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Celebrating the public domain in 2019

- January 29, 2019 in open culture, Open GLAM, OpenGLAM, Policy, Public Domain

2019 is a special year for the public domain, the out-of-copyright material that everyone is free to enjoy, share, and build upon without restriction. Normally, each year on the 1st of January a selection of works (books, films, artworks, musical scores and more) enter the public domain because their copyright expires – which is most commonly 70 years after the creator’s death depending on where in the world you are. This year, for the first time in more than twenty years, new material entered the public domain in the US, namely all works that were published in the year 1923. Due to complicated legal proceedings, the last new release of public domain material in the US was in 1998, for all works dating from 1922. But from now on, each following year we will expect to see a new batch of material freed of copyright restrictions (so content from the year 1924 will become available from 2020 onwards, content from 1925 in 2021, and so on). This is good news for everyone, since the availability of such open cultural data enables citizens from across the world to enjoy this material, understand their cultural heritage and re-use it to produce new works of art. The Public Domain Review, an online journal & not-for-profit project dedicated to promoting and celebrating the public domain, curated their Class of 2019: a top pick of artists and writers whose works entered the public domain this year. A full overview of the 2019 release is available here. A great way to celebrate this public domain content in 2019 could be to organise events, workshops or hackathons using this material on Open Data Day, the annual celebration of open data on Saturday 2 March 2019. If you are planning an event, you can add it to the global map via the Open Data Day registration form. Coinciding with this mass release of public domain works, the Public Domain Manifesto that was been produced within the context of COMMUNIA, the European Thematic Network on the digital public domain, has now been made available via a renewed website at publicdomainmanifesto.org. Describing the public domain material as “raw material from which new knowledge is derived and new cultural works are created”, the manifesto aims to stress the importance of the wealth of the public domain to both citizens and policy-makers, to make sure its legal basis remains strong and everyone will be able to access and reuse the material in the future. The manifesto describes the key principles that are needed to actively maintain the public domain and the voluntary commons in our society, for example to keep public domain works in the Public Domain by not claiming exclusive rights to technical reproductions of works. It also formulates a number of recommendations to protect the public domain from legal obstacles and assure it can function to the benefit of education, cultural heritage and scientific research in a meaningful way. There are currently over 3.000 signatures of the manifesto, but additional support is important to strengthen the movement: you show your support by signing the Public Domain Manifesto here.

Open Data Day 2018: this year’s celebration of a growing community

- June 7, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018

The eight edition of Open Data Day took place on March 3, 2018: an exciting milestone for the open data communities and a great opportunity to put open data into action. In this blog, we take a look back at what happened across the world on this day. First of all, we were happy to see that this year a total of 406 events were registered on our world map! This is almost 100 more events registered in the opendataday.org map than last year. We have noticed growth mostly in the global south, specifically in African and Latin American countries.
45 events received funding through the Open Data Day mini-grants funding provided by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of HivosMapbox,the Hewlett Foundation and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom. This year, the focus was on four key areas that we think open data can help solve: Follow Public Money Flows, Open Research Data, Open Mapping, and Equal Development. Based on the information provided by the groups that requested a mini-grant, most of them were organizing an Open Data Day event for the first time. A few highlight of the different tracks:
  • During the Open Mapping event in Helsinki, Finland the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team with about 20 participants, most of them newcomers, contributed 1555 buildings and 113 kilometres of roads and paths. Results: http://ernoma.github.io/mapathon/ODD2018/
  • For the Equal Development track, She Codes for Change trained 27 young girls aged 15-19 from Secondary Schools in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the basic concepts of data visualization, Scratch and photography.
  • The Open Science community in Philippines discussed and mapped the challenges to make more data available for open research projects.
To increase connections between groups, we set up a blogging schedule this year 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 of course 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 Research Data

Open Mapping

Equal Development

Apart from these many events, Open Data Day was also celebrated online: we counted over 11.500 tweets using the hashtag #OpenDataDay! Our developer advocate Serah Rono harvested, analysed, packaged and published the Open Data Day affiliated content from Twitter – she describes in this blog how you can do the same using R and our Data Package Creator (and you can view the data there too). We summarised some of the Twitter highlights visually during the day itself: you can check up on what happened in the different continents here:   We also started a thread to highlight examples from the timeline on how open data can help in achieving societal impact – click the tweet below to see some of the examples we found and received. We are excited about the new edition of Open Data Day. We are already thinking about how we can make it a more useful, more engaging day for the growing open data community. If you have any ideas for your community, please reach out through either our forum or the Open Data Day mailinglist.  Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this Open Data Day a success – on to 2019!

