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ODD19 Mexico City: communities sharing DataLove & Data to fight violence against women

- April 9, 2019 in mexico, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. This is a joint report produced by Técnicas Rudas and SocialTIC from Mexico, who received funding through the mini-grant scheme by the Latin American Initiative for Open Data (ILDA) to organise events under the Open Mapping and Tracking Public Money themes.

Open Data Day is the annual festival where communities and people interested in the use of data come together to share “data love”, learn, release data, share projects, and create solutions through open data. In Mexico City, this 2019 is the sixth consecutive year that we celebrate the ODD19. This time we had a whole data festival with activities to choose from: workshops, data expeditions, projects, public buildings rally, data city challenges. Close to 120 people from civil society,  local government and  communities interested in open data participated.

How did we celebrate the data party?

Workshops
The workshops of this edition covered intro and advanced levels on the use and handling of data. The topics were: data analysis with Kibana, data extraction of FOIA requests, analogous visualization of data on public building, fundamentals of dataviz, the use of data for geolocation, public policy and essential statistics. We also had a discussion on the dark gaps of artificial intelligence.
You can find the content of some workshops here: Data expeditions
With objectives ranging from exploring data on mobility, security, budget, town planning and gender, to public contracts; the data expeditions are designed for diverse groups to share skills, hypotheses and conclusions based on data. Federal Public Building Rally
This is the fourth consecutive year in which Transparencia Presupuestaria organizes the rally to verify how the goverment spent the money on public infrastructure. With participants from 30 states, Estado de México, Puebla and Oaxaca were the states with the largest number of participants. Public Building Rally in Mexico City
This year the public building rally was also done at city level. An exercise to know and verify the use of the city budget (drainage, public lighting, soccer fields). In this edition, almost 600 million Mexican pesos involved in public building were verified. Projects
In the space to learn about projects, we got acquainted with initiatives related to transparency, accountability, public contracts, data about violence against women, and justice.
Some of the projects based on data:
  1. A walkability audit with a feminist perspective to evaluate and propose improvements in infrastructure and urban design of the city (@Futura_org)
  2. Justicia Transparente, an audit exercise that analyzes data on insecurity and distrust in the authorities linked to criminal procedure (@IMCO)
A summary, some pics and tweets, and related projects are available here: (Spanish) https://socialtic.org/blog/asi-celebramos-la-fiesta-de-los-datos-abiertos-odd19-en-ciudad-de-mexico/

Data against violence

by Técnicas Rudas and GeoChicas
In Mexico, one can’t help but to be inspired by the powerful women’s movement there is here. However, violence against women is still rampant in our society. While there is a general perception that violence is greater, there is also a widespread concern among feminist activists that as with many human rights issues in Mexico, available data is insufficient to reflect the true scale and characteristics of violence against women. This is certainly the case with feminicide. Mexico is one of a handful of countries in Latin American that have incorporated Feminicide into their legislation as a hate crime, first in local legislation in 1993, and later (until 2007) into federal law. In Mexico the government has opened data about feminicide at the municipal level from 2015 to the present, and the data is updated every two months. Nevertheless, the information is used only by data specialists.In order to help society to take advantage of the government’s database on feminicide, Técnicas Rudas and Geochicas organized a workshop during Open Data Day, in which independent feminists and collectives came together to take a critical look at existing data visualization initiatives on feminicide – both from government and civil society -with a focus on cartography. We made a script using R to read the feminicide data from official crime statistics, generate a database of feminicide in csv format, and produce a geographical file saved as geojson. Workshop participants included independent activists and academics, and members of  five different collectives, as well as  one international
organization. The results of the workshop can be viewed at https://geamatica.me, the script is available in https://gitlab.com/anamhoo/feminicidio and a graphic view at https://umap.openstreetmap.co/en/map/feminicidio_mexico_2029#7/20.339/-98.240.

Open Data Awareness Event at Kyambogo University, Uganda

- April 5, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping, uganda

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. The event reported on in this post took place on 9 March, and was organized by Samson Ngumenawe at Kyambogo University in Uganda under the Association of Student Surveyors Kyambogo (ASSK), an association that unites all lands students in Kyambogo. It unlocked the potential of open data to students, most especially finalists that are undertaking their research projects. The open data awareness event featured different topics including crowdsourcing data using OpenStreetMap, introduction to open geospatial tools like Quantum GIS and Java OpenStreetMap Editor, open data querying tools like overpass-turbo, OpenStreetMap downloader, quick OSM, and HOT export tool. The event was dominated by students from the department of lands and architectural studies with the biggest number of students from the surveying and land economics classes. The unforgettable event was cheered on how it created an opportunity for students to access open data for research projects. Ms. Robinah Nakiwa a fourth-year student of Land Economics running a research project on “The role of land use plans in the development control for buildings in upcoming towns” was stranded with how to acquire the number of buildings in her study area until she became aware of the availability of open geospatial data on OpenStreetMap. Her study area was however not fully mapped and this called upon the intervention of MapUganda to help in mapping all the buildings in Bombo Town Council on OpenStreetMap where the researcher was able to query them using overpass-turbo and performed a count that she later used to generate her sampling frame. This was done in a short while and it saved resources that would have been used in the process of data collection. “A lot of thanks go to everyone that has ever contributed to OpenStreetMap, the local OSM contributors the organizer of the Open Data event at Kyambogo University. Keep the community growing.” Ms. Edith Among a fourth-year student of land surveying and land information systems was also able to query highway data from OpenStreetMap and went ahead to do her final year project on finding the optimum route for solid waste collection trucks in Njeru Division of Jinja Municipality. The challenging part of the event was lack of financial support. This created hindrances in providing necessities like internet bundles, event materials like stickers and banners, refreshments and communication. I believe that the next event will be bigger and it will create a great impact.

