data or content; and we will aim to build a network of open advocates in the European Parliament who will push for greater openness in their own nations. We live in a knowledge society where we face two different futures: one which is open and one which is closed. An open future means knowledge is shared by all – freely available to everyone, a world where people are able to fulfil their potential and live happy and healthy lives. A closed future is one where knowledge is exclusively owned and controlled leading to greater inequality and a closed future. With inequality rising, never before has our vision of a fair, free and open future been so important to realise our mission of an open world in complex times.

Open Data Day 2019: it’s a wrap!

- May 17, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019

On Saturday 2nd March 2019, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. In this blog, we wrap up the ninth edition of Open Data Day with a summary of all that happened across the globe, as well as a look ahead to the future. This year’s edition saw a total of 325 events registered in the map around the world, with a record total of 26 events in Nepal, and 57 events in Japan! This shows that Open Data Day is well established and a growing community. With so much happening, the online spread of news on Open Data Day was also impressive: the hashtag #OpenDataDay was used extensively to share live updates on events via Twitter. We summarised some of the highlights during the day itself: you can check up on what happened on the different continents here:

Open Data Day survey

To prepare well for next year’s edition, we want to learn more about the people behind these events. We know open data looks different from place to place and the needs to make Open Data Day happen are different as well. That is why we created a brief survey to learn a bit more about this needs and be able to foster and support all of you better – many thanks in advance for your contributions!

Mini-grant scheme

This year, 40 events received funding through the Open Data Day mini-grants scheme funded by the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Mapbox, Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom,  the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) and the Open Contracting Partnership. This year, the focus was on four key areas that we think open data can help solve: Follow public money flows (particularly focusing on Open Contracting), Open Mapping, Open Science and Equal Development. Following on the success of the 2018 edition, we set up a blogging schedule that connected the different events. Mini-grantees were linked to each other based on a similarity in topic, location or type of event. This resulted in a series of Open Data Day blogs that reported on activities from different angles, and also in more contact between the different organisers – something we hope will extend also beyond the actual event itself. Below is the list of all blogs of this edition per topic, for easy future reference:

Follow Public Money Flows

Open Mapping

Open Science

Equal Development

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this Open Data Day a success!

Music of the Squares: David Ramsay Hay and the Reinvention of Pythagorean Aesthetics

- May 16, 2019 in aesthetics, architecture, Art & Illustrations, David Ramsay Hay, Music, parthenon, Philosophy

Understanding the same laws to apply to both visual and aural beauty, David Ramsay Hay thought it possible not only to analyse such visual wonders as the Parthenon in terms of music theory, but also to identify their corresponding musical harmonies and melodies. Carmel Raz on the Scottish artist's original, idiosyncratic, and at times bewildering aesthetics.

A growing data community in Paraguay

- May 16, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Paraguay

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Girolabs from Paraguay received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership, to organise events under the Open Contracting theme. The Spanish version of this blog is available at the Girolabs blog.  For the sixth year in a row, we organised an Open Data Day event in Paraguay, as part of the Open Gov WeekThis initiative was born 9 years ago and has become a world event with more than 250 events in hundreds of cities. In Asunción, this meetup was lead by Girolabs and Fundación CIRD on 14 March, at Loffice Las Mercedes. The meetup was a chance to bring together people that are passionate and interested in the philosophy: to connect with other people and organisations, hear about projects, experiences and exchange ideas. For the last edition, we had an unconference format, where the participants designed the agenda for the conversations. This year, the goal was to make the number of possible projects more visible. For this reason, we selected nine initiatives (through submissions and invites) to present their work linked to Open Data. We were surprised by the response of the community. Like never before, we had more than 160 people sign up to the event. Despite the rain of previous days in Asunción (similar to London lol), approximately 70 people attended Open Data Day Asunción 2019. The methodology for this edition was to have 9 different sessions: we built three spaces in three different locations, where people could attend based on their interest. Loffice Las Mercedes was an ideal place to do this.

Room 1

CEAMSO  (Center for Environmental and Social Studies for its acronym in Spanish), represented by Raúl Quiñonez, shared about their Observatory of Political Financing (ONAFIP). The Paraguayan Government was also there. Irina Vologdina from the office of Electoral Justice led the conversation about their Open Data Portal. At the same time, Carlos Magnone from Wild-Fi Paraguay shared his experience with Frutos de Asunción (Fruits of Asunción).