Open Data Day 2018: this year’s celebration of a growing community

- June 7, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018

The eight edition of Open Data Day took place on March 3, 2018: an exciting milestone for the open data communities and a great opportunity to put open data into action. In this blog, we take a look back at what happened across the world on this day. First of all, we were happy to see that this year a total of 406 events were registered on our world map! This is almost 100 more events registered in the opendataday.org map than last year. We have noticed growth mostly in the global south, specifically in African and Latin American countries.
45 events received funding through the Open Data Day mini-grants funding provided by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of HivosMapbox,the Hewlett Foundation and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom. This year, the focus was on four key areas that we think open data can help solve: Follow Public Money Flows, Open Research Data, Open Mapping, and Equal Development. Based on the information provided by the groups that requested a mini-grant, most of them were organizing an Open Data Day event for the first time. A few highlight of the different tracks:
  • During the Open Mapping event in Helsinki, Finland the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team with about 20 participants, most of them newcomers, contributed 1555 buildings and 113 kilometres of roads and paths. Results: http://ernoma.github.io/mapathon/ODD2018/
  • For the Equal Development track, She Codes for Change trained 27 young girls aged 15-19 from Secondary Schools in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on the basic concepts of data visualization, Scratch and photography.
  • The Open Science community in Philippines discussed and mapped the challenges to make more data available for open research projects.
To increase connections between groups, we set up a blogging schedule this year 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 of course 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 Research Data

Open Mapping

Equal Development

Apart from these many events, Open Data Day was also celebrated online: we counted over 11.500 tweets using the hashtag #OpenDataDay! Our developer advocate Serah Rono harvested, analysed, packaged and published the Open Data Day affiliated content from Twitter – she describes in this blog how you can do the same using R and our Data Package Creator (and you can view the data there too). We summarised some of the Twitter highlights visually during the day itself: you can check up on what happened in the different continents here:   We also started a thread to highlight examples from the timeline on how open data can help in achieving societal impact – click the tweet below to see some of the examples we found and received. We are excited about the new edition of Open Data Day. We are already thinking about how we can make it a more useful, more engaging day for the growing open data community. If you have any ideas for your community, please reach out through either our forum or the Open Data Day mailinglist.  Many thanks to everyone who contributed to making this Open Data Day a success – on to 2019!

Open Data Day 2018: what do we celebrate and why?

- March 2, 2018 in Featured, Open Data Day, open data day 2018

On Open Data Day (http://opendataday.org/), which is happening this year on Saturday 3 March 2018, we celebrate the benefits that open data can bring to our communities and the society at large. But what is open data exactly and why is it important? This blogpost seeks to give you some useful resources to answer this question and some others to make your Open Data Day event even greater!

Why open data?

Open data is data that can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose (you can read more about this in the Open Definition site). This means that you decide what you want to do with the data, without any restrictions. Open data is more relevant in today’s society than ever before. We think it is crucial that people have access to key information such as data on elections, government spending and scientific research. We also strongly believe that they should have the ability to use it, so they can understand and shape their lives. The communities that use open data for social change are growing, but we hope many more will join. Open Data is really for everyone! Some recent examples of how open data can improve people’s lives include the following:
  • The international Open Budget Survey looks at how countries around the world make information available about how they raise and spend public money. Such transparency is important for citizens to have confidence in their government and democracy.
  • In Finland, people publicly debate who influences the country’s legislation. Open Knowledge Finland decided to open up the data on who visits the Parliament. Through an amazing effort, they managed to release a dataset of the visitor log and partnered up with investigative journalists, who were able to present, verify and contextualise the information to a broader audience, making the case for better regulation on lobbying.
  • Another type of data which benefits many people by being opened up, is legal data. In India, Nyaaya.in, a non-profit legal tech organization found that many of the Indian laws are not published in a clear way (they are for example not searchable), which can create confusion. They created a digital resource for national and state laws along with plain language explainers, which people can use to find out what their rights are under the Indian law.
 

