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Technarium hackerspace celebrates Open Data Day in Vilnius, Lithuania

Egle Marija Ramanauskaite - April 27, 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 Data Day was celebrated for the first time at Technarium hackerspace (Vilnius) this year, with not one but two amazing events! The morning part – Open Data Hackathon – kicked off with the Vilnius City Council, who brought some pizzas & told us all about the open data work they do. Vilnius has recently become a hotspot of open data in Lithuania, as the council elected in 2015 has made it one of its top priorities. Council representatives demonstrated the Open Vilnius website, open data repository on GitHub, as well as the recently created opendata.lt portal, which was “fired up” in one weekend by one of the advisors of the mayor – Povilas Poderskis, an open data & IT expert. The portal has an exciting background story, as it was inspired by a 2.8 mln euros worth project for a national open repository, but was created in a few hours by Povilas entirely voluntarily, by purchasing a server and installing CKAN open source software. The portal now serves as an “unofficial national open data repository”, but is used by an increasing number of institutions under their own initiative or by encouragement from the Vilnius City Council. According to Povilas Poderskis, the main goal of encouraging institutions to open up their data is transparency:
Open data ensures that mistakes, misuse and corruption are revealed sooner rather than later, persons responsible for abuse of power lose their positions, thus bringing positive change that affects everyone. – Povilas Poderskis

The city council representatives shared some success stories of open data use at a national level, including Lithuanian Road Administration, National Health Insurance Fund and others, and Vilnius-specific issues, such as opening up the kindergarten registry so citizens can better plan their applications, and Tvarkau Vilnių – an app that allows you to submit problems you see around the city, which are then displayed on a public map and passed to appropriate institutions. Then a group of hackers took the challenge of hacking the open city data for the rest of the afternoon and came up with a couple of creative visualizations & tools, including an application that connects streets names with the areas of the city they’re in (very handy!), analysis of registered cats and dogs (suspiciously, about twice as many dogs are registered than cats, suggesting cat owners might be skipping this responsibility!) and other tools which are still in progress and will be reported on via Technarium blog!

Participants at the event

In the evening we held a separate event – Café Scientifique: Opening up YOUR research data – aimed at researchers of various disciplines. We had two fantastic speakers: Michael Crusoe, one of the founders of the Common Workflow Language (CWL) project, and Vida Mildažienė, a biochemist at Vytautas Magnus University. Michael gave an engaging talk about the general purpose of communicating the scientific process clearly, and how having a shared specification make it easier for scientists to share their workflows, especially in data-intensive fields, such as bioinformatics, and highlighted the importance of doing so to enable greater reproducibility & usability of research data.

Michael Crusoe, co-founder of the Common Workflow Language (CWL) project leading a presentation.

Quite a few participants insisted on a demo of CWL after the talk, and that is what they got! :)

Michael Crusoe, demonstrating the Common Workflow Language (CWL) project to some participants

Next, Vida spoke about the state of open science in Lithuania for education & for society. She took us through the different science communication efforts and events that are ongoing or have been organised in the past in Lithuania and highlighted some cultural problems we are still facing with respect to connecting science and the society. Vida also shared some local citizen science projects that are brewing, and highlighted hackerspaces as places for open science to organically occur!

Vida Mildažienė, a biochemist at Vytautas Magnus University leading a discussion on open science in Lithuania.

After the talks we engaged in an important discussion regarding open science in Lithuania, and tried to answer these questions: It was especially helpful to have Michael in the audience – someone who knows open science as it applies to the international scene, but also new to Lithuania, and can, therefore, ask insightful questions! We discussed the general difficulty of getting researchers to share their data – the time it takes, the fear of sharing their ideas and results prematurely in case they get “scooped”, which are problems familiar across the world. We also raised the question of whether there is enough information about open science and its methods in Lithuania, as, e.g. people seem oblivious about pre-publishing or other alternative methods of sharing in the scientific process, or even national open research data repositories. On the other hand, since the concept of open science is reaching us a bit later, we have a chance to do it right the first time, by learning from mistakes already made! The event was filmed by a grassroots science popularisation show called Mokslo Sriuba (“Science Soup”), and will be reported on Mokslo Sriubos TV on Youtube soon!  