Open Mapping in Brazil for Open Data Day 2019

- April 2, 2019 in Brazil, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. Code for Curitiba and Open Knowledge Brasil / UG Wikimedia in Brazil received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox to organise events under the Open Mapping theme. This is a joint report by Ricardo Mendes Junior & Celio Costa Filho: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post.

Open Data Day São Paulo

Open Data Day is an annual celebration of open data that takes place all around the world. In its ninth edition, in 2019, people in various countries organized events using and/or producing open data. This is a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data and to encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business, and civil society. In Brazil, these events occurred in the first half of March. The initiative to conduct one of these events in the city of São Paulo came from two volunteers of the group Wiki Movimento Brasil. The idea of ​​the event came after the Brumadinho dam disaster, which occurred on January 25, 2019, when a tailings dam at an iron ore mine in Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil suffered a catastrophic failure. In this context, we perceive the importance of the existence of data from Brazilian dams of tailings properly structured on open platforms and with machine-readable data, such as Wikidata. This became even more visible when, by the end of January of this year, a report from the National Water Agency classified 45 reservoirs of dams as vulnerable, potentially affecting a population of 3.5 million people in risk-damped cities. The purpose of this Open Data Day, therefore, was to perform the scraping of databases whose content is free, and create items on Wikidata rich in structured information about the existing dams in Brazil. The site of the National Information System on Dams Safety, controlled by the National Water Agency was the main source; the site records more than 3,500 dams. Once the data organized in a spreadsheet, the process of “wikidatification” began with the help of the participants of the event. Wikidatifying data is nothing more than modeling structurable data, that is, trying to establish correspondences between the concepts and values ​​presented in the data table and the properties and items of Wikidata. Only after wikidatification is it possible to upload the data to Wikidata. Each participant of the event raised about 500 items of dams. Items created in this event can serve a variety of purposes, such as the illustration of dam maps by associated potential harm level (http://tinyurl.com/yyavll5o) and cross-checking of dam safety statistics with other databases (for instance, the ones related in the Brazilian news today: https://bit.ly/2CxqOla  The event is organized by the members of the Wiki Movimento Brasil and had the support of Creative Commons Brazil.  Map example: https://bit.ly/2Fwtdid Pictures: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

Open Data Day Curitiba 2019

The Open Data Day Curitiba 2019 was held at the FIEP Paula Gomes Training Center and had 61 people participating, in 4 working rooms and watching the lectures in the auditorium. The programming of lectures had the collaboration of 11 special guests who spoke 15 minutes each one, in the subjects Access and reuse of scientific data, Open data of public spending in accessible formats, Open Science: Repository of scientific data of Research, Collaborative Mapping, Open Education and open educational technology, Impacts of the Brazilian General Data Protection Act, Information Systems for public transport, Use of methodology City Information Modeling (CIM) for urban planning, Transparency and social control, Roadmap to civic innovation in the public sector and Urbanism and collaborative mappings, civic engagement and urban laboratories. At the opening of the event the director of the Curitiba/Vale do Pinhão Agency, Cris Alessi, spoke about the innovation ecosystem of Curitiba and what actions we can perform as participants in the movement of civic hackers and encouraging public open data. In the working rooms the participants discussed and develop activities related to the themes of the ODD Curitiba 2019.

Open science

In the Open science working room 13 people participated in the activities and the group started discussing the contextualization of the concept of scientific data and some international approaches on the topic, the differentiation between scientific information and research product. The group then identified 3 datasets, analyzing its structures (data, documentation and support of the original publication that contextualizes the information). After this activity the group discussed the 8 Panton Principles that analyze the quality of open data, and discussed the repositories https://www.re3data.org/ and https://www.kaggle.com/. As a last activity, they discussed the context of scientific data in scientific journals, the types of copyright license for data and the difficulty of obtaining information from the data published on the platform http://lattes.cnpq.br/ of Brazilian researchers’ curricula.

Tracking flow of public money

In the Tracking flow of public money working room 28 people participated. The initial discussions were about money spent in public events and public policy actions that use public resources and how to find the destination of these resources in the city’s documents (bids, commitments, notices, etc.). After this discussion, the group decided to concentrate on tracking drug expenditures and public transport costs. So, they started the discussion with questions related to these expenses. Subsequently, a map was elaborated with the money trail for these expenses, including the sources of information. This trail will be improved by the group, who pledged to continue working on these ideas. And the conclusion of the group is that citizen engagement is the best remedy and has been summarized in one sentence:
“The Ministry of Health warns: Citizen participation is the best remedy for public health management. “

Open Mapping

In the Open Mapping working room was held the 1st Urban Accessibility Mapathon of Curitiba (Mapathon = Collaborative mapping marathon). The activity consisted of gathering information in the field of about 800 meters of sidewalks, per team, in the neighborhood of the event’s location. With the help of mobile applications, situations related to accessibility problems was collected, with coordinates, photos and videos. The Checklist had 18 items such as irregular pavement, irregular or non-existent accessibility ramp, hole in the lanes. After collection, the raw data were edited using the free QGIS software, generating the final unified maps that were made available to the community via an online map (https://goo.gl/UWezNK). Were Raised 39 Problems Of Accessibility In Surroundings.