Room 2

Afterwards, Juntos por la Educación represented by Maria Fe Dos Santos, Oscar Charotti and Santiago García presented the website of the Citizen Observatory of Education. Roy Ramirez from Fundación CIRD with his initiative A Quienes Elegimos shared an analysis of data of public funds destined to political parties and the spending of the Electoral Justice department on marketing and advertising. In parallel, Fernando Maidana of Info Paraguay shared his portal on places and activities in the country. After an hour with a lot of inspiration, we had a break with mingling and networking. We hosted an open mic where everyone could share and hear about the ideas in the room.

Room 3

In the third and last conversation, Julio Pacielo and Juan Pane of the Centro de Desarrollo Sostenible (CDS) shared some open data on Open Contracting. Katrina Nichuk of Maps Py talked about Open Steet Map and the OSM community in Paraguay. Lastly, Luis Pablo Alonzo of TEDIC presented the Observatorio Anti-Pyrawebs, an initiative that opposes the law to track and store data from IP traffic.

Looking ahead

For one more year Paraguay shares the different works that use open data and shows that the society recognises the importance of people and organisations that can transform these data into valuable information for decision making. For 2020 we want to make this meeting even bigger to have greater impact, carrying proudly the ODD flag, on the Mandi’obyte version. You can see all the even photos here.  

Karl Blossfeldt’s Urformen der Kunst (1928)

- May 15, 2019 in decoration, Karl Blossfeldt, Ornaments, plant anatomy, plant photography, plants

Photographs of plants captured in extraordinary detail, as if under the microscope, frozen into new forms almost beyond recognition.

Naturalist Datathon: Bogotá (Datatón Naturalista)

- May 15, 2019 in colombia, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Science

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. The Karisma Foundation from Colombia received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project to organise an event under the Open Science theme. This report was written by Karen Soacha: her biography is included at the bottom of this post.

Open data, naturalists and pizza were part of the Open Data Day celebration in Bogotá

Why and how to improve the quality of open data on biodiversity available in citizen science platforms, were the questions that brought together more than 40 naturalists in the event organized by the Karisma Foundation, the Humboldt Institute and the Biodiversity Information System of Colombia (SiB Colombia) on 2nd of March 2019 as part of the global celebration of Open Data Day. Expert naturalists, amateurs and those interested in citizen science came together to review the open data generated for Bogotá through the City Nature Challenge 2018. The City Nature Challenge is an annual event that invites city-dwellers across the world to hit the streets for two days to capture and catalogue nature which they might be too occupied to notice otherwise.  Using their smartphones, hundreds of people generate thousands of observations of plants, birds, insects and more, which they share through citizen science platforms such as iNaturalist. Generating the data is just the beginning of the process: improving its quality, so that they have the greatest possibility of being used, is the next step. During the Naturalist Datathon we shared guides to facilitate the identification of species, tips to review observations, as well as good practices for users and reviewers to improve the quality of the data. After a morning of collaborative work, the groups shared their learning and engaged in a discussion about the importance of data quality and its potential use in environmental monitoring especially in the context of environmental issues in Bogotá.

1.Introduction and guides for the activity 2. Roles of the participants 4. Organization of work groups 5. Collaborative review of observations 6. Discussion 7. Naturalist Kit for all the participants