Open Data Day events

Open Data Day is a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data. Groups from around the world are hosting talks, hackathons, conferences, workshops and other meetups to tackle a specific issue that open data can solve. This year Open Knowledge International partnered up with four organisations to provide support for selected events in four key areas:
  1. Tracking public money flows and Open Contracting events with support by Hivos
  2. Open Science and Open Research Data events supported by SPARC
  3. Events with Open Mapping at their core supported through Mapbox
  4. Open Data for Equal Development sponsored through the Hewlett Foundation
Open Data Day is also a great opportunity to bring people from diverse backgrounds together, and introduce open data to a wider audience. Anyone from students, developers, designers, storytellers or any other profile you can think of could bring something to the table. Participation is a core value of Open Data Day and everyone is free to voice their opinions in a constructive manner and help the global open data community grow. Some inspiring examples from the 2017 edition of Open Data Day include:
  • Open Data for Clean Air in Medellin: a group of citizens and environmental activists got together in Colombia to identify, discuss and share information related to air quality in their city, and how they could take action to improve the situation
  • Space Club FUTA in Nigeria held an open data day event where they used OpenStreetMap and other tools to map garbage sites in the city of Akure and track the exact location, size and type of waste. The data collected was handed over to the agency in charge of clean up to help them organise the necessary logistics
  • Accountability Lab Celebrated Open Data Day Mapping Migration in Nepal: their event focused on migration issues in Nepal and the problems that migrant workers and their families face due to a lack of information
There are currently over 330 events on the map for the 2018 edition, so find one near you and join Open Data Day this Saturday! If you are celebrating, make sure to spread news on your event through the hashtag #OpenDataDay on social media.

Information on open data

Information on Open Data Day

Open Data Day 2018 is coming: what’s on the map?

- February 15, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018

Open Data Day is only a few weeks away: on Saturday 3 March 2018 groups from around the world are hosting talks, hackathons, conferences, workshops and other meetups celebrating the benefits open data can bring their communities. The focus this year is on four key themes: open science & open research data, tracking public money flows & open contracting, open mapping and open data for equal development. A total of 156 events has now been added to the map at opendataday.org: in this blog you can find a selection of some of these from across the globe. If your event is not yet on the map, you can add it here!

Africa

Americas

  • USA: Crisis mapping for Open Data Day: In crisis situations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, avalanches and health epidemics, having up-to-date digital maps can make a huge difference. Sadly many parts of the world are still poorly mapped, hampering relief efforts. Now platforms like OpenStreetMap allow literally anyone with an internet connection to help out. Code for BTV, in conjunction with the UVM Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team, is hosting a training event where participants can learn how to make a meaningful contribution to any disaster, world-wide.
  • Colombia: #RallyColombia: The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies, the National Planning Department, the Secretary of Transparency of the Presidency of the Republic and Open Knowledge Colombia join this day to bring citizens closer to the principles and use of open data.
    #RallyColombia seeks to convert the participants into social viewers of public works and agents of change through the use of open data. The #RallyColombia consists of visiting, documenting and reporting on the progress and execution of a large number of public works for sports infrastructure, roads and tertiary roads.

Asia

  • Kyrgyzstan: Data Journalism Hackathon: #HackPoverty. How to overcome poverty in Kyrgyzstan and what are its main reasons? What needs to be done to make people in the country better? Is it possible to reduce costs and how to deal with corruption? This event will help find answers to these and other questions using open data.
  • India: Open Data Day celebration in Bhubaneswar: This meetup brings together students, academics, developers, and other professionals to brainstorm how Open Data can be useful in their work and life, and how they can contribute. It includes a Wikidata editathon to grow Wikidata entries related to some of the regional topics, as well as the beginning of a mapping project to study the state of marginalized languages so that technologists, scholars and language archivists across the world can make meaningful contributions to help preserve threatened languages

Europe

  • Belgium: Towards Clean Air with Open Data! Open air quality data are a powerful, essential force to help us move towards clean air. Citizens can help measure and map local pollution levels: Open Knowledge Belgium is organising a full-day event including talks and workshops on how to build a sensor and analyse, visualise and interpret open air quality data.
  • Latvia: Dattack: The topic of the Dattack is creative use of data. How can we use open data sources for creative audio-visual expression? Where to look for data, what are the methods used to work with them; what tools can help turning data into visual, sonic and interactive experiences? The participants are going to create real projects for the Staro Riga 2018 light festival taking place in Riga in November 2018.