Gender inequality on focus in São Paulo Open Data Day

Poli GNU - April 21, 2017 in Brazil, Open Data, Open Data Day, South America

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 human rights theme. This blog has been translated from this Portuguese original post. The International Open Data Day was celebrated for the seventh time on March 4th, 2017. It is always a good opportunity to present open data and show its benefits for newcomers. This year, as a joint initiative between PoliGNU, PoliGen, MariaLab e Transparência Hacker, on the Human Rights theme and we focused on the discussion about women participation in public policy development by looking at related open datasets. Our open data day activity was designed with the following 4 steps:
  1.     Initial presentations and explanations;
  2.     Open data initiatives mapping;
  3.     Women’s fights related initiatives mapping;
  4.     Data analysis and visualization made by thematic groups;

1st Step – Initial presentations and explanations

We started with a brief introduction from each participant to allow everyone to know each other. This showed how diverse of a group we were: engineers, developers, business consultants, designers, social assistants, teachers, journalists, students and researchers. Some of the participants had collaborated with the Brazilian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA – 12.527/2012), so we had a small discussion about how this law was produced, its purposes and limitations. There was also a brief presentation about what is open data, focusing on the eight principles: Complete, Primary, Timely, Accessible, Machine processable, Non-discriminatory, and License-free.

2nd Step – Open Data initiatives mapping

We started with a brainstorm in which everybody wrote open data related solutions onto post-its notes. The solutions were grouped into four macro themes: Macro Politics, Local Politics, Services and Media.
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3rd Step – Women’s fights related initiatives mapping

After we had a second brainstorm about initiatives connected to women’s fights, claims and demands were mapped and added onto post-its. Those initiatives could be not internet-related, as long as they would be related to open data. The post-its were grouped into 5 themes: “Empowerment through Entrepreneurship”, “Empowerment through Technology”, “Visualisations”, “Campaigns” and “Apps”.

4th Step – The teams’ work on Data Analysis and DataViz

Two groups of complementary interests were formed: one that focused on the underrepresentation of women in elected public positions, and another, which sought to address gender inequality from an economic bias perspective. The team that focused on political perspective, sought open data from the Electoral High Court referred to the Brazilian 2016 elections (available here). The group spent considerable time downloading and data wrangling the database. But even so, they got interesting statistics such as the average expenditure per candidate: ~ R$16,000 for male candidates and ~ R$6,000 for female candidates. Although all parties and states have reached the share of 30% of women, as defined by the law, women’s campaigns receive much less investment. For example, all women’s campaigns, together, did not reach 7% of the total amount of money in Rio de Janeiro City Hall Elections. Tables, graphs and maps were generated in Infogr.am and the code produced is available in PoliGNU’s GitHub. With this disparity in women representativeness, it is undeniable that the decision-making power is concentrated in the hands of rich white men’s hands. How is it possible to ensure the human rights of such diverse society if the decisions are taken by a such a homogeneous group of rich white men, majority of whom happens to be old? This and other questions have remained and are waiting another hackday to delve again into the data. The team that focused on economic perspective sought open data from the IBGE website of income, employed population, unemployed population, workforce, individuals microentrepreneur profile, among others. Much of the open data available was structured in a highly aggregated form, preventing manipulation from generating or doing any kind of analysis. As a consequence, this team had to redefine their question a few times. Some pieces of information deserve to be highlighted:
  • women’s workforce increasing rate (~ 40%) is higher than that of the men (~ 20%)
  • the main segments of women’s small business are: (i) hairdressers, (ii) clothing and accessories sales, and (iii) beauty treatment activities;
  • the main segments of men’s small business are: (i) masonry works, (ii) clothing and accessories sales, and (iii) electrical maintenance.
These facts show an existing sexual division of labour segments – if this happened only due to vacation, it would not be a problem. However, this sexual division of work reveals that some areas impose barriers and prevent women’s entrance, although, these areas often provide better pay than those with a female majority. Graphs were generated in Infogr.am and the data used for the graphs is available here.

This is how Guatemala joined the worldwide celebration of Open Data

Red Ciudadana - April 20, 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 human rights theme. This blog has been translated from this Spanish blog at Medium.

In parallel, in five continents, activists, public officials and researchers gathered to have 345 different activities on #OpenDataDay 2017. This is what we did in Guatemala.

It was a Saturday, it was early, but that didn’t prevent us from gathering to talk about data. The morning of March 4 – Open Data Day– started with two proposals from civil society researchers who reminded us that the conversation about open data isn’t only a matter of government. At the start, Ronal Ochaeta from Open Knowledge in Guatemala reminded us that information can contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. He spoke about the need to close the gap between what technology can create and the needs of users: “it’s useless having a really good open data portal that people don’t use”. Ochaeta emphasized the power of data literacy and how these should be adapter for a broad population, so they can make knowledge important for themselves.   Silvio Gramajo, an experienced researcher of the public sector, gave us a list of ideas about how to generate data that the open government initiatives aren’t producing. We also need to develop indicators to measure its performance. Gramajo also called to push not only government but other sectors that can join the wave, like universities, think tanks, colleges and companies.