The Datatón Naturalista left us with a set of outputs, specific lessons learned and a set of good practices for the participants, the organizers and the community of naturalists and open data. To begin with, this activity contributed to increasing the community of experts who actively participate in the “curation” of observations published in Naturalista Colombia, which is necessary in order to improve the quality of the data. At the end of the datathon, the quality of the data the participants worked on was vastly improved — so much so that the data will be integrated into the SiB Colombia (the official national continental biodiversity portal). As a result of this datathon, more Colombians were encouraged to participate as urban/rural naturalists. Participants also shared good practices for taking photographs and collecting data necessary for observations to be useful for multiple uses, they mentioned the importance of use licenses for facilitating the reuse and  sharing the information (Creative Commons). They also gave recommendations for the 2019 City Nature Challenge (CNC), such as the need for guides in easy-to-consume formats (such as short videos) that ought to be shared in advance of the CNC.  This guide should go beyond basic information on data capturing, and should include good practices, as well as ethical recommendations for the creators, curators, and users of information. One of the challenges that the participants highlighted was the need to recognize and integrate citizen science data as a source of information for the environmental management of the city. For the organizers, the datatón turned out to be an effective means to create conversation, connections and reflections on the how and for what of the open data, at the same time that allowed to strengthen capacities and contribute with open data of quality. Finally, this event showed that more and more citizens are becoming involved in citizen science, actively contributing to our knowledge of biodiversity, and are working collaboratively to further understand their environment and to generate information that is useful for decision-making. Therefore, it is necessary to continue promoting spaces that allow community-building and facilitate networking around open science and citizen science.  For that reason, we in Bogotá are looking forward to the next Open Data Day.   Biography Karen Soacha is interested in the connection between knowledge management, citizen science, governance and nature. She’s been working with environmental organizations for over 10 years, in the management of data and information networks, especially with open data on biodiversity. She is convinced that science is a way to build dialogue within the society. She is also a teacher, an amateur dancer, and an apprentice naturalist.  

Open Data Day: Open Science events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Costa Rica

- May 14, 2019 in congo, Costa Rica, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Science

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. AfricaTech from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation (SCiAC) from Costa Rica received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project and by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA), to organise events under the Open Science theme. This report was written by Stella Agama Mbiyi and Diego Gómez Hoyos.


We organized in the UCC in Kinshasa on March 2, 2019, the Open Day event 2019. Our event was focused on Open Science in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We had about 50 participants in the event, especially students and some researchers who participated positively in the different sessions and discussions on Open Science in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its implications for sustainable development. 5 Speakers among 4 women presented various concepts related to Open Science to participants. The conference started at 8:00 and ended at 17:30. Several participants made positive comments about the event such as Florent Nday, a Biological student at University of Kinshasa who said: “This is my first time to hear about Open Science, it’s a huge opportunity for us students from developing countries. Because we will have access to a wide range of knowledge easily.” The social science researcher at Kinshasa’s Institute of Social Science, Mr. Jiress Mbumba commented, “It’s time for us Congolese researchers to promote Open Science in the  Democratic Republic of the Congo, we have an interest to share our researches, and findings with everyone to spur the development of science.” The event ended with a dinner offered to all participants.

Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation (SciAc)

The training workshop on Reproducibility in Science as a link between Open Data, Open Science and Open Education, was organized by SCiAC (Society for Open Science and Biodiversity Conservation) in collaboration with the Biology Department of the University of Costa Rica, ProCAT International, Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and CR Wildlife Foundation. The workshop included general presentations on open ecosystems and data management plans during research projects, as well as training in the use of GitHub and R language for data release and data analysis code in a context of Open Science practices. The four speakers in the workshop were Diego Gómez Hoyos and Rocío Seisdedos from SCiAC, Susana Soto from Abriendo Datos Costa Rica and Ariel Mora from the University of Costa Rica. Fifteen people (66% women) from different provinces of Costa Rica (Puntarenas, Guanacaste, Heredia and San José) participated in the activity. In Central America, especially in Costa Rica, considerable advances have been made regarding open data and open government issues. Our workshop has been one of the first efforts to offer researchers tools in order for open science and open education practices. This workshop has been inspired by the project Open Science MOOC and the “Panama Declaration for Open Science”, led by Karisma Foundation and in which SCiAC took part. From this experience we see a great potential and interest of researchers in knowing the tools with which they can share the elements of their research processes. We also recognize that open science practices could have a significant impact on the teaching of scientific practice. Finally, we identify the need to carry out these training activities as a tool that seeks to democratize access to and generation of knowledge in order to face the environmental, social and economic problems faced by our society.

