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MyData 2016 – A visit to why the future for your private data is looking brighter!

- September 11, 2016 in Android, community, Conference, data protection, helsinki, Mobility Profile, mydata, ultrahack, Valerie Peugeot

MyData 2016 - Datatrails MyData 2016 conference was held in Helsinki between the 31st August and 1st of September, and I was there as a volunteer with many other volunteers. Everyone was so nice and friendly and the conference had a great atmosphere. During three days in Helsinki, MyData 2016 welcomed the guests, speakers, students and professionals from all over the world. It was a truly inspiring crowd who are engaging in making privacy the default in digital services. I was in Helsinki to attend the conference and meet the people. It was my first time in Helsinki and I really loved the city especially I liked the general approach of the city to the digital and analogue solutions in their systems. When I think about Helsinki I see the city as one of the smartest. We all know that it is famous with digital technologies and adaptation of them to the daily life but I also liked the opportunities that the city gives me in using analogue systems. I  am not forced to be digital all the time, analogue works as well. For example, in buses people can pay their travel with the card or cash. They may also have a short opportunity to talk with a bus driver when they are paying their money and even make some jokes. The theme of the conference was, how can people keep privacy of their personal data and to have the control in their hands with authority over what their service provider can do with their data.  There were so many inspiring ideas and approaches. I found Valerie Peugeots talk very clear and it was like a summary of the conference. Basically she emphasizes the power of the society and she says;MyData community should contribute to a social movement.Personal ethical values in data sharing and keeping ways should be embraced by the all the people and it should also be accepted by the companies as their principles. <h2>What is MyData and what are the values of MyData?</h2>MyData is a model for a human centered approach to the managing and processing of personal information,` this is how it is described on the presentation paper. So we can say that all the personal values are also My Data values, it is a way to digital human rights. Read the MyData white paper here. Below is a video that explains the concept.  

UltraHack MyData 2016

One of the most attractive part of the conference was the UltraHack MyData 2016. The winner was Mobility Profile, it is a mobile application for Android to support journey planners. With the Mobility Profile application, travelers can create their own journeys and get some suggestions about their next journey. Application collects the data from user’s own mobile and all the data about users journey is also stored only in the mobile. It seems like the perfect tool for digital flanuers who likes to discover new places by their own unique ways. And the idea of unique was the main concerns of MyData or maybe it was a new cultural phenomena!

International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 Part IV: Why and How can our Heritage be Connected and Open?

- March 16, 2016 in Connected Open Heritage, crowdsource, KÖK, Kopplat Öppet Kulturarv, Open Data Day, Wikimedia Sverige

This is the second part out of a four part series reporting on the International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Read part I, II and III.

Connected Open Heritage (Kopplat Öppet Kulturarv, KÖK in Swedish) is a project by Wikimedia Sweden. It aims to update and make our cultural heritage data more available on Wikimedia projects. We altogether talked about the possibilities and the potential risks of the project, it was really mind opening experience to listen to all ideas. After this last session of discussing projects we gathered in a circle again to check-out with the question “What do I bring with me from Open Data Day Stockholm?“. Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 21 Sharing project developments, crowdsourcing learning & perspectives, users’ expert insights, feedback – those were the main activities and they really gave a lot of useful input to the continuation of these projects. And they have already shown to be interesting for participants who want to learn more about open data, learn and engage more in projects! Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 16 At the end, after some nice talks, cookies and coffees the workshop was over and, I already start to look forward for the next event. Thank you for reading this blog series. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you want us to organize an event in your area – let’s figure something out together! Our blog post with the invitation to the event is published here.
The event on the wiki for is located here. The International Open Data Day in Stockholm 2016 was held on 5th March at the Wikimedia Sweden offices hosted by Open Knowledge Sweden and Wikimedia Sweden.

International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 Part III: Exploring Value Creation through Transparency

- March 15, 2016 in AskTheEu, crowdsource, digitisation, Freedom of Information, Global Open Data Index, godi, Local Open Data Index, LODI, Offentlighetsprincipen, Open Data Day, Wikimedia Sverige

This is the third part out of a four part series reporting on the International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Read part I here and II here.