After these presentations we changed the direction and went from civil society to government so three institutions could share their progress on this matter.

Zaira Mejía, in charge of the Open Government Partnership in Guatemala, emphasized that when you go in to portal gobiernoabierto.gob.gt you can find how the Third Action Plan – a document created by the government and civil society organizations to promote transparency, accountability and citizen participation – advances. In this website the user can search in the 5 core lines of work (access to information, citizen participation, innovation, fiscal transparency and accountability) and the 22 commitments that were made to follow how these goals move forward, as well as to keep this government initiative accountable. Later, Carlos Dubón, the director of the access to information unit of the Ministry of Finance mentioned that they have managed to change their information delivery policy. As a result, they can respond with editable files instead of PDFs in approximately 80% of the requests they get. He specified that even though they are advancing, they not only have access and availability gaps but they also need to let citizens know what they can request and what this information means. In one word: understanding. Last but not least, Edgar Sabán from the National Secretary of Science and Technology mentioned that they are working on an unified open data portal (one of the Open Government Partnership commitments) and mentioned they will use open source code.

Carlos Dubón, the director of the access to information unit of the Ministry of Finance; Zaira Mejía, in charge of the Open Government Partnership in Guatemala, and Edgar Sabán from the National Secretary of Science and Techology

We had assistance from journalists, communications and political science students and officials in charge of processing the information requests, as well as other people interested in the subject. Along with Red Ciudadana and Escuela de Datos we managed to gather a community to meet and learn. Thus, while chatting, drinking coffee and having some pastries the morning went by. What’s next is working in generating a culture of access and transparency from our positions and push for the commitments to be fulfilled. Hopefully, for Open Data Day 2018 we’ll have more progress made and more projects to show. Also, we hope in next year’s photo, the group photo will have more people. The more, the merrier ;)

Open Research event in Yaoundé, Cameroon

Soazic Elise Wang Sonne - April 18, 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. On 6th April 2017, I was finally to organise an Open Research Data event in Yaoundé, Cameroon to train the young and next generation of social scientists on transparency and reproducibility tools to enhance the openness of their research. Of a pool of 80 applicants, about 40 participants were carefully selected based on their gender, their field of study as well as their previous knowledge and interest towards research replicability and openness. In spite of the heavy rainfall that preceded the opening ceremony, about 30 participants from various Cameroonian universities and disciplines ranging from economics, political science to psychology were able to attend the event. We were also lucky to have among the attendees about 4 participants originally from Benin. The event kicked off with an introduction of the topics intended to be covered. The first part of the presentation focused on sensitising participants on the different forms of academic research misconducts, with concrete examples of research falsifications with regards to economics and psychology over the last decade.   We also discussed the various types of academic research misconducts, such as publication bias, p-hacking, failure to replicate, unreproducible workflow as well as the lack of sharing and openness in research. At the end of this first part of the workshop, a lively discussion arose with participants, especially on the difficulties for young PhD students to deviate from the traditional “hidden”  and “lack of sharing” behaviour inherited from their senior mentors. Some attendees also mentioned bottlenecks to access data from National Statistical Offices (NIS), that are meant to be opened and freely accessible to the academic research community, as one of the key impediment to pursuing their respective research. They also raise the difficulty they face in getting access to publication (not even raw or cleaned datasets) from their peers/colleagues. The second half of the day centred on introducing participants to different solutions that could be undertaken to enhance the openness of their research, such as pre-registration, pre-analysis plan, data sharing and the construction of a reproducible and transparent workflow, dynamic documents etc. An example on how to pre-register a Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) or a research undertaken with secondary data was made under the American Economic Association (AEA) Social Science Registry as well as the Open Science Framework (OSF). A compelling presentation of what is a Pre-Analysis Plan (PAP) was done by the BITSS (Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences) catalyst Faha Nochi Dief Reagen.

Dief Reagen Nochi Faha of Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences leading a presentation.