Ônibus.io

8 people participated in the ônibus.io project working room. The initiative started in 2019 and maintained by the Code for Curitiba aims to be an aggregator of data related to public transportation in the city of Curitiba. In the event, the project leaders, Guilherme and Henrique, presented the project, raised questions and the participants discussed ways to identify the answers. They conducted an exploratory survey of public and private services, extracted data and studied The webservice provided by URBS (Urbanization of Curitiba S/A). They Created a comparative table for identification of lines in different services and coded in PHP + HTML a view of these schedules. At the end, they took the opportunity to development and integration with the project Kartão, developed in Code for Curitiba in 2016, which presents the points of sale and recharge of the public transport card.

Results

The Open Data Day Curitiba in previous years was also carried out by the Code for Curitiba. The ODD of 2019 was greater in public participation and in activities performed. The results obtained in this year include some direct results indicated below. A group formed to discuss and implement a solution to track the public money applied in medicines in Curitiba. The activity of the 1st Urban Accessibility Mapathon of Curitiba resulted in information geolocated that will be delivered to the Ippuc (Institute of research and urban planning of Curitiba) demonstrating how it is possible using technology to involve the population in collaborative urban planning with the mapping of information of the city. The ônibus.io project received valuable contributions from the participants and began to count with new collaborators. All projects under development in the Code for Curitiba are conducted by volunteers. The discussions on the Open Research Data initiated in the ODD 2018 have advanced. And finally, the evaluation by the participants considered the event positive to understand the existing challenges to work with open data and that data integration still requires great work. Collaborative mapping participants liked the idea of using georeferenced data for the improvement of the city. All were unanimous in stating that they would like to continue in the activities proposed by the ODD 2019, would like to receive more information and consider these important activities and of great impact to the city and to the understanding of effective citizenship.

More information and photos:

 

Biographies

Code for Curitiba is a brigade of Code for Brazil, inspired on Code for America. They use the principles and practices of the digital age to improve how government serves the public, and how the public improves government. To inspire public servants, people from the tech sector, and community organizers to create change by proving government can do better and showing others how. Providing government with access to the resources and digital talent they need so that together we can meaningfully impact some of the world’s toughest societal challenges. Connecting and convening people from inside and outside government, and from all over the world to inspire each other, share successes, learn, build, and shape a new culture of public service for the 21st century. Ricardo Mendes Junior is currently the captain of Code for Curitiba. Graduated in Civil Engineering and PhD in Production Engineering he is currently professor at the Federal University of Paraná working in the Postgraduate Program in Information Management. His topics of interest are: Information Engineering, City Information Modeling (CIM), collaborative production, public participation thru collaborative mapping, crowdsourcing plus artificial intelligence, crowd collaboration and civic entrepreneurship. Celio Costa Filho is a founding member of Open Knowledge Brasil, the Wiki Movimento Brasil user group and the Creative Commons Brasil wiki coordinator.

The Big Easy Budget Game and Open for open data

- March 28, 2019 in Open Contracting, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping, serbia, USA

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Committee for a Better New Orleans and Center for education and transparency – CETRA from Serbia received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Hivos / Open Contracting Partnership and Mapbox, to organise events under the Open Contracting and Open Mapping themes respectively. This is a joint report produced by Kelsey Foster and Predrag Mijalković. To celebrate Open Data Day 2019, the Committee for a Better New Orleans partnered with Code for New Orleans to launch the 2019 version of the Big Easy Budget Game, an interactive website that asks residents to balance their city budget.   CBNO and Code for New Orleans’ Open Data Day 2019 event was held at Wrong Iron, a new beer garden located on a greenway through the heart of a residential neighbourhood on March 12. March 2 was the officially observed Open Data Day, but fell in the midst of New Orleans’ Mardi Gras celebrations. New Orleans City District A Council member Joe Giarrusso and staff from City Council District C attended the event and spoke with constituents about the importance of resident input into the budget. About 75 New Orleanians attended the event. The inspiration for the Big Easy Budget Game came in the years following Hurricane Katrina. Five years after the storm, the Committee for a Better New Orleans convened neighbors from across the city to talk about what wasn’t working for them. The story we heard over and over again was: the money. Where is it going? In a city where billions of dollars of recovery aid had been flowing in for years, many still saw the house next door empty, the roads  unpaved, and their street lights burnt out. When our former Mayor Ray Nagin was indicted on twenty-one charges of wire fraud, bribery, and money laundering, it became clear that transparency in our city budget was necessary– but how can residents hold government accountable for a $1 billion, 800-page document that they don’t understand? At CBNO, we saw an opportunity to build a bridge between government and residents, while empowering our community to learn and give input into a process that had previously been closed to them. No public document affects the lives of residents more than the budget: it holds our bus schedules, the books in our libraries, and the lights on our basketball courts. The Big Easy Budget Game shows residents how much funding each city department receives in a year and tells them what happens if they give more or less funding. Residents can see how the government works and make decisions on funding based on what they need in their communities. On our end, CBNO receives the data from hundreds of residents a year that we can share with our mayor, city council, and civil society organizations. Each year, our data is compiled into The People’s Budget Report and shared with government leaders and our community.

