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International open data day report from Yaounde Cameroon

- April 8, 2016 in åben data, dataportal, english, Government, København, offentlige data, open gov

The Open Data Day 2016  was successfully hosted and celebrated in Cameroon by the netsquared Yaoundé community.  The theme of the day was ‘Empowering Cameroonians to accelerate open data’, bringing together 90 participants. The event was hosted in Paraclete Institute in Yaoundé, which brought together multiple stakeholders and students, to empower them in advancing open data in this part of the world. The event started at 3pm with a theoretical session and ended with a practical workshop at 7pm. 12783518_1018005344927962_8147199272335209675_oThe theoretical session was hosted to shared with participants the basic concept of open data, its importance, and how it could be accelerated. This was demonstrated through a powerpoint presentation from panel members who shared examples of the impact of open data on government intermediaries, education and agriculture in strengthening citizen engagement. And the importance of the release of data sets. This event help to encourage participants to use open data for local content development in Cameroon,  showing how data could be made available for everyone to use, especially government data. The key concept was resourcing technologies that could be used for smart visualization of data and how data could be made available on a database for everyone to use to encourage innovative collaboration. We also discovered that most data has not been made accessible in Cameroon.f In order to encourage innovation, transparency, and collaboration we need to advance the open data movement in Cameroon, The practical workshop empowered participants to blog about data andto share it for reuseIt can be distributed on a platform like internet database website using blogg.com and other blogging sites like simplesite.com. We also made them to understand that research data must be made available for people to reuse and distributed for everyone to visualize it. We also empower them on how they can  made their data  available  socially, teaching participants that they can share data from blogs to other communication platforms or social media platforms  like Facebook, Twitter and Google   The event was appreciated by every participant.

Rapport fra data expedition om Københavns cykelstidata

- September 15, 2014 in åben data, datajournalistik, Kopenlab, København, School of Data, Workshop

  Dette er en gæsteblogpost af Michele Kovacevic, som afholdte en School of Data data expedition til Kopenlab Festivalen i sommers i København. Her er hendes rapport (cross-post fra School of Data bloggen, se originalen her). Pink and Copenhagen Blue When I signed up to the School of Data mailing list, I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into. Within two days of joining, I was invited to lead a data expedition at the Kopenlab citizen science festival alongside the EuroScience Open Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark. My first reaction was trepidation (I didn’t know what a data expedition was and I haven’t worked extensively with datasets for a few years) but Michael Bauer at the School of Data assured me that it would be a fun learning experience. So I enthusiastically agreed and my first quest with data began. I quickly learned that a data expedition aims to discover stories hidden in the ‘Land of Data’. As the expedition guide, I would set the topic and encourage my expedition team to work together to solve real-life problems, answer questions and tell stories with data. An important side note (and one I reiterated several times during the expedition) is that there are no right answers and no expected final output. The point of a data expedition is to think freely and creatively, learn from each other and hopefully develop some new skills and a lifelong love of data. Given Copenhagen’s reputation as the most bike friendly city in the world, we choose to focus on the comprehensive cycling statistics that Denmark collects every day. For example, did you know that more people in greater Copenhagen commute by bicycle than everyone who rides bikes to work in the entire United States? This information can be found in easily accessible datasets such as the EU public dataset and Denmark’s national statistics database. We came up with a few guiding to stimulate the imaginations of our expedition team: How far do I have to walk to get a bikerack in Copenhagen? Are there areas where bikeracks are more dense and how does this correlate with where people are riding bikes? How many bike accidents are caused in Copenhagen because cyclists are drunk? Do more young or old people ride bikes in Copenhagen? At which age do people spend most money on bicycles? So armed with some sample datasets, a laptop and flipchart, I set off to Copenhagen to meet Ioana, Deepak, Akash, Mirela and Tobias – my expedition team. After finding 10 things in common with each other, our first task was to work out everyone’s strengths and weaknesses so we could set loose roles. Ioana became our analyst & engineer (data cruncher), Deepak and Akash were our storytellers (found interesting angles to explore and shaped the final story), Mirela was our scout (data hunter) and Tobias was our designer (beautify the outputs to make sure the story really comes through). Our next task was to come up with our expedition questions and we took to this task very enthusiastically, coming up with more questions than we had time to explore! To make the questions easier to tackle, we decided to group them by theme (travel usage, life cycle/accidents/rules/compliance, geographical stats, economics, policy, culture). The group split in half to tackle two different sets of questions. flipchart Deepak, Akash and Tobias looked at what policies influenced cycling adoption in Denmark and compared these to a number of different cities across the world. Mirela and Ioana mapped the number of cyclists in different areas of Copenhagen in order to develop a density map, which could be overlayed with other data such as where cyclists are most active at certain times of day, accident rates/locales and bikerack density. We spent the next two hours of the expedition searching and scraping various datasets (a full list can be found in this googledoc) in order to come up with our stories to tell the Kopenlab citizen science festival attendees. We came across a few hurdles, namely the “cleanness” and consistency of the data. Often the datasets were only available as PDFs (CSV and excel spreadsheets are much easier to work with) and data headers often didn’t have references. “It would be nice to have it all in a bigger table,” Ioana said. In the face of these challenges we gave each other a helping hand to find alternative exploration routes (much like a real quest, really). Another one of the great aspects of a data expedition the focus on skill sharing. Ioana had a great understanding of Google fusion tables so she was able to show some of the other participants how to sort and analyse data using this tool. Unfortunately we didn’t get much time to explore the plethora of open source data analysis and visualization tools (some are listed on page 5 of this doc). So after three hours traversing the wilds of Copenhagen’s bike data we had two stories to tell. Ioana presented her team’s heat map showing that the number of cyclists was most dense in the northwest part of Copenhagen. Deepak presented his team’s infographic showing that many factors influence cycling usage in urban centers: infograph We had a great time exploring these datasets, but with the short time we had available, we only really scraped the surface of Copenhagen’s bike data stories.
Luckily Matias and his bikestorming crew ran another expedition in Copenhagen two months later and were able to build on what we learnt… Stay tuned for part two of our biking blog series written by Matias Kalwill, founder and designer of Bikestorming. More pics from Kopenlab here and here.