After that, STATA Do files and R Markdown codes along with R, R studio and STATA 13 set up were distributed to participants with useful assistance from Mr Cyrille Moise Touk and Mr Dief Reagan Nochi Faha. The internet connection was a bit of a challenge, especially when it came to loading up some of the R packages to build dynamic documents in R (R Markdown, Foreign, Stargazer, Sandwich) and Stata (Markdoc). The practical sessions, however, went very well and almost all the participants were able to successfully run the code and get their dynamic documents done either in R or STATA. At the end of the workshop, students were encouraged to apply for the forthcoming OpenCon2017 conference to learn more about Scholarly Publishing and Altmetrics and also apply to the BITSS summer institute of UC Berkeley. The views of two participants: “I really wish I knew about all those bottlenecks to research openness (Publication bias, P-hacking, failure to replicate, unreproducible workflow, lack of data sharing and transparency) at the very beginning of my PhD, I would have been more cautious. However, now that the workshop has raised my awareness on the necessity to be more transparent and open in research, I could use the knowledge acquired to enhance the quality of my current and forthcoming publications.” – Mr Armand Mboutchouang Kountchou; Final year PhD Student in economics, University of Yaounde II-SOA and African Economic and Research Consortium (AERC) “Research transparency, reproducibility and openness tools should be integrated into the academic curriculum of our universities from the undergraduate level. This could enable the next generation of African economic researchers to embrace a different path in order to enhance the credibility and quality of their research outputs.”Mr Nochi Faha Dief Reagen; PhD Student in economics, University of Yaounde II-SOA and University of Rennes 1, France.  

Open Data for Clean Air in Medellin – ODD2017

Datos Abiertos Medellin - April 13, 2017 in air quality, environment, Latin America, Open Data Day

“The Uruguay is not a river” – Open Data Day Rio Uruguay builds a new community

Maximiliano Debenedetti - April 12, 2017 in argentina, environment, Open Data Day, river, uruguay

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 data for environment theme. This blog was originally written in Spanish and was translated by Mor Rubinstein and Oscar Montiel. The Singer-songwriter, Anibal Sampayo,described the Uruguay River in a unique way:  “El Uruguay no es un río: es un cielo azul que viaja”. Meaning, The Uruguay is not a river: It is blue sky that travels. Born in the coastal town of Paysandú, Sampayo knew how to summarise in this song the importance of this watercourse that links three countries: Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Hundreds of years of history have passed through this watercourse. These three nations raised and got independence from the Spanish and Portuguese empires, they had lived together through periods of encounters and calm. In the last decades, social-political problems affected the relations between Argentina and Uruguay, and now slowly this relationship is building up. At the same time, the residents of the coastal zones are witnessing the effects of huge floods, a product of climate change. With the aim to support the affected population, the data journalism organisations of  Subsidios Claros in Uruguay and Datos Concepción in Argentina have created a joint task force to help this issue. We chose to join the global call for Open Data Day event that happened on the 4th of March, and we created the binational event: The Uruguay river open data day. The activity took place in the city of  Paysandú since its location is easy to access from both Argentina and Uruguay. The primary objective for the day was that institutions, experts, and activists of the area could create an interactive map of the activities that are connected to the river As a key point, we tackled the problem of the massive floods in the cities of  Paysandú and Salto in Uruguay and the cities Concordia, Concepción, San José and Colón in the region of Entre Ríos in Argentina There were two tasks for the day. The first task was to produce an alarm system for the cities mentioned above by using an open data dataset of climate effects. As a second task, we tried to analyse the different environmental, economic and demographic impact of this area. We were honoured by the presence of government officials from the municipalities of Concepción, San José, and Paysandú, together with journalists, graphic designers, programmers and citizens who are interested in the topic. With the exception of one government member, the participants did not have prior knowledge about the significance or use of open data. The peak point of our work was that those who were affected by the floods were actively participating, and they saw how technology with civic purpose can help to find solutions for their problems. People of different ages, genders, profiles, cities and interests met and created teams and proposals in less than 8 hours of the hackathon. In the end, symbolic prizes were given – jams that were produced by local women from the region. The event was successful, and people created follow-up actions. Now are expecting to have a second meeting for the community. This session will be defined in the near future.

The future

This event created a network of people and organisations that are linked by the theme. The founders of this initiative, Adrian Pino (Datos Concepción) and Maximiliano Debenedetti (Subsidios Claros), coordinate the work of a bi-national team that will ensure the continuity of the project. The project achieved some partnerships that will give sustainability to the project:  The municipalities of Paysandú and Concepción, a company from the region – Río Uruguay Seguros, the agency for development of Paysandú, the agency for digital government in Uruguay (AGESIC) and the future participation of the binational organisation CARU From this activity, three projects that will work simultaneously were brought to life. All created by the attendees and presented as the result of a day of work. At the same time, because of the media attention (we got several notes of journalists from both countries) and dissemination on government websites about these subjects, a large number of public and private institutions are interested in what we can achieve. They have sent us their support and communicated with the organisers. All in all, we can assert that the activity on of March 4th is the kickstart of a proposal to research, to work together and integrate. We wish that this work will follow the blue sky that travels and it will arrive at the to success.