New Orleans City Councilman, District A, Joe Giarrusso talks about the importance of the city budget at #ODD2019 in New Orleans

On the other side of the world, in Serbia, civil society organization „Center for education and transparency – CETRA“ arranged a local educational event for around 30 citizens and media representatives in the city of Pančevo. With the intent to celebrate Open data day 2019, we hosted a informal lecture „Open for open data“ in a local coffee shop, which took place on March the 16th. Given that the concept of open data is not yet widespread and familiar in Serbian ecosystem, this was the opportunity to promote the concept by distributing a manual-brochure that explains how can open data be used in local governments but also what is the added value that it brings in terms of saving money, time and energy for our citizens. Since “CETRA” is one of the pioneers among civil society organizations to work on opening data in Serbian municipalities, we presented our experience about the process to the participants, but also took the opportunity to gain valuable insight from the citizens about the data sets they think should be opened in the following period. Currently “CETRA” is participating in a project on opening geo-spatial data sets of 4 Serbian cities, so this community gathering served as a superb chance for promoting the need for more open geo-spatial data initiatives in our country. Mapping geospatial data helps us by showing where things are in the world. If this data is made open, then more people and organisations can build apps, local services and more. Citizens from our city wanted to learn what are the geospatial data sets that can be created and explored, so we presented variety of examples, from databases on the national road network to databases on mineral deposits, storage of hazardous materials, population estimates, neighborhood demographics. Our community also had the chance to be presented with the existence of national open data portal in Serbia, which can be found on the following address:https://data.gov.rs/en/ . Important remarks came from some of our fellow citizens that we should work more on opening data sets from our own city of Pančevo and that is something that we will focus on in the future.

Residents and media representatives from the city of Pančevo attending the “Open for open data” event

2019 Open Data Day celebrations in Kenya

- March 27, 2019 in equal development, kenya, Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. EldoHub and OpenStreetMap Kenya received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox and the the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom, to organise events under the Open Mapping and Equal Development themes respectively. This is a joint report produced by Magdaline Chepkemoi and Laura Mugeha: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post. To celebrate the 2019 Open Data Day, EldoHub and OpenStreetMap Kenya organized events in Eldoret and Nairobi respectively. EldoHub, a technology innovation hub located in Uasin Gishu County, in the western region of Kenya, organized a whole day event whose main goal was to equip the youth with knowledge on how they can leverage on open data / open government, to find opportunities for meaningful employment (inclusive jobs for disadvantaged African youth) and how they can help our local government to be more open for inclusive youth participation. The 2019 open data day, celebrations in Eldoret raised our voice and triggered conversations for action on youth inclusive participation and sustainable approaches towards unemployment through digital jobs and open governments.

Participants following keenly the discussions on Open Governments ODD 2019

The meeting was attended by over 40 youth between the ages of 18 to 25 years old. A powerful list of speakers and expertise were invited to facilitate and give talks on business and entrepreneurship, open data/ open governments and digital work.  The speakers comprised of technologist, local government, business experts and data experts.

Group Discussions during ODD 2019, Eldoret Kenya

The day was officially opened by Mr. Shah a renowned business leader in the region, who gave a talk on business and entrepreneurship. He shared his personal story and experience in the entrepreneurship journey. The over 40 participants were inspired by his quote, “Nobody is born with a good idea”.  He insisted that ideas only become good when we tirelessly work on them and build them to have value for the purpose they are serving. The second session was facilitated by Uasin Gishu County, ICT and e-governments Director Mrs. Elizabeth Birgen. She led a discussion on how young people can leverage new technologies to help their governments be more transparent and listen to citizens’ needs and feedback. The attendees engaged her with questions regarding transparency and opportunities for the youth. She also highlighted that Uasin Gishu County Government is on course with ensuring youth have resourceful centres where they can nurture their skills and talents. Lastly, Chepkemoi Magdaline, the organizer facilitated training on Digital jobs and how youth in the western region can leverage on open data to access opportunities. After the training, the participants were placed into groups with volunteer mentors facilitating the formed groups.  Zuzzana who is a project coordinator at St Bakhita House of hope, a vocational training centre for women and girls mentored the youth. Dan Mudega from iHub, Nairobi Kenya also touched on the work they do at iHub, promising full support of the youth in regards to ICT and open governments.

Women and girls were encouraged to participate during ODD 2019, Eldoret, Kenya

Organized by OpenStreetMap Kenya, the event in Nairobi had a focus on the open mapping track to discuss everything about open spatial data and crowdsourced mapping. OpenStreetMap Kenya is a local community of individuals interested in OpenStreetMap and open mapping generally including organizations and YouthMappers chapters in Kenya. The event entailed several activities that were aimed at encouraging the participants to not only contribute to the OpenStreetMap project but to also use the data in the development of solutions to our day to day challenges being faced locally. The 35 participants included students, data scientists and software developers all interested in open mapping.

Attendees during Open Data Day in Nairobi

We first had an open discussion on what we understood by open data, open spatial data and open mapping. While our individual definitions varied, what was common was that open data is free and legally available implying that anyone can use, reuse and redistribute it with no charges. To support this, our speakers from Map Kibera Trust and IFRC shared about the state of open data in Kenya and how the two organizations are using open data in their work. Zack Wambua, the Lead mapper and cartographer at Map Kibera Trust shared about their work using OpenStreetMap in Kenya including the Open schools Kenya project aimed at putting all schools on the map including all the schools’ details and participatory budgeting project funded by the World Bank. He also shared about the challenges of using open data and how the organization has handled the same challenges before. Through their work, they also get to contribute back towards open data by sharing their work and results openly. Elijah Karanja also informed us about the use of open data in humanitarian contexts by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Kenya and Africa in general.