Oceania

  • New Zealand: Open Data, Open Potential. This event will promote open data as the future of digital government in New Zealand by launching the Open Data Action Plan, which will outline the implementation of the Open Data Charter. Cabinet approved New Zealand signing up to the international Open Data Charter in 2017, joining 17 other countries, including Australia and the UK. The event will also showcase the innovation that’s currently taking place through the use of open data.
We hope you got inspired to organize your own event on 3 March: to help you prepare, we added a collection of event resources here and an organizer’s guide here. Also, make sure to promote what you are doing on social media through the hashtag #OpenDataDay!

Datensummit: Advancing open data in Germany

- May 24, 2017 in OK Germany

Last month Open Knowledge Germany hosted the first Datensummit, a two-day festival for those who shape development within the fields of open data, transparency, data literacy and civic tech. With OK Germany existing for over five years already, it was a good moment to both look back on developments in open data, civic tech, transparency and civil participation in Germany, but more importantly, to bring the community together and stimulate future inspiration on how to advance open data in Germany even more. Datensummit 2017 - Tag 1 im BMVi (Foto: Leonard Wolf) During the first day at the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI, also sponsor of the event) the focus was on fostering interdisciplinary exchange with politicians and public administration, with talks by OK Germany staff and international speakers. The second day was structured in an unconference format, with opportunities to exchange ideas, develop and plan new open data projects in barcamps and workshops. The impressive program of the first day attracted nearly 300 participants. Nadine Stammen, part of the organising team of the Datensummit, shares more information on the speakers:   The location of the German Ministry was strategically chosen, precisely to encourage further collaboration between government and CSOs advocating for open data. As Christian Heise, Chairman of the Board of the OK Germany, stated:
The Datensummit 2017 has shown how government and civil society can work together to demonstrate why open data and open knowledge are useful to society as a whole, and that intransparent governmental and administrative action is no longer an option.

Elisa Lindinger, a member of the OK Germany team, talks about the contact with the Ministry, and the strength of the German open data community:   The organising team also cleverly stimulated participants of different backgrounds to mix and talk to each other: during the registration, all participants received three coloured bracelets based on the type of organisation they work for (for example pink for NGOs and green for government representatives). Whenever you talked to someone, you could swap bracelets, with the aim of ending up with as many different colours as possible of course. OK Germany showcased the breadth of the open data field that they are working on, with staff presenting their work on projects around freedom of information and politics (such as FragdenStaat.de, a platform through which people can easily submit FOIA requests in Germany), the economic potential of open data and a summary of the current state of the Code for Germany community (which brings together developers, designers and those interested in open data in 25 local groups across Germany). Under ‘Civic Tech inspirations’, winners of the first round of the Prototype fund (a publicly funded program for non-profit software in civic tech, data literacy, and data security in Germany) showcased their projects, and the Datenschule, the German brach of the School of Data, brought together representatives from the international School of Data Network to discusses data literacy approaches and digital NGO projects. Elisa Lindinger shared her thoughts on the current state of open data in Germany:
Datensummit 2017 - Tag 2 im betahaus In addition, invited external speakers added valuable perspectives on data: from insights around ethical data handling (Zara Rahman – About people, data and good intentions), engaging volunteers in analysing data on human rights violations (Milena Marin on the Amnesty Decoders project) and the value of a German transparency register for investigating tax evasion and money laundering (Vanessa Wormer on her work on the Panama Papers) to the beauty and potential of hand-drawn data visualisations to make data more accessible and understandable (Stefanie Posavec – Reflections on Dear Data). You can watch all talks of the first day on this Youtube channel: the German blog report of the event is available from the Open Knowledge Germany blog.  