Coexistence of mate! On the left: Mate from Uruguay, on the Right: Mate from Argentina

Open Knowledge Philippines and Mapua students celebrates Open Data Day 2017

Joseph De Guia - April 10, 2017 in human rights, humanitarian data, 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 Human Rights theme. The Open Knowledge local group in the Philippines co-organised International Open Data Day 2017 with the student council of Mapua Institute of Technology, Makati Campus. 

Joseph De Guia (left), Local ambassador of Open Knowledge Philippines with the Mapua SOIT Student Council officers who co-organized the International Open Data Day 2017

The program was attended by invited speakers, special guests, the local tech community as well as student groups on campus. The program was divided into two sessions: the morning session was on open data awareness while the afternoon session was an open data workshop. The event was attended by close to 200 participants.

Event registration

Creating awareness about Open Data in the Philippines

The session was opened with a welcome and opening remark from Mr Joseph De Guia (local group ambassador of Open Knowledge Philippines) on the theme of the celebration: “Solving problems in the society”. Participants were then showed two videos:  open data from Open Knowledge International and the School of Data Summer Camp to introduce them to the people working behind the scenes at Open Knowledge International and their advocacy work in “showing the value of open data for the work of civil society; how effectively use open data; and making government information systems responsive to civil society.”

Dr Lagmay presenting the portal of Project NOAH

The keynote speaker was Dr Alfredo Mahar Lagmay, Executive Director of the National Operational Assessment of Hazards (Project NOAH) of University of the Philippines. He delivered the message “the use of open data to make disaster resilient Philippines” through the use of Project NOAH. The project has been made available to the public and has encouraged participative and collaborative effort through crowdsourcing and mapping to improve the emergency response during calamities and disasters.

Ms. Stepahine Azarias of Open Data Philippines team – DICT, DOST-iGovPhil during her talk.

The next speaker was Ms Stephanie Azarias, team lead of Open Data Philippines of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Ms Azarias highlighted the harmonisation of government data disclosure through open data and freedom of information (FOI). She presented the open data portal, freedom of information portal and the projects of Integrated Government Philippines Project (iGovPhil).

Ms Gemma Mendoza of Rappler.com during her talk about social activism and using open data in journalism and reporting for social good.

Other speakers were Paul De Paula of Drupal Pilipinas, Ms Gemma Mendoza of Rappler.com. The speakers shared their common interest in open data as well as what they’re doing in this area. Drupal Pilipinas Tech Community volunteers are advocating open source application development for Drupal that can be used in open data portal (such as DKAN). Rappler.com is an online media company who is also doing research and investigative journalism for social good. These speakers brought new ideas on how open data can be explored and used to solve problems in the society.  

Open Data Workshop

Part of the afternoon session was an opportunity for the students to be engaged in an open data workshop. The students were provided with a brief background about the open data sets to be used in the Project NOAH weather and disaster monitoring.

Joseph leading and facilitating the discussion during the “open data workshop.”

They were guided in downloading the datasets from the Open Data portal and using the FOI data portal. They were also encouraged to formulate their research agenda as their capstone topics. This was followed by a “show and tell” which is a short demonstration of their understanding of the program and discussion of the topics.

Learnings!

The speakers were given the opportunity to encourage students to take steps in open data movement and activism. They were also able to inspire the students, faculty members and other attendees of the event to take part in the open data education and use them to solve the problems in the society. The speakers were awarded a certificate of appreciation at the end of the event.

Awarding a token of appreciation to Dr Lagmay

According to a student participant:

The open data day celebration was a great avenue to learn the value of open data and the tools being used to solve problems in the society, such as disaster assessment through crowdsourcing and mapping, developing an open data portal, data journalism and a lot more.