Zack Wambua, Map Kibera Trust shares about how the organization uses open data

Sharon Omoja, a trainer for OpenStreetMap Kenya then gave an introduction to OpenStreetMap sharing its history, what it is, who the OSM community includes and why & how one can contribute to the project.

Sharon Omoja, a trainer for OSM Kenya shares about OpenStreetMap

We then had a hands-on training session led by James Magige on how to contribute on OpenStreetMap and access this data. Afterwards, we had a short mapathon while answering questions that the attendees might have.

James Magige, a trainer at OSM Kenya shares about contributing to OSM and how to access the data

Lastly, our hosts from the University of Nairobi shared about why open data is important and encouraged its use to make data-driven decisions and drive innovation in the country.

Dr. Wambua and Dr. Mukhovi from the Department of geography at the University of Nairobi encouraging attendees to keep using and contributing towards open data initiatives

 

   

Biographies

Magdaline Chepkemoi is a computer scientist who is passionate about using technology and open data to transform African youth. She leads EldoHub, a technology and innovation hub, which empowers and supports young people to identify problems in their communities and apply different technologies to solve those problems. She has over 6 years of professional experience in software development, networking, ICT4D and education. Chepkemoi holds a master’s degree in Mobile Telecommunications and Innovation from Strathmore University. Chepkemoi also cofounded Techstarlets Kenya to empower and support women and girls in rural Kenya in STEM. She is also a 2018 Mandela Washington Fellow for young African leaders, an initiative by the US Department of state. She was featured in 2018 among 20 faces of science in Kenya by Next Einstein Forum, during the Africa Science Week. Laura Mugeha is a freelance GIS analyst and developer in Kenya who is passionate about the achievement of sustainable development locally and other third world countries that are often left behind. Being passionate about open data and FOSS, she is one of the co-ordinators of OpenStreetMap Kenya and one of the 2019 YouthMappers Leadership Fellows. She is interested in working in the humanitarian space to drive social impact in various communities locally.

Open Data Day in Taiwan and Zimbabwe

- March 26, 2019 in Open Data Day, open data day 2019, Open Mapping, Open Science, taiwan, zimbabwe

This report is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2019. On Saturday 2nd March, groups from around the world organised over 300 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. OpenStreetMap Taiwan, Wikimedia Taiwan and the Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) received funding through the mini-grant scheme by Mapbox and the Frictionless Data for Reproducible Research project, to organise events under the Open Mapping and Open Science themes respectively. This is a joint report produced by Dennis Raylin Chen and Josiline Chigwada: their biographies are included at the bottom of this post.

Taiwan: Holiday with More than Thirty Participants

The initiative of hosting an event starts simply with a few people wondering about the lack of proper self-learning material and content of traditional Chinese on Wikidata. And also the same on the OpenStreetMap project. Therefore, we, Wikimedia Taiwan and OpenStreetMap community organizers, decided to host an event, dedicated to tackle the topic mentioned above. It turned out to be quite a success, with more than 30 people joining us at the event. And we want to give our special thanks to the minigrant program of Open Knowledge International for kindly funding our event, the Mozilla Community Space of Taipei for providing the venue and at last our hard-working group.

The First Major Event in Taiwan

This is the first major event of Wikidata in Taiwan. Besides OpenStreetMap and Wikimedia communities, we also work with people with people who are interested in cultural data. Allen gives a talk about Wikidata and Dennis Raylin Chen gives a talk on OpenStreetMap. Prior to this event, our last Wikidata event dates back to 2013. Lydia Pintscher, Project Manager for Wikidata, was invited to give a lecture of Wikidata on one of the biggest Open Source Conference COSCUP in Taiwan. In 2018, Butch Bustria, a Wikipedian from the Philippines, shared his knowledge about Wikidata during a session of COSCUP. However, before the Open Data Day Events, we did not have any organized promotion in Taiwan. At the event, we used a dashboard tools developed by the Wikimedia Foundation to keep an eye on the edits on Wikidata. We ranked the contributions by bytes created and the prizes are presented before the end of the event to the top three editors.

Language Barrier on Wikidata

We ran into a translation problem due to the fundamental difference between languages. We found out that the Chinese translation of P31 is ambiguous and causing confusions. Despite some potential solutions that were proposed by experienced participants, we were still not able to find a proper Chinese translation, as its language structure is different from European languages like English or German Language. We might find out a way to work around this issue in a more direct approach as we writing the learning materials to explain the definition of P31.

Working on Geodata on both Wikidata and OpenStreetMap

Another topic on the same event is OpenStreetMap, Dennis gave a demo how to draw a building around a museum. He encouraged participants to fill the gap of the date query by Overpass API of Taiwan museums, adding address information, Wikipedia and Wikidata links.

Suggestion and Experience

After the events, organizers received feedback suggesting that we should explain more clearly the logic of Wikidata Database design, something like Q P Q triple store format. Other participants say we should edit a good item, so that others could follow our steps. From this event we gain lots of precious experience. By seeking outside-aid, we are able to host a bigger event, which we could have a full-day time to cover several issues, and the participants could have a much more deeper discussion with others.