< p style="text-align: center;"> Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 28 After the presentations at Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 we took a short break to have the first and essential break for “fika” having coffee, tea, cookies and cinnamon buns. With participants warmed up and inspired by projects there was a lot of chatting in the space. Following this we moved on towards workshop and demonstrations, e.g. having participants ideate and brainstorm on why open data for cultural heritage should be maintained and released. The FrågaStaten project were letting users test to request public documents from the EU institutions. Frå (to be launched) will help you to make Freedom of Information Access request and the platform publishes all requests and answers online. It can be said that it is a version of for the local context in Sweden.
Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 31 I personally sent a request during the test at and got my answer two days later. The only thing that you need to do is submitting your e-mail and create your own profile. Your information remains anonymous to the public bodies and you can use a pseudonym if you want or need – you have the right to. Then you can ask about whatever public document you want to request and you can also see all similar previous requests and questions. Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 29 Fascinating how easy it now can be to get information out that you did not have any idea about before! In the third workshop we were how to submit local and regional datasets to the Local Open Data Index – the next level of the Open Data Index. Are you interested to help crowdsource? Please do! Stay put for the next part of this four part series about International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Our blog post with the invitation to the event is published here.
The event on the wiki for is located here. The International Open Data Day in Stockholm 2016 was held on 5th March at the Wikimedia Sweden offices hosted by Open Knowledge Sweden and Wikimedia Sweden.

International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016! Part II: Local Open Data Index makes Destinations more Attractive through Overview of Open Data Availability

- March 14, 2016 in crowdsource, digitisation, event, Global Open Data Index, godi, Local Open Data Index, LODI, Open Data Day, Wikimedia Sverige

This is the second part out of a four part series reporting on the International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Part I.

Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 14 First we were presented to the Global Open Data Index where you can see current state of open data release around the world. Now on this site you can compare between 122 countries. The Local Open Data Index was the next presentation. The municipalities and regions of Sweden are expected to have their relevant data indexed on this platform by crowdsourcing user submissions. One place to start to check  it could be possible to see the data in the charts. If you are planning to move somewhere in Sweden – it will a great source to help you decide which destination better meets your expectations and demand for level of service, transparency and digitsation. Stay put for the next part of this four part series about International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 05 Our blog post with the invitation to the event is published here.
The event on the wiki for is located here. The International Open Data Day in Stockholm 2016 was held on 5th March at the Wikimedia Sweden offices hosted by Open Knowledge Sweden and Wikimedia Sweden.

International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 Part I: How can one host an Inclusive Open Data Day?

- March 13, 2016 in AskTheEu, crowdsource, crowdsourcing, digitisation, eu, event, FrågaStaten, Global Open Data Index, godi, KÖK, Local Open Data Index, LODI, Open Data Day, Wikimedia Sverige

This is the first part out of a four part series recap from the International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016.

Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 37 The question of inclusivity was one of the questions explored this year in Stockholm by inviting people into the world of open data. The focus was on participation and user input for the projects that Open Knowledge Sweden and Wikimedia Sweden are running. The International Open Data Day in Stockholm 2016 was held on 5th March at the Wikimedia Sweden offices. It was a relaxed atmosphere and very casual event – yet very productive! The featured projects were Frå, Local Open Data Index with both regions and municipalities as well as the project on Connected Open Cultural Heritage Data (Kopplade Öppna Kulturarvsdata) (KÖK) in Swedish. Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 09 It all started off very calm and inviting with mingling as participants were arriving and the last preparation were taken care of. Then the workshop session started off with some welcoming words and a circle in a check-in letting participants share their names and answer the question: “Why are you here today?”. It was a diverse group of people who had come for different reasons all with diverse backgrounds three short presentations. It then followed with a 10-minute presentation from each featured project explaining their concepts and philosophies, introducing them to participants to get an insight of the projects. Stay put for the next part of this four part series about International Open Data Day Stockholm 2016. Open Data Day Stockholm 2016 25 Our blog post with the invitation to the event is published here.
The event on the wiki for is located here. The International Open Data Day in Stockholm 2016 was held on 5th March at the Wikimedia Sweden offices hosted by Open Knowledge Sweden and Wikimedia Sweden.

Learning about Data Journalism is easy… and free!

- March 3, 2016 in Claire Wardle, Data Journalism, ejc, European Journalism Centre, Google News Lab, Learno, mooc, Nicholas Whitaker, Open Journalism, EJC, Logo,

Logo all rights reserved by European Journalism Centre (EJC)

What are the fastest ways to learn data journalism? This was a question I was curious about and Mattias mentioned to me that he just heard about It is a MOOC, web courses platform for people and journalists who want to improve their internet research skills and, learn about the techniques of data journalism. Currently available are online courses about Google Search for Journalists, The Basics of Verification, Doing Journalism with Data and Managing Data Journalism Projects and there are also many upcoming courses. All of them are posted and delivered by media professionals such as Nicholas Whitaker, media outreach manager in Google News Lab or Claire Wardle, Buzz Feed Canada editor. All of the courses on Learno are free and, the only thing that you need to do is subscribe by providing an e-mail address and become a member. The teaching system is effective and, each lecture in the video is supported by graphics and diagrams to render the subject more understandable and easy. There are also exercises following up the lectures so, you can directly test how much you learned during these excellent courses if you like would to. Great initiative by the European Journalism Centre (EJC)!