The Open Knowledge Philippines team is happy to have helped organise the open data day celebration and appreciative of the opportunity to show participants the value data can make in information systems and in effect help facilitate and solve problems in the society. We also had the chance to introduce participants to projects that are effectively using open data through the work of civil societies to push for better services from the government. The stickers, program and poster prints were sponsored by Open Knowledge International. The swags were provided by DOST-DICT iGovPhil Project and Open Data team. The snacks and lunch provided by the organiser – Open Knowledge Philippines. The event photos can be viewed on our Facebook community page – https://www.facebook.com/Open-Data-Day-2017 and facebook.com/groups/openknowledgeph, video documentation can be played  here: The International Open Data Day 2017 was organised by Open Knowledge Philippines and with the help of the Mapua Institute of Technology Student Council, Makati campus. The event was sponsored by Open Knowledge International and supported by Project NOAH, University of the Philippines, Open Data Philippines – DICT and DOST, Drupal Pilipinas, and Rappler.com. Like and follow us on Facebook Open Knowledge Philippines and on Twitter @OpenKnowledgePH See you next year for another open data day celebration, and hopefully, we will be much better and present innovative solutions and create impact through open data!

Open Data Day 2017: Celebrating data use and openness

Sergio Araiza - April 7, 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 contracting and tracking public money flows theme. This blog has been reposted from http://socialtic.org/post/158716923448/open-data-day-2017-celebrating-data-use-and – the Spanish version is available at http://socialtic.org/post/158170113108/open-data-day-2017-fiesta-datera-por-la-apertura Open Data Day is an international celebration where simultaneous activities are organised by data communities around the world to learn about open data, liberate closed data, showcase data-driven projects and promote multi-disciplinary collaboration. Latin America celebrated open data in many cities this year. Here you can see all the events, from Argentina to Northern Mexico, that ran throughout the region. In Mexico City, Open Data Day has become over the years an event that brings together different communities that no data user or enthusiasts want to miss. You can have a look at our previous open data day events: 2014, 2015, 2016.

How was ODD17 celebrated in Mexico City?

This year, nearly 180 people gathered for an entire day of activities, good food and craft beer. Participants had the opportunity to experience the following:
  • 8 workshops on different data user skills
  • Public Spending Rally
  • Showcase of 9 amazing projects

Workshops for Intro and Pro data users

The workshops were divided into introductory and professional tracks so that everyone had a chance to learn. The topics included: statistics for data analysis, data cleaning using Open Refine, data architecture for network analysis, open contracting, big data analysis using cloud-based services, analog visualisation and data visualisation with D3. Presentations:
  1. Open Contracting – Katherine Wikrent (Open Contracting) and Rafael García (Transparencia Mexicana)
  2. Statistics and Machine Learning – Jesús Ramos (The DataPub –  Datank)
  3. Data Cleaning with Open Refine – Armando Monsivais (Estrategia Digital Nacional)
Workshop videos, recorded and streamed by Software Gurú:
  1. Big data analysis using cloud-based services – Paco Mekler (OPI)
  2. Statistics and Machine Learning – Jesús Ramos (DataPub + Datank)
  3. Visualisation using D3 – Irving Morales (Morlan)

Data projects at Open Data Day 2017

  1. Testigo Social 2.0 (Social Witness) – Transparencia MexicanaTestigo social 2.0 is a citizen participation and transparency platform based on open contracting. This was presented by Rafael García
  2. Puebla Bajo Amenaza (Puebla Under Threat) – LadoBAranzazú Ayala, journalist from a local digital journalist portal, Lado B, shared how the project  “Puebla bajo amenaza” analysed insecurity and crime data of the state of Puebla.
  3. Desplazamiento forzado (Forced Displacement)  – Animal Político. Journalistic investigation on forced displacement in Mexico that highlights the regions most affected, the data behind the phenomena and stories on the affected communities. Presented by Paris Martínez
  4. Datos.gob.mx: plataforma y casos de uso – CEDN (open data platform and user cases). Enrique Zapata from the platform Datos.gob.mx shared the strategy behind the data opening of the Mexico government.
  5. OISE, Data Coral and Observatrump.mx – Smart Data IntelligenceMarcel Julien introduced a combo of 3 projects with diverse data content. OISE is an observatory of the Mexican Energy Industry; Data Coral monitors coral biodiversity and Observa Trump, aggregates all media and social media on Donald Trump.
  6. Datos georeferenciados sobre homicidios y modelo predictivo de crimen (Geo-referenced data about homicides and predictive crime model). Stephane Keil presented a predictive statistics analysis on murder and crime in Mexico City 2015 – 2016.
  7. RuidoCDMX: medición de ruido con tecnología abierta (open tech for noise measurement). RuidoCDMX is an open source project that enables anyone to measure and visualise noise levels.
  8. Mapa del precio de la gasolina (Gas price map) – Gobierno Fácil. The gobierno Fácil team presented an interactive map that visualises gasoline prices at a municipal level in Mexico.