Bindura University of Science Education (BUSE) Library, Zimbabwe

Using a mini-grant that was offered by Open Knowledge International with support from other organisations, BUSE held two activities to commemorate International Open Data Day. The commemorations were held on 15 and 20 March respectively at Bindura University of Science Education Library in Zimbabwe. The first presentation was done to 16 library staff members to introduce them to open data, so that they are able to assist those who enquire about the subject in the library. The second presentation was for lecturers from the five faculties at BUSE and 26 people graced the occasion. It was attended by the Pro Vice Chancellor, Academic Deans, Chairpersons of departments and lecturers.

Group photo for participants at the Open Data Day Breakfast Meeting at BUSE

The presentation was titled ‘Introduction to open data at BUSE” with the aim of creating awareness on the importance of open data at a research institution. The comments from the evaluation forms indicated that researchers want to learn the skills to break barriers to open data, how to carry out awareness in institutions with important data which they do not want researchers to freely access, and how policies can be enacted to promote open data. Some researchers indicated that they are willing to open their research data and would encourage others to do so.

Way forward

The presentation would be done in faculty board meetings where most researchers would be available. The library would continue to create awareness among the members of staff as a way of building capacity towards open data, since there are a lot of misconceptions when dealing with open data. There is also the need to influence policy makers so that there are policies to protect both the researchers and the end users.

Josiline Chigwada making a presentation on the Introduction to open data @ BUSE

 

Biographies

Dennis Raylin Chen is a member of Wikimedia Taiwan and a core community organizer of OpenStreetMap meetup in Taiwan. His day job is tech reporter and in his spare time, recently, he likes to review the edit of OpenStreetMap around Taiwan. Promoting Wikidata of Taiwan is one of his main focuses, making sure the Taiwan related-items are all well-organized. Josiline Chigwada is the Sub Librarian for Information services at Bindura University of Science Education Library in Zimbabwe. She holds a Doctor of Literature and Philosophy in Information Science from the University of South Africa (UNISA). Her research interests are value addition, open science, research data management, information literacy, indigenous knowledge, advocacy, marketing library products and services, and the changing role of librarians. She has a keen interest in promoting open science among researchers in Zimbabwe.

Empowering Portugal’s bombeiros with open data

- September 21, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018, Open Mapping, Portugal

[contact-form] [contact-form]

How Fogos.pt is providing an accessible fire map

  This blog has been reposted from the Mapbox blog.

In Portugal, a free, open source project is making official fire data more accessible to firefighters, emergency workers, journalists, and the public. Fogos.pt has gained significant traction, receiving as many as a million views a day and half a million unique users a month. We caught up with the creator, João Pina, to learn more. 

What’s the backstory on Fogos.pt?

It started with a conversation over dinner, in 2015, with friends who are bombeiros — firefighters — and other emergency responders from the national medical emergency institute. They are good people who work a lot, with low pay and high risk. They were frustrated that in order to get information about fires, they had to go to the civil protection authority website and download PDFs. So I decided to build a website version for them. My goal was to create an easier way to use trustworthy, official data to provide real-time information about the fires to professionals and civilians.

Since then it’s grown over the years, with help from a bunch of contributors on GitHub. In 2016, I released an Android and iOS application, with push notifications alerts for fire outbreaks. With the rising number of users and open source contributors, Fogos.pt is adding more features. That’s the power of an open source community project — the people who use it can build features they need and make them available for everyone. Even just sharing insights on GitHub can inspire great new features.

Where does the data come from?

The fire data comes from open data released by the official authorities in Portugal. I also added data layers for weather like temperature, precipitation, and cloud cover from OpenWeatherMap, which offered to sponsor the project. I was using Google Maps for the basemap, but it became too expensive for a non-commercial project without funding.

How was the move to Mapbox?

The first time I heard about Mapbox was at an event in Oporto for Open Data Day in March this year. Some participants who contribute to OpenStreetMap recommended Mapbox as a basemap and explained how Mapbox supports open source and open data. I then contacted the Community team to ask if they could support this as a non-profit project.

For Fogos.pt, I’ve used Mapbox basemap tiles with Leaflet.js — which I used because it is easier to work with the data from OpenWeatherMap. Mapbox has some very cool and powerful tools — my favorite feature has been the customizability of layers and map controls. All the tools are very user-friendly and the migration from Google Maps was seamless and smooth.

The biggest challenge for a backend developer like me is frontend skills. Open sourcing the project was the solution. People were very generous contributing their work and it became much more user-friendly and accessible — special thanks to my friend Isa Costa, a talented web designer at Bright Pixel, who helped a lot with this.

How’s the map been performing during this year’s fire season?

There’s a lot of traffic that comes from social media — from the map being shared on Twitter and Facebook. The news is increasingly starting to use and promote the map. Phrases about fires are some of the most common web searches in Portugal right now — and Fogos.pt appears there most of the time. There’s also a lot of direct traffic from embassy websites because they list Fogos.pt as a resource to help travelers to stay safe.

The last few months have been the high season for fires in Portugal. Daily traffic has been very high — and increasing. When there are major fires, there’s been upwards of a million map views a day. Last month, there were over 560,000 unique visitors to the webpage alone — a minimum of 6,700 per day. Everything is working without hiccups and the goal is to maintain that.

Coverage from Sapo24 & PC Guia

What’s next?

