The Wise Boys: or, The Entertaining Histories of Fred Forethought, Matt Merrythought, Luke Lovebook and Ben Bee (ca. 1842)

Adam Green - March 30, 2017 in children, children's book, death, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, wisdom

Collection of poetic stories championing exemplary boyhood behaviour, the work of the American poet Sarah Josepha Buell Hale.

Join the Democracyhack to create new forms of democracy!

Mikael Seppälä - March 30, 2017 in Open Democracy

What does democracy look like in ten years? How can we increase people’s participation? Join Democracyhack to work on your solution! In conjunction with the Tulevaisuuden valtiopäivät event (Future Parliament) Sitra together with Open Knowledge Finland organizes from the 4th to the 5th of May an event – the Democracyhack. You can participate in the hack day (Friday 5.5.) even though you don’t speak Finnish. There you get to solve the challenges facing democracy and citizen participation via a hackathon. The hackathon participants form groups of two to five people. During the event each group develops one thing, aided by experienced facilitators and exhaustive background material. Whether you are an active person, an activist, a coder, a service designer, a game designer, an artist, a media person or generally interested in new forms of making society more democratic, join the hackathon! There are three tracks at the Democracyhack: the Hack Track for developing applications and visualizations, the Jam Track for concepts and prototypes plus the Art & Media Track for different forms of art and media promoting democracy. The best ideas are awarded and handed out as projects to Finnish decision-makers in Seuraava erä. The winning solution will be awarded 5 000 euros and the two runners-up 2 000 euros each. The participants’ travelling expenses, accommodation and food are reimbursed. More information: Sign up until 10th April: Democracyhack 4th to 5th May in Facebook: Democracyhack participant event on the 24th April in Facebook: Tulevaisuuden valtiopäivät (Future Parliament) 4th of May: The post Join the Democracyhack to create new forms of democracy! appeared first on Open Knowledge Finland.

Open Data Day Sudan 2017: Openness for Advancing Research and Discovery

Osman Aldirdiri - March 30, 2017 in Open Data Day

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Research theme. Open Sudan’s Open Data Day event was a conference that took place in Khartoum on the 11th of March. The event was held on this date to ensure inclusiveness and more representation as it requested by many local institutions. The conference gathered stakeholder groups’ and representatives from the academia to debate and study the future of research practice in Sudan with a great emphasis on the use of open data. The event also introduced the concept of open research data as a tool to improve research communication methods in Sudan. We had discussions on and assessed the local research behaviour, the environment and available infrastructure to determine the need for the implementation of such policies. The conference provided a significant space for networking and collaboration with the objective of stimulating the progress of Sudanese research data output leading to the acceleration of discoveries. In addition to our goals in convening an event that sought to foster knowledge development and intellectual exchange, we worked towards creating an inclusive, innovative, and empowering event by inviting 85 representatives from different academic institutions, research centres, government agencies, research groups and civil society organisations. We also invited a number of talented young researchers who do not only have fresh views but have a profound knowledge, experience and vision in the area of scientific research. The conference held a one-hour exhibition with some of the very impacting groups and organisations in the area of research promotion. This featured some exceptional student groups as well. Exhibitors were able to present their projects in advancing research practice locally with their use of open data in research. They could introduce their related future projects and form collaborations with one another. One of the speakers – Prof. Ahmed M Musa from the Institute of Endemic Diseases – spoke about his project that publishes Leishmania-related research data of Sudan openly. He showed how beneficial this practice would be for the advancement of leishmania related research.
One major outcome from this talk was shedding the light on the importance of open data in medical research in particular and scientific research in general.

A large number of young career researchers who attended the conference are now committed to opening their research and data after excellent talks from Dr. Iman Abuel Maaly and Dr. Rania Baleela. Some have also expressed their interest in advocating for openness among their peers. Conversations around potential future collaborations between different early career researchers’ groups took place throughout the conference.