Big data para o bem comum

- May 13, 2019 in Open Knowledge Brasil

Nos próximos dias 16 e 17 de maio, a Open Knowledge Brasil participa do evento “Big data para o bem comum“. A atividade é organizada pela Data-Pop Alliance, a University of Manchester e o FGVcemif com o propósito de articular ideias, debater com o público interessado, identificar oportunidades e formular propostas para possíveis projetos na área de “dados para o desenvolvimento e o bem-comum” no Brasil e conta com uma conferência aberta ao público. É possível se inscrever na parte da programação aberta ao público por meio deste link. A diretora-executiva da Open Knowledge Brasil, Natália Mazotte, estará presente no grupo de trabalho “Alfabetização de dados e ODS: EmpoderaData”, discutindo as prioridades e premências para a promoção da alfabetização de dados no contexto latino-americano, com foco no Brasil, Colômbia e México, a fim de contribuir para o desenvolvimento do projeto-piloto do EmpoderaData, realizado em parceria com a Universidade de Manchester. No grupo, também estarão presentes Jackie Carter, Diretora do Centro Q-Step da Universidade de Manchester; Vanessa Higgins, Diretora Suporte ao Usuário e Treinamento do UK Data Service e Universidade de Manchester e Valentina Casasbuenas, Coordenadora Captação de Recursos da Data Pop Alliance.   Flattr this!

Two years on, little action from the EU on public country-by-country reporting

- May 13, 2019 in OD4TJ, Open Knowledge

Two years ago, members of the European Parliament voted to force large multinational corporations registered in Europe to reveal how much tax they pay, how many people they employ and what profits they make in every country where they work. The transparency measure – known as public country-by-country reporting (or public CBCR) – was first proposed by the Tax Justice Network in 2003 and has gained prominence in recent years following international tax scandals including the Panama Papers. MEPs approved the introduction of the measure by 534 votes to 98 votes and also mandated that the information should be published by corporations as open data to allow anyone to freely use, modify and share it. Calls for action on this issue had come from campaigners including the Tax Justice Network, Tax Justice UK and Transparency International and were echoed by politicians from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and a cross-party selection of UK MPs to the European Commission’s Taxation and Customs Union. Some large companies and investors also spoke out in favour. 78% of British voters would be in favour of public CBCR for multinationals present in UK, according to a 2017 YouGov poll conducted for Oxfam. Oxfam called on the UK government to enforce comprehensive public CBCR for UK companies by the end of 2019. But, ahead of the European parliamentary elections due next week, little progress has been made towards introducing public CBCR across the continent, with legislation being blocked by members of the EU Council. So what will it take for public CBCR to become law?

Public CBCR by Financial Transparency Coalition is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

The European Union already requires companies in the extractive, logging and banking sectors to publish public CBCR information on a regular basis, albeit not as open data. These measures were introduced following the 2007/08 financial crash and in line with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. Using this information, researchers have revealed the extent to which the top 20 EU banks are using tax havens and also to show how CBCR requirements have forced some banks to change their behaviour. But academics have also shown how better data is needed and efforts to understand the data have been hampered by the need to extract, structure and clean it from tables or text in companies’ annual reports. Since MEPs voted in 2017, the case for the EU to act to introduce public CBCR across more sectors and industries has only grown stronger. The final report of the European Parliament’s Panama Papers committee adopted in December 2017 called for “ambitious public country-by-country reporting in order to enhance tax transparency and the public scrutiny of multinational enterprises” noting that public CBCR is “one of the key measures for achieving greater transparency in relation to companies’ tax information for all citizens”. Investors and those promoting business sustainability have recognised the importance of understanding more about corporations’ tax affairs as well as structuring this information in more of a standardised way. Some businesses have even gone so far as to publish their own CBCR reports ahead of legislation coming into force. In February 2017, as part of our Open Data for Tax Justice project, the Open Knowledge Foundation published a white paper which examined the prospects for creating a global database on the tax contributions and economic activities of multinationals as measured by public CBCR. This found that such a public database was possible and that a pilot could be created by bringing together the best existing source of public CBCR information – disclosures made by European Union banking institutions in line with the Capital Requirements Directive IV (CRD IV) passed in 2013. In July 2017, we took steps towards the creation of this pilot. As European parliamentary candidates enter the final stretch of campaigning, we urge those elected to return to Brussels in July to arrive with a renewed sense of urgency in this area and to focus efforts on making sure public CBCR becomes law before the public’s trust is rocked by yet another international tax scandal.