A lookback on Open Data Day 2017

- May 11, 2017 in Open Data Day

With Open Data Day 2017 now two months behind us, it is time to look back and reflect on all that has been happening around the world during this year’s celebration of open data. First of all, it was great to see that a record amount of 346 events were registered this year! Many events have been happening in the Global South, an impressive number of events took place in Japan and more events were held across the US than in previous years. As for press coverage, G0v.news wrote three articles reporting on these developments that are worth reading, and The Guardian ran a feature story around Open Data Day on five countries where open data is gaining momentum, including Burkina Faso, Argentina, Mexico, Nigeria and Indonesia. The event was also celebrated online: even so much that our hashtag #opendataday was trending on 4 March! Some tweet highlights are captured in these Storify summaries: part 1 and part 2. On Youtube, you can find lots of videos of Open Data Day events, such as the one below from New Zealand. Throughout the past months the grant winners have been reporting on their events through our blog. Here is a list of the reports per country and category, so you can easily check up on what has happened:

Open contracting and tracking public money flows

Funded by FCO:

Open data for environment

Open data for human rights

Funded by FCO:

Open science

We are happy that Open Data Day 2017 was such a success, and invite you to share your experiences on this year’s event with others through the forum, so we can learn from each other and make ODD2018 even better!

FutureTDM: The Future of Text and Data Mining

- March 3, 2017 in FutureTDM, OKI Projects, text and data mining

Blog written by Freyja van den Boom (FutureTDM researcher) and Lieke Ploeger. Since September 2015 Open Knowledge International has been working on finding new ways to improve the uptake of text and data mining in the EU, as part of the FutureTDM project. Text and data mining (TDM) is the process of extracting relevant information from large amounts of machine-readable data (such as scientific papers) and recombining this to unlock new knowledge and power innovation (see ‘Techniques, Tools & Technologies for TDM in Europe’). Project partners include libraries, publishers and universities, but also the non-profit organisation ContentMine that advocates for the right to mine content. Open Knowledge International leads the work on communication, mobilisation and networking and undertakes the research into best practices and methodologies. A practical example explaining the use of TDM

Because the use of TDM is significantly lower in Europe than in some countries in the Americas and Asia, FutureTDM actively engages with stakeholders in the EU such as researchers, developers, publishers and SMEs to help pinpoint why uptake is lower, raise awareness of TDM and develop solutions. This is especially important at this current time, because an exception for TDM under copyright law is discussed on a European level. Such an exception will make copyright law less restrictive for TDM carried out under certain circumstances.

Throughout 2016 we organised Knowledge Cafe’s across Europe as an informal opportunity to gather feedback on text and data mining from researchers, developers, publishers, SMEs and any other stakeholder groups working in the field and held stakeholder consultations with the various communities.  In September 2016 we held the first of two workshops to discuss the project’s findings in Brussels where many MEPs and policymakers were present. In early 2017 a roundtable was organised at the Computer Privacy and Data Protection (CPDP) conference in Brussels, where the impact of data protection regulations for the uptake of advanced data analysis technologies like TDM was discussed.

MEP Julia Reda discussing the upcoming copyright reform at the FutureTDM workshop

Below are some of the insights we have gained through are research so far, which include the main barriers for different TDM stakeholder communities. In the upcoming months we will be publishing more of the results and proposed solutions on how to overcome them.

Education and skill
There is a need for more education on the benefits and practical use of TDM for researchers: working together with industry, publishing community and academia to develop effective courses aimed at different levels depending on the discipline and type of research that is likely to use TDM. We are currently working on TDM education and looking to get feedback on what the learning outcomes should be. If you are interested to get involved contact us !

Legal and policy
There is no legal clarity about the legal status of TDM practices and use of results that are gained through using TDM. Barriers include the uncertainty about the scope of copyright, database protection and privacy and data protection regulations. See for example our guest blog here.
The current copyright reform discussions focuses partly on a TDM exception which could help provide more clarity. Under discussion is for example what data and what usefalls under copyright, for example whether there should be a distinction between commercial and non-commercial use. FutureTDM partners are monitoring these developments.