Open Data Rally Awards: #DatosEnLaCalle

For the second year in a row, the Ministry of Finance Budget Transparency team organized a rally so that citizens can use open data to verify the status of public infrastructure projects including their reported expenses. With over 400 participants, the winning teams were: Thanks for taking data to the streets (#DatosEnLaCalle)! Thanks to all the data community and friends. Together we celebrate World Open Data Day 2017! :)  

Open Data For Human Rights in Istanbul

Pınar Dag - April 7, 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 Human Rights theme. This blog has been reposted from http://www.verigazeteciligi.com/open-data-for-human-rights-event-has-taken-place-in-istanbul/ The International Open Data Day on the 4th of March was celebrated with over 300 different events (workshops, conferences, etc.) around the world. One of such events was hosted in Turkey by Open Knowledge International’s affiliate group Dağ Medya with the support of Open Knowledge International and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The event was organised by Işıl Yarımoğlu, Pınar Dağ and Sadettin Demirel. The theme of the event was “Open Data For Human Rights” and focused on the participants gathering and structuring data on deceased workers in Turkey. The event also highlighted the significance of open data for human rights and for journalists that cover human right issues. The purpose of the event was to structure data on deceased workers and transform the raw data into tables and machine-readable format. This is to raise awareness of the human rights issue by opening up the data and making it accessible for journalists, researchers and civil institutions. The raw data on deceased workers for January and February 2017 were gathered through the news via Google Alerts. The raw data was processed into spreadsheet format with the help of 10 attendees. The structured data will be shortly released and will be accessible on Dağ Medya’s Deceased Workers Open Database under an open license. The participants shared their opinions regarding Open Data For Human Rights at the end of the event. Find below some of their comments: Sevgi Korkut; Journalist [Social Media Expert]
The training we had on Open Data Day 2017 was very beneficial for me. First of all, we learned how to process data in detail. We learned which online tools are used for scraping or working with data. We gathered the data on deceased workers for the period of January-February using Google Alerts and recorded them on a given template. I realised that how you record data is similar to the foundation of a building because how you record and processed the raw data directly affects the quality of data.

Ahmet Ağdoğan; Student at Faculty of Communication, Galatasaray University
We did a productive work session at Kadir Has University for Open Data Day. We learned about open data, then started working on it. We recorded the deceased workers in Turkey. Then made it accessible for further use. We learned how much effort it takes to gather and prepare data by experiencing it. Thanks to everyone in the workshop and my lecturer, Pınar Dağ.
Yasemin Akbulut; Graduate Student, Department of Industrial Engineering, Kadir Has University 
We gathered data and made it accessible and ready for analysis. We learned about the tools that help with categorising or finding the errors while working with small amounts of data. We added products to Open Food Facts which made us realise new things about the products we’re using. I’d like to thank Pınar Dağ who organised the event and invited us and also to the people who contributed.
Onur Teksan; Senior Student at New Media, Kadir Has University
This workshop reinforced my knowledge about open data since I took the Data Journalism class. Accessing unadulterated information always makes me excited and arouses my curiosity. That’s why it was pleasing for me to attend this kind of event on World Open Data Day. Especially, when the chosen topic raised awareness about work safety and deaths at work.
Faruk Aydıner; Senior Student at New Media, Bahçeşehir University
I learned so much about both traditional and data journalism in my experiences at Dağ Medya and Open Data Day. I was able to learn the job by doing it which is not an opportunity that is given in many universities. I was never censored in any shape of form while I was an intern at Dağ Medya. We worked on so many different topics from animal rights to human rights which expanded my horizon. On Open Data Day we learned about how to structure data as well as discussing how to use data to produce news stories. The most important thing was to both learn about tools and being able to put them to use. While it’s believed that traditional journalism will never die, we’ve been providing awareness about the promising future for it which is data journalism.
 