Gamification of Open Data to Empower School Learners in Pretoria

Centre for Geoinformation Science, University of Pretoria - March 30, 2017 in budget, Open Data Day

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open contracting and tracking public money flows theme. The Centre for Geoinformation Science (CGIS), the University of Pretoria in South Africa, hosted an event on 4 March 2017 for school learners to celebrate International Open Data Day.  The aim was to introduce school learners to South African open data on public spending through gamification. This provided the learners with an interactive way of engaging with the data and exploring national budgets and spending. The day began with a brief introduction to open data and it benefits to our local community and South Africa as a whole. Gamification was used to encourage active participation during the event, by providing the learners with questions relating to public funds and spending. For example, participants could exchange points for hints to assist in answering the questions. For the quiz, 15 questions based on various provided datasets were developed. Datasets were acquired from the South African National Treasury and the Code4SA open data portalBelow are some examples of questions asked:
  1. Which University had the highest income in 2014?
  2. How much was the Chief Justice paid in the year 2014?
  3. What was the average salary per month before tax of a member of Parliament in 2014?
The open source TCexam computer-based assessment system was used for the quiz, allowing a user-friendly system.


Working with computers was a highlight for the learners, as they did not only learn about open data but also had the opportunity to display their computer literacy skill. CGIS students assisted learners during the day with any software issues and provided additional guidance during the quiz. The day ended with prizes for the top 5 groups. The prizes included scientific calculators, notebooks and other stationary. The general feedback from the learners was very positive and they were generally excited about open data and its many possibilities in helping deal with societal, political and economic issues.  A short video on the day is available below  We would like to thank the sponsors of this event, Open Knowledge International, Hivos and Article 19. Without their support, this event would not have been possible.  

Edward Curtis’ Photographs of Kwakwaka’wakw Ceremonial Dress and Masks (ca. 1914)

Adam Green - March 29, 2017 in british columbia, Canada, ceremonial, ceremonies, Edward Curtis, first nation, masks, ritual

The ceremonial costumes and masks of the Kwakwaka'wakw people as photographed by American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis, famous for his work with Native American people.

An open pathway to learning for all: learning through making (OER) and by experiencing (OEP)

Annalisa Manca - March 29, 2017 in Featured, guestpost, oer

Post written by Chrissi Nerantzi & Viviane Vladimirschi

Reflections on #OEglobal in Cape Town, March 2017

OEGlobal (#oeglobal) took place in Cape Town this year, 10 years after the Declaration of Open Education was signed there. With the Table Mountain

Open Belgium 2017 in the eyes of a Russian open data enthusiast

Anastasia Valeeva - March 29, 2017 in belgium, community, gender, hackathon, network, OK Belgium, transport policy

When you belong to a worldwide community such as the Open Knowledge Network, travelling to other countries means you can meet like-minded people by just knocking on the door of a local branch. That is exactly what I did last year when I lived in Brussels. I signed up as a volunteer for the Open Belgium 2016, a yearly community-driven conference. It turned into an incredible internship for a couple of months. A year later, I am not living in Belgium anymore, but wanted to visit the team and Open Data Day was a perfect excuse. So I sign up as a volunteer again. And what do I see first upon arrival? A whole bunch of new family members.

Open Knowledge Belgium: Meet the next generation

It’s been a few months since Dries Van Ransbeeck took up the torch of the project coordinator role from Pieter-Jan Pauwels, but you can already see the changes. The office has moved from Ghent to Brussels, with new interns commuting daily from various parts of the country. You can already say that Open Knowledge Belgium is taking another dimension. And it’s the new generation of volunteers that made the Open Belgium happen this year. You can check out the volunteers’ hall of fame here. My task as a volunteer for the Open Belgium was to type ‘like a maniac’  and keep a record of all the discussions. Find below my one-blog-summary of the day.

State of Open Data: Low-hanging fruit is gone

The event traditionally kicked off with the overview of the state of Open Knowledge in the country. Delivered by Toon Vanagt, the chairman of the Open Knowledge Belgium and Inge Van Nieuwerburgh, Board Member and coordinator of scholarly communications, it was rather a positive sum-up of the previous community efforts. The laws are in placethe European Directive on the reuse of data was transposed into Belgian Law (NL, FR), providing strict obligation for administrations to make information available for reuse. Open Knowledge Belgium has a recognised role in the process of open data legislation. The basic datasets are open. Data portals are the new black. The task now is to go further to improve data quality, aiming at the 5-star model of Tim Berners-Lee. This will mean building ontologies for linked open data, long but necessary debates about algorithms and ethics, an ongoing search for a revenue model based on open data, and filling new roles in a data field society such as data curator, data stewards and data analyst. That’s a long, but exciting way to go.

Belgian Transport Authorities: we’ve changed

How long till we get the real-time public transport data? That was the hottest question on the panel with Belgian Public Transit Authorities. Sure, it is a big technical, legal and ethical challenge – a lot needs to be done to make this possible. But it’s also important to appreciate having this dialogue today. This has not always been the case. Indeed, only a few years ago SNCB was very protective of its data. In 2010, it sent a letter to Belgian IT student Yeri Tiete who had developed a timetable app, The letter stated: ‘Your website makes reuse of SNCB data. This violates its intellectual property rights, including copyright and database rights. It also makes you guilty of the criminal offence of counterfeiting’ and urged him to cease the app immediately. Tiete and the online community had to find lawyers to fight back. Their legal basis for defending the use of the data was based on a series of linked cases from the European Court of Justice. The Court then ruled that when information in databases is generated as part of the regular activities of a company, then that data is not protected by database rights because the creation of the information has not required ―substantial investment and hence may be used by third parties without them needing to seek permission. In this context, the very presence of Belgian public transport authorities at the Open Belgium conference gets a whole new meaning. Their explicitly expressed commitment to share the data, support open data initiatives and engage developers for co-creation paves the way for innovation and smart use of their data.

Mind the gender gap! 

The event touched upon various initiatives around open data. Representatives from Wikipedia talked about closing the gender gap. When 9 out of 10 registered users on the website are male, the average editor being a 31 years old man with a degree in higher education, you don’t have to be a data analyst to see the possible biases of the content. To close that gap, Wikipedia has several projects running. One of these projects is ‘Women in Red’, which is an initiative of creating links to non-existing pages about prominent women in relation to their works and biographies; therefore calling for action to create these pages. Another is Art + Feminism edit-a-thon which is a series of community-organized events that aim to teach folks how to edit, update, and add articles on Wikipedia.

And other Stories 

Being a journalist myself, I was particularly interested in the session on who should tell the data stories by Maarten Lambrechts. ‘New kids on the block’ as Maarten puts it: are state agencies and statistical offices competing with journalists over the narrative of data. It is increasingly important for media not to outsource the interpretation of data. “How many toilet apps do we need?” – Is a classic sceptical question regarding hackathons. However, Belgium now sees ‘the return of the hackathon’ – the second wave of interest and support for hackathons. They are becoming more inclusive, focused and thematic, organised around a particular topic such as diseases, a problem such as gender equality or a city, such as Gent. ‘We need as many toilet finders as people need’ – is a positive answer for the hackathon organisers. This is my wrap-up for you. Go check the full list of presentations, notes and visual summaries here. At the closing panel, we sketched the next steps: unlocking legislation, working on open licences, creating policies around linked open data. You may have heard it before, right? But these are all parallel paths, and we are moving, step by step.

Open Data Day at Cambridge Brainhack

Kirstie Ẁhitaker - March 29, 2017 in Open Data Day

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2017. On Saturday 4 March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19, Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. This event was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Research theme.

Brainhack Global 2017 consisted of 40 satellite events around the world on March 2nd, 3rd and 4th 2017. Brainhack is a unique hackathon and unconference that brings together researchers with disparate backgrounds to collaborate on open science projects in neuroimaging. A map of all the Brainhack Global 2017 satellite sites. We had more than 40 participants at the Cambridge satellite event of Brainhack Global representing early career researchers from multiple university departments and research institutes. Over three days we supported each other as we learned new skills and developed analyses to investigate neuroimaging data. The organising committee worked hard to foster a warm and friendly atmosphere. We know how hard it is to go outside their comfort zone and we wanted to make sure that everyone felt welcome. We had a strict code of conduct and made it very clear that everyone was welcome, no matter your race, gender, level of coding ability, or choice of programming language. The talks that kicked off our first two days together were a great opportunity to get excited about new areas of research. They inspired participants to consider how we can all play a role in the future of big data and open science in neuroimaging.

Jakob Seidlitz outlining some excellent sources of open brain imaging data

František Váša and Jakob Seidlitz gave an excellent tour of the fundamentals of network neuroscience and introduced some of the freely available datasets that researchers could utilize to carry out this type of research. I gave a presentation on how to make your results reproducible and Dr Niko Kriegeskorte showed how his lab are using deep neural networks to understand visual perception. Of particular note for open data advocates was Dr Darren Price’s presentation of the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience (Cam-CAN) dataset. You can apply for access to the data from 700 adults, aged between 18 and 88 years old, who were scanned using structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). These participants also completed a large battery of behavioural tasks and questionnaires outside of the scanner. There’s more information about the study here.