We have recently published the FutureTDM policy framework introducing high level principles that should be the foundation of every stakeholder action that aims to promote TDM. These high level principles are:
  • Awareness and Clarity: actions should improve certainty on the use of TDM technologies. Information and clear actions are crucial for a flourishing TDM environment in Europe.
  • TDM without Boundaries: insofar as appropriate, boundaries should be cleared to prevent and take away fragmentation in the TDM landscape.
  • Equitable Access: access to TDM tools and technologies, as well as sources (such as datasets), are indispensable for a successful uptake of TDM, but usually comes at a price. While a broadest possible access to tools and data should be the aspiration, providers of these also have a legitimate interest in restricting access, for example for the protection of their investments or any privacy related interest.
Technical and infrastructure
The main concern is access and quality of available data. There is a confidence in the technological developments of more reliable and easy to use tools and services, although the documentation and findability of relevant tools and services is reported as a barrier at the moment. Developing standards for data quality is seen as a useful but most likely impossible solution given the diversity in projects and requirements, which would make standards too complex for compliance. Economy and Incentives
Barriers that are mentioned are the lack of a single European market, the problems of having multiple languages and a lack of enforcement for US companies. Further research
The interviews and the case studies have provided evidence of and insight into the barriers that exist in Europe. To what extent these barriers can be solved given the different interests of the stakeholders involved remains a topic for further research within the FutureTDM project. We will continue to work on recommendations, guidelines and best practices for improving the uptake of TDM in Europe, focused on addressing the barriers presented by the main stakeholders. All findings, which include policy recommendations, guidelines, case studies, best practices, practical tutorials and help and how to guides to increase TDM uptake are shared through the platform at www.futuretdm.eu. The FutureTDM awareness sheets for example cover a range of factors that have an impact on TDM uptake and were created from our expert reports, expert interviews and discussions through our Knowledge Café events. The reports that have been completed so far are available from the Knowledge Library. In the final six months of the FutureTDM project, there are many opportunities to find out more about the results and give your feedback on the situation around TDM in Europe. On 29 March, the second FutureTDM workshop at the European Parliament in Brussels  will take place, where your input on TDM experiences on the ground is very welcome. With EU copyright reform now in progress, we bring together policy makers and stakeholder groups so that we can share FutureTDM’s  findings and our first expert driven policy recommendations that can help increase EU TDM. To find out more and sign up, please check the event page. We will showcase the final project results during the final FutureTDM symposium, organised in conjunction with the International Data Science Conference (12-13 June 2017, Salzburg, Austria. Our animation explaining TDM and the importance of stakeholder engagement < p style="text-align: left;">

Sneak peek of Open Data Day: where will you be?