OpenCon 2017 Srinagar celebrating International Open Data Day

Nadim Akhtar Khan - April 6, 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. The International Open Data Day at the University of Kashmir, India, was celebrated as a satellite event titled “OpenCon 2017 Srinagar: Celebrating International Open Data day” on 4th March 2017.   The event was organised for the first time in the valley with the aim of introducing scholars, researchers, students and the teaching community to the availability and benefits of Open Research Data. The concept of open data is not that much common among the research community, although the university promotes and stands for open access. Therefore the organisers emphasised the concept and importance of open data, especially for research and allied areas. The overwhelming participation by the researchers, scholars, faculty members numbering to more than 150 revealed their keen interest in the theme and curiosity about the availability and use of open data sets in different setups. The full day event was well divided into different sessions and started with the inaugural session where Dr. Ajaz H.Wani (Scientist-D, Department of Biotechnology) introduced the concept of open data by showcasing some examples of everyday data sets generated and populated in different sectors like Google maps and from the field of Biotechnology. Another address by Mr Ajaz ul Haq (Producer, Electronic Multimedia Research Centre) laid emphasis on the various dimensions of openness and highlighted the importance of understanding the difference between the terms open and free. In the next session, “OpenCon Webcast: OpenData 101” by Ross Mounce was screened and it educated participants on the basics of open data, the legal and technical aspects of open data and the issue of privacy – why not all data should be opened. The participants and experts present established good network during lunch and exchanged ideas and shared experiences and concerns. Dr Zahid Ashraf Wani (Assistant Professor, Department of Library & Information Science) gave a presentation on the Registry of Research Data Repositories and highlighted the availability and usefulness of research data repositories in different subject areas. Nadim Akhtar Khan (Assistant Professor, Department of Library & Information Science) introduced the projects available through  Open Knowledge Labs. These include: CKAN, Frictionless Data, FutureTDM, Open Data for Development (OD4D), Open Budgets EU, Open Data Handbook, OpenSpending, OpenTrials, School of Data etc. The participants were also encouraged to use data.world for understanding, creating and sharing data sets in real environments. After the presentations, there was a panel discussion where panelists from different subject areas shared their experiences regarding the availability of research datasets in their respective domains and their observations regarding open data. Dr Abdul Majid Baba, (University librarian & Head, DLIS) emphasised the importance of open access in present research environment. Professor Bashir Ahmad Joo (Department of Management Studies) highlighted the importance of open data in Business and Finance and presented some good examples of open data in the banking sector for ready reference, utilisation and drawing inferences. Dr Mohammad Tariq Banday (Head of the Department of Electronics and Instrumentation Centre) highlighted the importance of open data for the researchers in the field of science. He emphasised that using and testing open data in local research environments will be more beneficial for quality research. He also talked about the importance of making more data open in subject areas like Electronics and how that will go a long way in strengthening the research domain. Dr Masood Rizvi (Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry) shared experiences in utilising research tools such as ResearchGate for sharing research datasets in open and its influence on establishing quality and the impact of individual research efforts at the global level. Dr Sumeer Gul (Assistant Professor, Department of Library & Information Science) emphasised on the importance of basic concepts underpinning open access and highlighted the importance of open access publishing and open archives/repositories for teaching and research community while Mrs Rosy Jan (Assistant Professor, Department of Library & Information Science) deliberated upon the role of libraries and information centres in promoting open access and open environment for research. Dr Zahid Ashraf Wani also talked about the importance of open data for economically poor nations and its implications for building more vibrant research communities at the global level. The sharing of research data from poorer regions like ours can be boon in terms of potential collaboration globally and help the region to make most of the infrastructure facilities available in the developed world. Nadim Akhtar Khan during the concluding remarks after the panel discussions called upon all the participants to make use of open data day deliberations as the basis for giving serious considerations towards understanding, using and sharing open data. The participants were asked to make use of Open Knowledge Labs for further strengthening their understanding of 0pen data and its use. The feedback from participants about the event made our fatigued day fruitful because most of them became confident about experimenting with open data and creating small groups for discussions and experiences and issues sharing at the local level. We are confident that Open Data Day 2017 is the beginning towards embracing openness and will lead to a vibrant research culture with more transparency and reusing options of existing datasets. The most amazing part of the event was that the MLIS students of final semester showed their keen interest in the deliberations and were actively involved in the discussions. Despite the fact that the preparations for ODD celebrations started late, the teamwork and tireless efforts of the teaching and non-teaching members of the Department of Library & Information Science, University of Kashmir made the event possible. Our special thanks go to the Honourable Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar for approving the event at such a short notice. Also, our gratitude goes to Director of EMMRC, for providing the auditorium and video coverage of the event. We would fail in our duties if we won’t thank Lorraine Chuen of SPARC OPEN for providing us a very vibrant OpenCon Platform for organising this event and schedule our event using sched (Event management tool) that saved us lots of efforts and time. We are immensely thankful to SPARC and Open Knowledge Foundation for th mini-grant that was used for meeting different expenditures for holding the event successfully. For the detailed schedule you can visit:  https://opencon2017srinagarcelebratingin.sched.com or  http://www.opencon2017.org/opencon_srinagar_2017