Darren Price describing the Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience study and managed access database

We also had an excellent discussion with members of the Wellcome Trust’s open research team on incentives and roadblocks for early career researchers who want to open their academic workflow. We covered some of the key reasons that Open Data is important:
  • Open data allows us to meet one of the core principles of the scientific method, that someone else could reproduce your results. It’s what separates science from magic.
  • Open data also means you can get more out of a dataset. Re-using the data for a different purpose is a more efficient use of all the money spent on collecting it. A return on investment to the funder, which for Brainhack Cambridge participants is often the UK tax payer, is especially important when the datasets are expensive/difficult to collect.
  • Open data leads to better innovation and collaboration. By bringing together ideas from many different disciplines to understand the data from many different points of view, a diverse group of people can analyse the data in ways that you might never have imagined.

Hannah and Aki from the Wellcome Trust Open Research Team came to hear about our experiences and opinions as early career researchers

There are, however, major challenges associated with sharing human brain imaging data:
  • It may be possible to identify individual people from their data. It can be very difficult to anonymise some data sets and sensitive information such as their history of mental health difficulties or intelligence measures should be protected. It can be very hard to know how to best navigate the ethics of sharing data and there may even be different requirements in different countries.
  • Some human neuroimaging datasets are large (a few hundred gigabytes per acquisition) and therefore many existing repositories are not suitable. Although members of Brainhack Global were working on the Brain Imaging Data Structure project it is not yet widely adopted. This means it is difficult to organise data in a way that it is interpretable to other researchers.
  • Not only are the datasets large, but as it is very expensive to collect brain imaging data, there are many stakeholders and collaborators. It is unlikely that an early career researcher will be able to make the decision to share the data from their study.
  • There is a steep learning curve associated with learning new skills, software or platforms. Adding an additional open data burden on PhD students and postdocs may require a lot of dedicated time that they simply do not have.

Some of the skills on offer

We all worked hard to help each other address this last challenge – that it takes too much time to figure out new techniques on your own – during the open hacking time at Cambridge Brainhack. It was a great opportunity to share what we know and learn from each other. We got some fantastic feedback that our participants left feeling motivated to develop their open science skills, and confident that they weren’t the only one struggling. We’re excited to continue to build our community together, locally, and around the world.

Open hacking at Cambridge Brainhack

We are incredibly grateful to SPARC and Open Data Day for their mini-grant that provided lunch on the last day for our hungry, hard-working participants. We would not have been able to hold Cambridge Brainhack without their support, along with our other fantastic sponsors: The Wellcome Trust, Overleaf, PLOS, Mozilla Science Lab, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit and the University of Cambridge Department of Psychiatry.

OKBR participa do Hackathon da Saúde

Elza Maria Albuquerque - March 29, 2017 in Destaque, Eventos

Como a tecnologia pode tornar o SUS mais ágil e eficiente para os cidadãos? É com esse tema que vem aí o Hackathon da Saúde nos dias 8 e 9 de abril. A iniciativa é da Prefeitura de São Paulo em parceria com SENAI e AppCívico e conta com o apoio da Open Knowledge Brasil. O evento, que vai ter chatbots, dados abertos e outras soluções inovadoras, chama a sociedade civil, principalmente interessados em tecnologia, organizações sociais e startups a pensar em protótipos e ideias com impacto nas políticas públicas com foco na saúde para a população. “O Hackathon da Saúde é uma excelente oportunidade em que a Prefeitura de São Paulo promove um novo canal de comunicação e transparência por meio de dados abertos, tecnologia e participação, permitindo que todos participem e proponham melhores soluções para a saúde pública”, enfatiza Thiago Rondon, conselheiro da OKBR e diretor-executivo do AppCívico. No evento, ele vai ser um dos moderadores do painel sobre tecnologia. “O evento está alinhado com a nossa missão, promover o conhecimento livre para tornar a relação entre entre governo e sociedade mais transparente e para que haja uma participação política mais efetiva e aberta. Neste caso, trata-se de um assunto muito sensível, dados abertos na área da saúde pública. Faz muito sentido a OKBR apoiar e participar da iniciativa”, destaca Ariel Kogan, diretor-executivo da OKBR. No evento, ele vai ser um dos julgadores. Para participar do Hackathon da Saúde, é preciso fazer a inscrição via plataforma meetup. Mais informações no site.

Quais dados vão estar disponíveis no evento ?

A Secretaria Municipal da Saúde vai disponibilizar os dados da Ouvidoria (reclamação e solicitações de usuários por meio da Ouvidoria SUS); e uma extração de dados que já se encontram disponíveis no TabNet DataSUS, a saber: mortalidade, nascidos vivos, dados ambulatoriais, hospitalares, dados de população do IBGE e georreferenciamento das unidades de saúde disponíveis na capital paulista.

Mais informações

Evento: Hackathon da Saúde Quando: 8 de abril (início 8h) e 9 de abril (15h) Local: Escola SENAI de Informática Endereço: Rua Barão de Limeira, 539 – Centro – São Paulo – SP Para participar do evento Flattr this!

[French] Le Fellowship de School of Data : Questions et réponses

Cédric Lombion - March 29, 2017 in Côte d'Ivoire, fellowship, Haiti, senegal

En 2017, nous recrutons des Fellows dans trois pays francophones: Haïti, Côte d’Ivoire et Sénégal. Les thèmes sont les suivants :
  • Haïti: Fondamentaux de la littératie de données
  • Côte d’Ivoire, Sénégal: Données de l’industrie extractive.
Voir l’annonce principale Vous n’êtes pas certains que le Fellowship soit fait pour vous ? Vous vous posez encore des questions ? Cet article rassemble les questions et réponses les plus courantes. Nous le mettrons à jour aussi souvent que possible !
  • En quoi consiste le Fellowship de School of Data ?
Les Fellowships sont des placements de 9 mois au sein du réseau School of Data pour des individus pratiquant ou passionnés par la littératie de données. Au cours de cette période, les Fellows travaillent aux côtés de l’équipe de coordination et du réseau de School of Data : vous apprendrez beaucoup de nous, et inversement ! Nous travaillerons ensemble pour construire un programme individuel pour votre Fellowship. Avec pour but d’acquérir les compétences vous permettant de progresser sur votre travail de littératie de donnée: pour former les autres, développer un réseau, organiser des événements. Quelle que soit l’activité, notre objectif est de sensibiliser à la littératie de données et construire des communautés qui, ensemble, peuvent utiliser les compétences d’usage des données afin d’être moteur du changement dans le monde. Le Fellowship a pour objectif de recruter et former la prochaine génération de “data leaders” et formateurs afin d’étendre l’impact de notre programme de littératie de la donnée. Les Fellows fournissent une formation et un appui dans le temps aux journalistes, organisations de la société civile et individus innovants afin qu’ils soient capables d’utiliser les données de façon pertinente au sein de leur communauté ou pays. Nous recherchons des candidats qui ont des liens existants avec un réseau de promoteurs de la littératie de données, ou qui ont des connexions au sein d’une organisation particulière travaillent dans ce domaine. Nous recrutons nos Fellows annuellement, et chaque génération devient une partie intégrante du réseau international de School of Data. Ils peuvent donc s’apputer sur la force du réseau pour partager des ressources ou connaissances, de façon à contribuer au mieux à notre compréhension des meilleurs stratégies pour mener des formations pertinentes au niveau local.
  • Est-ce que le Fellow doit habiter/être en permanence dans le pays ?
Il est attendu des Fellows qu’ils soient disponibles 10 jours par mois pour le Fellowship. La plupart des missions nécessiteront une présence de terrain, ce qui sera plus facile si vous habitez le pays au moins 2 semaines par mois. Par ailleurs, nous recherchons des personnes qui aimeraient rester actives sur le long terme dans le pays, ce qui implique qu’un candidat y habitant sera favorisé. Cela dit, nous sommes flexibles et si un Fellow a un déplacement prévu, nous saurons trouver un arrangement.
  • Est-ce que le Fellow doit parler couramment anglais ?
La coordination du Fellowship se fera en Français pour les Fellows francophones. Cela dit, un avantage sera donné aux candidats sachant parler anglais: il est important de pouvoir communiquer avec les reste de la communauté School of Data ! Pas besoin d’être bilingue cependant, être capable de parler un anglais simple et de comprendre des interlocuteurs anglophones est suffisant.
  • Les Fellows devront-ils voyager durant le programme ?
Oui. En mai, à l’occasion du Camp d’Été de School of Data, les Fellows rejoindront la communauté en Afrique du Sud pour planifier leur Fellowship et être formés aux méthodologies de School of Data. Cela nécessite donc d’avoir un passeport, et de lancer les démarches de demande de visa dès que vous êtes sélectionnés. Pensez-y ! Vous avez des questions mais pas de réponses ? Contactez nous via Twitter ou notre site! Flattr this!