- March 2, 2017 in Featured, Open Data Day

This Saturday 4 March marks the 7th International Open Data Day. Groups from around the world are organising events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. It is a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. This year the focus is on four key areas: Open research data, Tracking public money flows, Open data for environment and Open data for human rights. Open Data Day is a bottom-up initiative coordinated through a collaborative mailing list. With over 250 events currently registered on the map (a record high), it is clear that the global movement around open data is growing. Events range from meetups, talks and seminars to more hands-on demonstrations, hackathons and training sessions: anyone interested in learning more about open data is invited to participate.  All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use. A total of 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. The focus was on funding events in the four dedicated categories, as well as supporting places that will be hosting an Open Data Day event for the first time. An overview of these events is available from this blog. It is close to impossible to summarise all the activity that will be going on this Saturday: in the list below we highlight some events happening on the different continents. Africa
  • Egypt: the Big Data, Big Questions: From Data to Knowledge in the MENA Region conference will offer a space for multidisciplinary, critical engagement, with questions formulated around knowledge and big data in the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Ghana: The Open Data Day event in Accra focuses on “Following the money: Open Data for tracking money flows on development projects in the Accra Metropolis”. Participants will dive in with data experts to gain insights into how the government spends public funds on development projects in communities in the Accra Metropolitan Area.
  • Ivory Coast: Ovillage is hosting a conference about open data and a Hackathon for the creation of an open data website by and for citizens.
  • Namibia: the Open & Big data Innovation Hackathon invites software developers, statisticians, tech experts and citizens to work on co-creating innovative mobile and web applications that use open and big data to enhance public service delivery, solve challenges facing communities and keep citizens informed.
  • Tunesia: the workshop “Open data for Smart cities” takes place during the  yearly Forum ENET’Com Feee’17
Asia
  • China: Open Data Shanghai is a data-focused hackathon where participants will be given datasets and 24 hours to “hack it”.  For people who are new to Data Science, there will also be educational talks by experienced data analysts. The hackathon will provide participants with a diverse range of datasets, containing a lot of data relevant to China.
  • India: Datameet Hyderabad is organizing a community get together to work on generating new open data and using any existing data to make some useful tools.
  • Indonesia: the Goethe-Institut, Jakarta Smart City and Web Foundation’s Open Data Lab Jakarta are organising Open is the New Smart: Making cities work for citizens, a day focused on how open data could be a key driver of the participation of citizens to jointly address urban problems more quickly and effectively.
  • Iran: Transparency4Iran will host the first session in Iran on “Open Data and its’ good applications for government”.
  • Malaysia: During an Open Data Exhibition in Subang Jaya, participants are going to search for data, and use the resulting data.
  • Thailand: At the Open Data and Big Data Forum,  hosted by the Electronic Government Agency and Social Technology Institute of Thailand, between 150-200 participants are expected.
Australia/Oceania
  • Australia: ODI Queensland is inviting people to an afternoon of updates & feedback on their training program and priority Open Data projects. You can also play their International Open Data Day Datopolis Game.
  • French Polynesia: the Open Data Day event in Tahiti is organised by the Institut de la Statistique de la Polynésie Française and focuses on government data specifically.
  • New Zealand: Open Data NZ hosts a mini-hack event at the National Library in Wellington, with a focus on environmental data.
Europe
  • Estonia: Open Data Day Tartu centres around open data in science and how to use data to establish facts in the age of post-truth problematics. There will be workshops on many different tracks, from linked data methods to using data in humanities.
  • Germany: Many events are taking place across Germany: a good overview is available from this Open Knowledge Germany blog. During the Heilbronn Open Data Day for example, you can work with various datasets and interfaces, such as weather data, and the organisers will provide hardware for the assembly of fine dust sensors.
  • Italy: At Open Data Day Palermo, there is a full program of talks on open data applications and portals, followed by a workshop on web scraping in the afternoon.
  • Spain: In Granada, the Oficina de Software Libre will organise different workshops, activities, and an open data hackathon using the data of the city and province of Granada and the open data portal of the University of Granada. Participants can work with data linking university, gender and geographical origin, air pollution data, electoral data and contracts and cultural heritage data.
  • Sweden: At Brainhack Global in Stockholm, researchers from across the globe and a myriad of disciplines come together to work on innovative projects related to neuroscience and open collaboration.
North America
  • Canada: in Halifax, Nova Scotia you can participate in an Open Data Contest focused on promoting tourism, assisting new immigrants and effective management of Nova Scotia’s natural resources and protection of the environment.
  • Mexico: The Failure Institute is organising the first Datatón del Fracaso (Datathon of Failure), where participants will work in teams to analyse and visualise various datasets of the institute, such as that of business closures, to better understand entrepreneurial failure.
  • Mexico: Open Data Day Xalapa + Mapatón Ciudadano invites students, entrepreneurs, professionals, graphic designers, technology-based companies and anyone with an interest in open data to a full program of a Codeando Mexico workshop, talks about Social Entrepreneurship and Mobility and the presentation of the results of the first Citizen Mapatón in Xalapa.
  • USA: the California Data Collaborative hosts the Open water rate spectacular event to find out more about local water prices, and whether these vary by ethnicity, income, or location. Participants will help document water prices from agencies across the state to better understand water use in California and enable regional water agencies to prepare for an uncertain future.
  • USA: Code for America will hold its sixth annual “CodeAcross”: a weekend of civic hacking events hosted by over 100 cities in the Code for America network where Brigades (local communities) are located. Code for America is a national network of community organizers & technologists who are putting technology to work for the benefit of their local communities. They recently put out their Brigade Rally Cry reflecting their mission. Events are happening all over the USA, from Code for Hawaii to Code for Burlington, Vermont, but everyone interested can also hack from home or join or start another brigade (more information on this page).
South America
  • Argentina: the city of Rosario hosts their first Open Data Day this year around open government data. Different organisations have been invited to work for the advancement of data and open governments in the 21st century, working on themes such as social inclusion, open justice, sustainable mobility, responsible consumption and access to public information.
  • Brazil: The Hackers Club of Teresina in conjunction with APISOL and the Open Knowledge Brazil will hold a hackathon about transparency.
  • Colombia: GANA, the open government program of the Department of Nariño, hosts the NariñoVis exhibition of data visualizations that have been made using the data from the Open Data Portal of the Government of Nariño.
  • Ecuador: Datalat and MediaLabUIO are organizing Open Data Day Quito, an event that includes workshops, talks and hands-on activities on opening and using open data, as well as a workshop to use local data related to the environment.
  • Uruguay: the DATA Cafes community in Montevideo is organizing a meeting to renew and improve the project ATuNombre.uy, which allows you to visualise the streets of Montevideo that bear the name of a woman and to know more about those women and their stories.
  • A summary on more events happening in South America is available from this blog.