I’d like to create sibling projects, for example for floods, droughts, and medical emergencies — and maybe try out some other Mapbox tools, like heatmaps. I’m also using Fogos.pt as an opportunity to support a civil education initiative that informs people what to do in case of the fire and what they can do to avoid it, called aldeiasegura — ‘safe village.’

Many people ask me whether Fogos.pt could be available in other countries. There’s a challenge with data access in some countries — not all authorities release fire data as openly and quickly as in Portugal, so it is harder to recreate something like this. And I’m only one — I would like to see more developers in other countries use Fogos.pt to build disaster maps for their communities. A simple map can have such an impact to help others, and working with the open source community can help you bring everything to a whole new level. People want to help.

João Pina is a web developer based in Aveiro, Portugal. If you want to work on disaster maps with open data and Mapbox, get in touch with João and the Mapbox Community team.

 

Creativity and mobile solutions can help combat road accidents

- May 10, 2018 in namibia, Open Data Day, open data day 2018, Open Mapping

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The event in this blog was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Mapping theme. The 4th Open Data Day celebration in Namibia was held on 2nd – 5th March 2018, under the theme Better Public Transportation and Safer Roads. The initiative had been organized by the Namibia Open Data Community in collaboration with Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST). The event was attended by over 80 people and brought about diverse stakeholders, from all walks of life; including lawmakers and academicians. The event was structured as follows:

Opening day

The event started with a stakeholder meeting and official opening, which aimed at getting the various stakeholders to discuss how opportunities public data present and how this can be exploited to reduce/end road accidents in Namibia and beyond. The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Stanley Mutumba Simataa, Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), in which he states the benefits of open data: “On the broader societal level, giving citizens access to data to freely use and /or share will promote innovation, induce the development of more businesses and help entrepreneurs develop products and services not yet imagined… In Namibia open data can unleash Opportunities – Opportunities that will allow access to information, promote accountability, enhance transparency and of course enable the citizenry to hold government to account.” In his welcoming remarks Prof Tjama Tjivukua, Vice Chancellor (NUST) highlighted that: “These prototypes or solutions are absolutely necessary in a big country with a small population and fairly good roads, relatively speaking, but the highest deaths per capita in the world. Namibia is the “capital of death by road”.”

Hackathon

The hackathon began: about 40 developers attended, forming 5 teams. The teams worked on diverse solutions, ranging from solutions that keep drivers focus on the road to solutions leveraging on AR (augmented reality) to provide a gamified experience to users. Making use of datasets provided by Gondwana Collection: Namibia Safari and Lodges and MVA Fund. The teams continued to work on their respective solutions throughout the night and the following day. After 24-hours of coding, the teams had an opportunity to go out test their solutions with real users. Thus, get useful feedback, which they used to improve their solutions.

Pitches and results

After two full days of hacking, the 5 teams had an opportunity to pitch their solutions to a full mobile lab at Namibia Business Innovation Institute. The pitches were judged primary on three criteria; viability, creativity and ability to solve a problem. The team which scooped the first prize was G2SA, consisting of Gatsen Tjirare, Albertus Coetzee, Saimie Kevanhu, Nathan Dasneves and Gabriel Kamenye were awarded N$ 7 000 because their project had met the requirements and utilized the data given to them to come forth with a solution which is feasible and user-friendly. The runners up were Cheap High Qualities Software received N$ 2 500. The prizes were sponsored by Developer Circles from Facebook and Green Enterprise Solutions.

The winning solution

An augmented reality application that augments the map of Namibia with digital information regarding road safety and additional information for tourists or travellers, based on a dataset provided by Gondwana. Additionally, a driver assistant that acts a sensor to detect road signs and distance of cars ahead, which then notifies the user. This application is tied to gamification, rewarding drivers with points for safe driving. Click here for a video of the application or download the app directly.

Runners-up solution

Data visualization is an important tool for understanding large datasets. This application is a temporal-spatial visualization of vehicle-related accidents in Namibia. The data was scraped from tables in a 2016 MVA Fund publication titled “Road Crash and Claims Report.” By representing the data in a multidimensional format, we provide deeper insight into the problem says the developers. With insight comes understanding, and with understanding we can develop a solution.

Conclusion

To ensure that the solutions developed during this hackathon gets to market, we have deliberately availed the solutions to enable potential drivers to test them out. Moreover, we have also approached the different stakeholders such as the Motor Vehicle Accident fund to use the solution to visualize road accidents in real-time. Though, the event was a great success, we have learnt so much, tackling the challenge of road accidents requires diverse skills, we had more hackers than people from other disciplines. In the future events, we have to find ways to get more people from other disciplines also involved. We have been hosting the Open Data Day, since 2015. This year’ event was very successful: it can only get better from here.

Creativity and mobile solutions can help combat road accidents

- May 10, 2018 in namibia, Open Data Day, open data day 2018, Open Mapping

This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The event in this blog was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Mapping theme. The 4th Open Data Day celebration in Namibia was held on 2nd – 5th March 2018, under the theme Better Public Transportation and Safer Roads. The initiative had been organized by the Namibia Open Data Community in collaboration with Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST). The event was attended by over 80 people and brought about diverse stakeholders, from all walks of life; including lawmakers and academicians. The event was structured as follows:

Opening day

The event started with a stakeholder meeting and official opening, which aimed at getting the various stakeholders to discuss how opportunities public data present and how this can be exploited to reduce/end road accidents in Namibia and beyond. The keynote address was delivered by Honourable Stanley Mutumba Simataa, Minister of Information Communication Technology (ICT), in which he states the benefits of open data: “On the broader societal level, giving citizens access to data to freely use and /or share will promote innovation, induce the development of more businesses and help entrepreneurs develop products and services not yet imagined… In Namibia open data can unleash Opportunities – Opportunities that will allow access to information, promote accountability, enhance transparency and of course enable the citizenry to hold government to account.” In his welcoming remarks Prof Tjama Tjivukua, Vice Chancellor (NUST) highlighted that: “These prototypes or solutions are absolutely necessary in a big country with a small population and fairly good roads, relatively speaking, but the highest deaths per capita in the world. Namibia is the “capital of death by road”.”

Hackathon

The hackathon began: about 40 developers attended, forming 5 teams. The teams worked on diverse solutions, ranging from solutions that keep drivers focus on the road to solutions leveraging on AR (augmented reality) to provide a gamified experience to users. Making use of datasets provided by Gondwana Collection: Namibia Safari and Lodges and MVA Fund. The teams continued to work on their respective solutions throughout the night and the following day. After 24-hours of coding, the teams had an opportunity to go out test their solutions with real users. Thus, get useful feedback, which they used to improve their solutions.

Pitches and results

After two full days of hacking, the 5 teams had an opportunity to pitch their solutions to a full mobile lab at Namibia Business Innovation Institute. The pitches were judged primary on three criteria; viability, creativity and ability to solve a problem. The team which scooped the first prize was G2SA, consisting of Gatsen Tjirare, Albertus Coetzee, Saimie Kevanhu, Nathan Dasneves and Gabriel Kamenye were awarded N$ 7 000 because their project had met the requirements and utilized the data given to them to come forth with a solution which is feasible and user-friendly. The runners up were Cheap High Qualities Software received N$ 2 500. The prizes were sponsored by Developer Circles from Facebook and Green Enterprise Solutions.

The winning solution

An augmented reality application that augments the map of Namibia with digital information regarding road safety and additional information for tourists or travellers, based on a dataset provided by Gondwana. Additionally, a driver assistant that acts a sensor to detect road signs and distance of cars ahead, which then notifies the user. This application is tied to gamification, rewarding drivers with points for safe driving. Click here for a video of the application or download the app directly.

Runners-up solution

Data visualization is an important tool for understanding large datasets. This application is a temporal-spatial visualization of vehicle-related accidents in Namibia. The data was scraped from tables in a 2016 MVA Fund publication titled “Road Crash and Claims Report.” By representing the data in a multidimensional format, we provide deeper insight into the problem says the developers. With insight comes understanding, and with understanding we can develop a solution.

Conclusion

To ensure that the solutions developed during this hackathon gets to market, we have deliberately availed the solutions to enable potential drivers to test them out. Moreover, we have also approached the different stakeholders such as the Motor Vehicle Accident fund to use the solution to visualize road accidents in real-time. Though, the event was a great success, we have learnt so much, tackling the challenge of road accidents requires diverse skills, we had more hackers than people from other disciplines. In the future events, we have to find ways to get more people from other disciplines also involved. We have been hosting the Open Data Day, since 2015. This year’ event was very successful: it can only get better from here.

How open data and mapping using OpenStreetMap can aid development in Tanzania

- May 9, 2018 in Open Data Day, open data day 2018, Open Mapping, tanzania

This blog has been reposted from the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team website This blog is part of the event report series on International Open Data Day 2018. On Saturday 3 March, groups from around the world organised over 400 events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. 45 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by Hivos, SPARC, Mapbox, the Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The event in this blog was supported through the mini-grants scheme under the Open Mapping theme.
To commemorate Open Data Day on March 3rd, Crowd2Map and Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) Tanzania organised a free 3 day training conference on how open data and mapping using OpenStreetMap can aid development in Tanzania. Over 90 people from across Tanzania attended the event at the Institute of Rural Development Planning in Mwanza, including community mapping groups from Kigoma, Kagera, Mara and other regions, students from IRDP Mwanza and Dodoma, as well as representatives from Tanzania Red Cross, Tanzania Wildlife Service, Uwezo and many other organisations.

Community Mappers and Youth Mappers receive printed Field Papers of their districts

The training was delivered by Amelia Hunt and Johannes Peters from HOT and covered topics such as what open data is available in Tanzania, what is OpenStreetMap and how it can help Tanzania; how to map your area using satellite images on a laptop; free apps on your phone; and printed Field Papers; and how to create printed village and district level maps. There were a combination of demonstrations, talks and practical workshops, including a session mapping in the field in the area around the campus. Community groups who have benefited from phones and laptops provided by a HOT Microgrant and the Nethope Device Challenge programme learnt how to make the best use of this technology to put their communities on the map for better navigation, planning and development of their areas.

Johanes Peters from Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team Tanzania provides training on OpenStreetMap

There were also talks by Jonarda Ngissa from Uwezo Tanzania on their citizen led educational assessments, and from Neema Meremo from Hope for Girls and Women Tanzania on how mapping can help protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation.

Talk from Neema Meremo: Mapping to Fight FGM and the Role of Female Mappers

Evaluations showed that people had learnt a great deal from the training and comments included “it will help me be a better planner for my country”, “now I can teach others to improve our development” and “mapping is useful to indicate which water points are functioning, so we can improve access in Tanzania”. Everyone indicated they would like further such training, and so we hope that many will be able to attend FOSS4G and HOT conference in Dar es Salaam in August.