Call to Hack for Sweden!

- February 18, 2016 in Andreas Sjöström, Angela Yong, Darja Isaksson, event, hack4sweden, hackathon, HackForSweden, Joakim Jardenberg, Naturvårdsverket, Open Data, Pernilla Rydmark, SMHI

Hack for Sweden is a competition and an unique collaboration between 23 Swedish authorities and organisations. The challenge for the participants in this hackathon is to make the use of open data available by the authorities in new applications or services that may result in new businesses and increased benefits. The Hack for Sweden award will be given to the team or participant that combines data in a creative way and create the best and most innovative application or service which clearly shows the benefits with the open data delivered by the authorities. Apart from the Hack for Sweden award, there will be other special prizes given in four categories: Best visualisation, Best business value, Best value for the public and Participant’s prize. The jury consists of Pernilla Rydmark, Joakim Jardenberg, Darja Isaksson and Andreas Sjöström. Project leader is Angela Yong at SMHI. WHEN: 12th-13th of March 2016 WHERE : Naturvårdsverket, Valhallavägen 195, Stockholm HOW: Rules and registration can be found at (now closed!) REGISTRATION : Closed by 25th January 2016 – but ask them and perhaps you can be there to observe! Facebook: Twitter: @hackforsweden Do you need help, advice and support for your contribution to the hack? Get in touch with us!

Interview with Mattias Axell, Community Manager and Experience Designer at Open Knowledge Sweden

- February 14, 2016 in Dee Hock, design, design thinking, DIKW, Epistemology, FrågaStaten, Freedom of Information, Knowledge Hierarchy, Local group, Longlivetheux, Mattias Axell, myndigheter, Open Data, open-government, Public Bodies,, quantified, research, stockholm, VISA, wikimedia

We met with Mattias Axell at the Royal Library in Stockholm where we talked about ‘data’ and especially ‘Open Data’. He answers questions about the the meaning, usage and effect of data. ‘Why and how is data important for our future societies’ or, is it really important? Mattias answered and explored the questions below. Mattias Axell is Community Manager at Open Knowledge Sweden and he is also working with the project FrågaStaten. Who are you? My name is Mattias Axell. I am a Kaospilot and aspiring Experience Designer. I have mainly studied in English since early teenage years and studied social science in high school. As far as I can remember I have always been very curious about how society works and how it can improve. I see myself as kind of a societal hacker. I want to understand this constantly changing system but realise it is extremely complex. So I engage to de-construct functions and processes in society to re-construct them in more purposeful, generative and sustainable ways which I hope will make a dent in the life of people in societies.
What does data mean? One allegory that I have heard about data is that it is like a natural resource similar to oil. But I would argue that it in comparison to a fossile energy source it is a renewable resource that is infinite and everywhere in the world. It is something that we can harvest and use for endless purposes. Data and information is said to be the oil of the 21st century but I prefer to compare it to renewable energy. Why? Because as soon as quantity and matters or something change, its properties and thus data change too.
We are living in the information age and we as individuals receive so much impressions and input every day. There are so many different sources of matters and things that we can quantify and analyse, but for that we need to understand perception. The first time I got in touch with this, epistemology, the philosophy of knowledge and the “knowledge hierarchy” was through Dee Hock, the founder of VISA. He shared a definition of knowledge in his phenomenal book “The Chaordic Age” from 1999 (later re-released as “One from Many: VISA and the Rise of Chaordic Organization” in 2005). Noise is the first step in the knowledge hierarchy. Noise is infinite, everywhere and it is is going on around us all the time. We make sense of it as different categories of data, emotions and sensory inputs. In a similar way we as humans have different ways in our societies to make sense of it all. This is done through our perception and tools we created that organizes data. The image of the “DIKW-pyramid (Data-Information-Knowledge-Wisdom Pyramid)” excludes noise so I quote an excerpt from Dee Hock’s book which describes it quite well.
“Noise becomes data when it has a cognitive pattern.
Data becomes information when assembled into a coherent whole, which can be related to other information. Information becomes knowledge when integrated with other information in a form useful for making decisions and determining actions.
Knowledge becomes understanding when related to other knowledge in a manner useful in anticipating, judging and acting.
Understanding becomes wisdom when informed by purpose, ethics, principles, memory and projection.” – Dee Hock, Founder and former CEO of VISA. Source.
From Wikimedia Commons by Longlivetheux with license CC-BY-SA 4.0