Montevideo has more than 5000 streets: only 100 are named after a woman

More information on Open Data Day itself is available from opendataday.org. You can also follow news on the day itself through Twitter: #opendataday and #ODD17. If you are unable join an event, but would still like to participate virtually, check Why you should take 10 minutes to look at the Open Data Roadmap this Open Data Day.

Update on OpenTrialsFDA: finalist for the Open Science Prize

- August 11, 2016 in #openscience, Open Science, Open Trials, opentrials

In May, the OpenTrialsFDA team (a collaboration between Erick Turner, Dr. Ben Goldacre and the  OpenTrials team at Open Knowledge) was selected as a finalist for the Open Science Prize. This global science competition is focused on making both the outputs from science and the research process broadly accessible to the public. Six finalists will present their final prototypes at an Open Science Prize Showcase in early December 2016, with the ultimate winner to be announced in late February or early March 2017. image01As the name suggests, OpenTrialsFDA is closely related to OpenTrials, a project funded by The Laura and John Arnold Foundation that is developing an open, online database of information about the world’s clinical research trials. OpenTrialsFDA will work on increasing access, discoverability and opportunities for re-use of a large volume of high quality information currently hidden in user-unfriendly Food and Drug Administration (FDA) drug approval packages (DAPs). The FDA publishes these DAPs as part of the general information on drugs via its data portal known as Drugs@FDA. These documents contain detailed information about the methods and results of clinical trials, and are unbiased, compared to reports of clinical trials in academic journals. This is because FDA reviewers require adherence to the outcomes and analytic methods prespecified in the original trial protocols, so, in contrast to most journal editors, they are unforgiving of practices such as post hoc switching of outcomes and changes to the planned statistical analyses. These review packages also often report on clinical trials that have never been published.
joined

A more complete picture: contrasting the journal version of antidepressant trials with the FDA information (image: Erick Turner, adapted from http://bit.ly/1XKLjzp

However, despite their high value, these FDA documents are notoriously difficult to access, aggregate, and search. The website itself is not easy to navigate, and much of the information is stored in PDFs or non-searchable image files for older drugs. As a consequence, they are rarely used by clinicians and researchers. OpenTrialsFDA will work on improving this situation, so that valuable information that is currently hidden away can be discovered, presented, and used to properly inform evidence-based treatment decisions. The team has started to scrape the FDA website, extracting the relevant information from the PDFs through a process of OCR (optical character recognition). A new OpenTrialsFDA interface will be developed to explore and discover the FDA data, with application programming interfaces (APIs) allowing third party platforms to access, search, and present the information, thus maximising discoverability, impact, and interoperability. In addition, the information will be integrated into the OpenTrials database, so that for any trial for which a match exists, users can see the corresponding FDA data. Future progress will be shared both through this blog and the OpenTrials blog: you can also sign up for the OpenTrials newsletter to receive regular updates and news. More information about the Open Science Prize and the other finalists is available from www.openscienceprize.org/res/p/finalists. Contact: opentrials@okfn.org
Twitter: @opentrials