#OpenDataDay 16 in Quito, connecting people and data-driven ideas

This post was written by Julio López P – 2015 School of Data Fellow. Julio is currentl working on energy information management and capacity building projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

See post in Spanish on ILDA’s (Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos) blog


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In 2016, the Quito open data community  joined the worldwide celebrations for Open Data Day. It all started a month ago with an online call from School of Data and the MediaLab UIO to collect ideas and proposals to organise the event in our city.On Saturday, 5 March 2016, around 80 people joined our event, which included two opening presentations about the potential of Open Data in Ecuador and four interactive workshops. Here we share some details:

Mapping Quito

A civic mapping workshop was led by the MediaLab UIO, who shared their experiences on how to map and collect data around urban issues and groups and also invited participants to contribute with ideas for future mapping projects. The Latin American and the Caribbean Youth Network on Climate Change (CLIC) joined the workshop to share their project YoutHAB, a conference for groups of young people working towards sustainable urban development that will take place in Quito this year along with the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III.

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Data Science and Python

Learning coding with Python may not be at the top of your list, but Carlos De Smedt (Atikux, @wikicarlos), an Ecuadorian developer, shared his knowledge with a bunch of people interested in using this tool to do scraping and other tricks to use data in different ways. They also had time to talk about data science and its possible applications.

How to manage open data?

anaging data is not an easy task. We had a team from ThoughtWorks Ecuador who shared an open tool to find (CSV, Excel, APIs), use and visualize data from open data portals. They used a dataset from the World Bank on foreign debt to show participants how to use this tool to create a simple model to work with these data as they would do in a company.

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Working in Quito

Data Driven Journalism

In the region we have some fact checking projects, such as Chequeando, El Sabueso and Ojo Bionico. During the ODD16,  a new fact checking project called El Verificador – Gkillcity was attended and presented. They had fun listening to a TV programme from the Presidency of Ecuador that is broadcast on Saturdays to get material to fact check. They identified 14 facts and checked five using public data, we hope that they will publish the results soon.

All of these presenters showed how interesting it is to work with data and data-driven projects (thanks for that!). We had lots of fun and mostly people enjoyed the idea of having these type of events organised by local communities to share and spread their knowledge and explore common ideas around open data.

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The local community around open data is growing in Quito and surely more proposals and events are just around the corner! Let’s keep an eye on it!

I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the organisation of the event: Ivan Terceros, Ruben Zavala and Pablo Escandón (MediaLab UIO); Lisette Arevalo, Isabel Jervis, Rodney Espinosa, Denise Valle, Lorena Serrano and Doménica Garcés (GkillCity); Carlos De Smedt (Atikux); Carlos Fuentes, Mauricio Murillo, Gabriela Chasifan and Byron Torres (ThoughWorks Ecuador); Ana Cristina Benalcazar, Margarita Yepez, Roberto Madera and Christian Lopez (YoutHAB) and Susana Guevara (Fundación Telefónica Ecuador).

Special thanks to Open Knowledge International and the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) for funding this event and CIESPAL (MediaLab Uio) for letting us use their building.

To follow the activities on twitter: @OpenDataEc  #ODDEc . See more pictures of the event

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