The “DIKW Pyramid”. From Wikimedia Commons by Longlivetheux with license CC-BY-SA 4.0

What is data consisted of? Is it only consisted of numbers, graphics and diagrams? As mentioned I believe that all data comes from noise we receive through our senses. I do not think it has to be mathematical things but maths helps us make sense. Mathematics is a social technology that humans early on constructed to make sense of quantities and more complex matters. E.g. if we start counting the amount of different kind of objects around us, then of course I naturally have to work with basic mathematics. However data can also be something about our feelings, e.g. designers work with it when they quantify something qualitative such as an emotion, which in itself is very difficult. How can you transform and value a feeling and convert it to a quantity? If I would work with design and development of a product, then I would ask people how they feel about this look of the product. However I believe that qualitative research often can be more powerful than quantitative research. However the choice between qualitative and quantitative depends on purpose.
What is the difference between data and information? As with the quote above, we can call data as the second step and the next step is information. You can gather and cross combine data with different kinds of data to get different information. In order to make sense of all the information it becomes knowledge when you have a fuller picture. That knowledge then leads you to understanding. You can then turn onto the ultimate step which is the wisdom when you have more philosophical values incorporated.
Can everyone understand the data easily? Everyone can work with data. But when you start getting into working with big amounts of data that can require a computer or other technological device – then a lot of people get excluded because the learning curve is too high. And then the process becomes more complex. In this sense not everybody can work with e.g. open data. That is why a lot of people today work on transforming data to the level of information. They transform it in a way that is easier for the recipient to make sense of. A sheet of “raw data” with lots of different data may not be so understandable in the beginning but when a person has made sense of it and, it could take a transformed and comprehensive shape in the form a blog, presentation or interview. How does the idea of open data come out? Today I think it comes out as very technically advanced – but it is not really. A lot of people involved are technical and communicate in a language that becomes filled with technical words. There are different aspects of it. Open Knowledge e.g. works with the aspect connected to the idea of transparency and open government and a more open democracy. Data is a very common resources in the public sector to create a foundation for the transparency into how society is doing and the situation of how public sectors are running. This also a way to create trust and citizen interaction where people can be creative, give feedback and scrutinize.
Why should open data exist as an idea and concept? Because in today’s very data-based society it is a kind of raw resource. E.g. if I need food, I need to have earth that I nourish to create conditions which are supports life and nutritious a harvest. I think the open data is an element in society that gives life to whatever I plant. So if I have an idea, I can use open data as facts to inspire and kind of nourishment to my idea, to make something more with it. It is also a source for creativity, so from open data I can actually get inspired, learn and harvest ideas. In that sense, open data also offers a space and playground for creativity which is why we today see a lot of so-called hackathons.
How does the system of open data work? This depends on how we define the “system” because there is so many systems and processes involved in it. Technically you must have a system, digital or analogue, that helps you collect data and one to help you harvest and organise the data. This can sometimes be called like washing the data, such as when you rinse vegetables to clean it from dirt and pesticides. Basically washing out the stuff that is not useful, or not in your interest at the moment. Then you can have a the system to manage the different data sets from where you can connect to other systems where you make the data available and open. Can you talk about your projects at Open Knowledge Sweden? My projects are mainly connected to the current 250th anniversary of Freedom of Press and Freedom of Information (or the Principle of Public Access as it also is called) in Sweden. The main one is called “Fråga Staten” which aims to create a proof of concept of how the Principle of Public Access can be more generative in the digital society. By creating a new user experience for people to exercise their right and freedom to request public documents in Sweden we hope to show why Sweden should strengthen and adapt Freedom of Information to our digital society. Along with researchers and entrepreneurs in the field I believe it creates a lot of value economically, socially and ecologically. The project as a concept is a digital platform which makes it easier for citizens to request public documents and data – and get answers from the public sector. I have been learning how to work with the raw data regarding the contact details of public bodies in Sweden. I found through an unsatisfactory experience that there are two different sources of contact data to all state agencies, regions and municipality. It was presented in quite an informative way, but in Sweden there is no single official source in the public sector that has all the raw data about these contact details. So I made a hack myself to create that. I collected all this information and with the help of the Open Knowledge network we combined it to a single spreadsheet of data. It will be available at and I hope that it is only a temporary solution until authorities start collaborate to make it open data themselves!
Along with this project I am also helping out a little bit in our Local Open Data Index project run by Asmen Gül which he will tell you more about if you get in touch with him.
Mattias Axell, source: Kaospilot

Mattias Axell, source: