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CKAN Hackathon and Local Group launch, Dublin

Denis Parfenov - September 27, 2013 in CKAN, OKF Ireland, Sprint / Hackday

The following is cross-posted from the Open Government Partnership blog

A CKAN hackathon is taking place on Saturday, 28th September at TCube in Dublin, bringing together IT specialists, political representatives and members of the public with an interest in making data open.

Developers, designers, journalists, academics, policy makers, creative thinkers, civil servants, entrepreneurs and interested parties are invited to the event which aims to provide the people of Ireland with a single access point to the information collected by their government by deploying a Central Open Data Portal. Open, usable and available knowledge will lead to greater transparency for Irish citizens and accountability from Irish representatives.

We strongly believe that comprehensive and meaningful information has the potential to empower better evidence-based decision-making for all of us: about the food we buy and eat, the services we enlist, choices about healthcare and education that we make, the pension plans we decide to invest in, and the public representatives we elect. Better information empowers us to be better consumers, clients, patients, students, investors and active citizens.

The event is co-organised by the ‘Open Data Ireland’ community and the Open Knowledge Foundation with the support of Fingal County Council, ESRI Ireland and The Irish Organisation for Geographic Information (IRLOGI).

The hackathon will review information that is already publicly available and launch a local Open Knowledge Foundation Network Local Group which will encourage the development of open knowledge in Ireland.

You can register for the event here, and follow #okfnIRL for updates on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s activities in Ireland.

Open Education Handbook Booksprint

Marieke Guy - September 5, 2013 in Linked Up, Sprint / Hackday, WG Open Education

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Yesterday seventeen open education experts came together to begin writing the Open Education Handbook. The handbook is part of the LinkedUp project, and the project team have chosen to also make it one of the first activities of the soon-to-be-launched Open Education Working Group. The handbook takes the form of an open, living document and it made sense to start the process through a collaborative effort – in the form of a booksprint.

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The booksprint methodology (initiated by Adam Hyde of booksprints.net) involves moving from zero to published book in 3-5 days. It was decided to take a less-pressurised and more collaborative approach to writing the Open Education Handbook handbook. By kickstarting with a mini-one-day-booksprint we could get the initial outline of the handbook, the final edited version will be written collaboratively over a longer time period of time (with a final version delivered October next year). The booksprint was held at C4CC in London and open education experts from many different sectors (commercial, academic, government, not-for profit) were invited to attend.

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Details of the day’s agenda are available on the LinkedUp blog, but the result was a lot of brainstorming and discussion, a brilliant community-building day and over 30 pages of outline and written text.

If you are interested in hearing more about the Open Education Handbook or would like to contribute to it then join the Open Education Working Group mailing list for updates. The Open Education Working Group will be officially launched at OKCon at a panel session on open education.

Images: Illustrations by Kevin Mears, photos OKFN, all CC-BY

City Spending Party around the world

Anders Pedersen - July 26, 2013 in Events, Featured, OKF Japan, OKF Nepal, Open Spending, Sprint / Hackday

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Last weekend more than a hundred budget nerds and engaged citizens gathered at 20 spending data parties to open up city spending and budgets. From Lagos to Kathmandu groups dived into budget data across the OpenSpending community as part of this first global City Spending Data Party from July 19 to July 21. The spending parties helped bring the number of cities on OpenSpending to 119. Here is our wrap up from the City Spending Data Party across the OpenSpending community.

Kathmandu

In Kathmandu, Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal organised a two day spending party for civic coders, journalists and students focusing on Kathmandu Metropolitan. Coders opened up the city budget from PDF-documents, while tackling tough language issues as documents were not published in nepali unicode. The team detected significant year to year rises in Infrastructure and Development spending as well as in the salaries of employees. On the last day for than 20 participants and journalists attended the presentation of the work. Read the full report from the Spending Party in Kathmandu here.

Lagos

In Lagos the amazing visualisation team at BudgIT hosted a spending party to compare several years of expenditure and revenue data from the city. The team used the spending time to code a tool that will help other groups to build more visualisations using data stored in OpenSpending.

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Tel Aviv and San Fransisco

As part of the City Spending Party, Hasadna organised hackathons between Tel Aviv and the Jewish community of San Francisco. In Israel 120 participants worked in six teams on open data projects. One of the teams worked on the Open Muni budget, which is a new app for municipal budgets developed by Hasadna. In San Francisco 60 people worked on two projects, one of which was the Open Muni project around budgetary data imports and translations. The Hasadna team worked also with Marc Joffe and David Zbikowski on Californian city data from the Public Sector Credit project.

Toronto

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In Toronto Gabe Sawhney organised a hackathon focusing on the budget of the city as well as lobbyist registry data. The team parsed the 2012 city budget from a messy bunch of Excel files, and uploaded it to OpenSpending producing a treemap and as well as a visualization with d3.js (see dataviz above). Read the report from Toronto here.

Tokyo

The OpenSpending community of the Open Knowledge Foundation Local Group Japan is rapidly growing and threw a full scale one and a half day spending party at Yahoo Japan. There were 50 participants from across the country, including elected officials from three local prefectures around Tokyo.

At the party 15 cities started loading data into OpenSpending and 8 cities completed their own Where Does My Money Go? site, which enables citizens to see where their taxes are spent locally. Koganei city created a spending site that invites citizens to comment on the budget, a model which was pioneered earlier this year by OpenBudgetOakland, another member of the OpenSpending community. The spending party also began taking on some of the more challenging issues. Japanese cities do not have coherent budget classifications the community will therefore begin to explore how budgets across cities can be compared. Coders at the spending party also made several contributions to the OpenSpending codebase and contributors from Open Knowledge Japan have taken on the important task of making the OpenSpending Satellite site more user friendly by adding several new features. The spending party was covered by the national broadcaster NHK and by the participants in their own Storify.

Is your city missing?

Besides the events featured above, the City Spending Party also included numerous projects from members taking their city budgets into their own hands with the help from the OpenSpending community. From Minsk to Brazil community members worked on city budgets, and one week after the spending party dots are still being added to the world map of cities. You can find the full list of participating groups here.

Is your city spending party missing from our wrap up? We still want to hear your spending party report! Or if you want to organise your own spending party, then get in touch.

Wrapping up Open Data Day 2013

Beatrice Martini - February 28, 2013 in Events, Featured, Meetups, Sprint / Hackday, Workshop

Open Data Day 2013 took place on the 23rd of February – and it was great!

From curious citizens to journalists, tech-geeks to scientists, designers to data wranglers, hundreds of people got together to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.

Some met at one of the more than one hundred offline events organised all around the world from Norway to Uganda, other ones joined collective projects online, all working to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data.

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Open Knowledge Foundation events on Open Data Day

Lots of members of the Open Knowledge Foundation network organised (crowded!) offline events on Open Data Day. We invited them to share with us some of their outcomes, and we’re proud to list a selection of them here on our blog.

London

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The London event hosted at the Centre for Creative Collaboration C4CC brought together people from diverse backgrounds of skills & interests – data journalists, opengov enthusiasts, coders and non-coders alike. The projects developed during the day included health data hacks looking into homoeopathy datasets with representatives from both NHS Hack Day & MJ Analytics, and map-data hacks using OpenStreetMap data. And the best find of the day? Jamaica’s excellent Sports data API, discovered via the Open Data Census!

Berlin

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The Open Knowledge Foundation Deutschland organised an event at the Zeit ONLINE HQ (with the newsroom at work just behind the wall). Many projects kept the attendees busy during the day, including the Open Data Census, Frag den Staat, OffeneDaten.de, School of Data, and BundesGit. The day ended with a presentation of all the projects developed during the day, and a lovely global note.

Amsterdam

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In Amsterdam, the Open Knowledge Foundation cooperated with the Waag Society to provide a full day of activities with and around open data. As part of the OKF project School of Data, a team investigated so called ‘Letterbox companies’, companies registering themselves in the Netherlands without actually being based there only because of tax benefits (for example, Facebook). The Smart CitySDK project aimed to define services that can help open up data in the fields of Participation, Mobility and Tourism in various cities in Europe. Pictures and further details from the day are on the Dutch OKF Local Group’s blog.

Vienna

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The OKF Austrian Local Group organised a two-day event in Vienna, focusing on big data and poverty and transparency in public finance data. Representatives of the World Bank and the Development Department of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) joined the discussion on the use of big data analysis to inform the work of development organisations and policy makers trying to tackle poverty issues. Hacking time was dedicated to work on a variety of ideas, including the visualization of data from Austrian municipalities as part of the OpenSpending project. More about it on the group’s blog.

Paris

OKF France had a great Open Data Day in Paris. They learned about how to contribute to the global open database of food products Open Food Facts (slide deck, in French) and how to use open source mapping software QGis to map election results and movie shootings in Paris. They also identified data on energy consumption, released more data to their CKAN platform NosDonnées.fr and started the translation of OKF’s Data Journalism Handbook. Congratulations!

Japan

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OKF Japan was involved as organiser or supporter of Open Data Day events in eight (!) cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Chiba, Nagoya, Sabae, Aizuwakamatsu, Fukuoka and Aomori (prefecture). The day produced tonnes of outcomes, from the development of applications using open data, to the visualization of data focusing on Japanese cities and analysis of the published results. Simply awesome. More about it on their dedicated website.

And what about the Open Data Census Challenge?

Do you remember the Open Data Census Challenge that we promoted to celebrate this year’s Open Data Day? A blog post about it and the most recent Census’ development happened on Open Data Day is coming soon!

And there’s more!

More than one hundred events took place on Open Data Day 2013, many of them organised by good friends of ours. We were especially excited by the Washington event which brought together GovTrack, Sunlight Foundation, USAID, Millennium Challenge Corporation and The World Bank for a thrilling line up; the Dublin event, organised by the Open Data Ireland community, where ten projects were pitched ranging from Swing States (mapping historical projection of voting patterns) to Hospital Dashboard (comparing hospital waiting times for private and public patients by hospital); and the initiative coordinated by our friends at Fond Otakara Motejla, where they launched a campaign to get the Czech government to keep it’s open promises.

Want to read about all the rest of the global buzz? Find more of them on the Open Data Day 2013 Wiki and Map, and join the conversation on the mailing list to discuss about your ideas and projects with the Open Data Day community and get ready for a great Open Data Day 2014! See you next year!

Open Data Day 2013

Beatrice Martini - January 23, 2013 in Events, Featured, Meetups, OKF Projects, Open Data, Sprint / Hackday

Saturday 23rd February is Open Data Day 2013! Open Data Day is a gathering of citizens in cities around the world to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption of open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.

The events are open to anyone: from curious citizens to journalists, tech-geeks to scientists, designers to data wranglers. Swing by on the day to hack, have a hangout and wrangle with us!

At the Open Knowledge Foundation we’ve been involved in Open Data Days since they started two years ago and this year will be no exception (we are also proud to be able to contribute to making Open Data Day happen by hosting the mailing list and website).

Around the World

There are Open Data Day events taking place all around the world. We’re especially excited to see several members of the Open Knowledge Foundation network are organizing events – including ones in Vienna, London, Berlin and more – further details below!

London

We’ll be organizing an Open Data Day event in London. For full details, including information about sign up form and location, please go to our Open Data Day 2013 – London page.

Among other things we’ll be looking at PyBossa & the Crowdcrafting platform for creating citizen science apps, data wrangling some Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) open data, the Open Research Data Handbook, and the Open Data Census (see below).

We’ll end the day with a live link-up to Creative Commons, San Francisco to join with their Open Data Day activities.

Berlin

Open Knowledge Foundation Germany are organizing a event focusing on a variety of projects, from the collaborative creation of a list of the 10 Hottest Datasets under the guidance of Michael Kreil from OpenDataCities to a Frag den Staat hackathon run by Stefan Wehrmeyer.

Where: Zeit Online HQ

Signup: Open Data Day 2013 – OKFN Berlin

Open Data Census – join the challenge!

As a part of Open Data Day 2013 we bring you the Open Data Census Challenge. It’s easy, it’s funny – and anyone can play along. The best Open Data Census Detective will be announced to the world on the Open Knowledge Foundation blog!

Want to take part in the Open Data Census Challenge?
Join now!

Get in touch!

Got a question or want to get in touch for any other reason?

Ask on the Open Data Day mailing list

Drop a line to the Open Data Day Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation – Beatrice Martini or tweet to @OKFN with the hashtag #OpenDataDay.

Urban Data Challenge

Theodora Middleton - January 18, 2013 in External, Sprint / Hackday, WG Open Transport

Calling all Transport Hackers!

The Urban Data Challenge has launched, a semi-competitive open transport data hacking spree featuring datasets from San Francisco, Geneva, and Zurich. The idea is to merge and compare the mobility datasets, and see what new insights can be drawn.

From their website:

Buses, trams, bicycles, pedestrians, and cars zoom about modern cities like blood pulsing through the body. But with urban growth comes challenges—one of them is how to improve transportation. Luckily, advances in technology combined with active open data and open source movements mean the citizenry can increasingly become part of the solution. Unclog the arteries, stimulate circulation.
Winning projects will showcase the power of open governmental data and facilitate the knowledge exchange between cities. Juried prizes include round-trip airfare to one of the participating cities and funding from Fusepool, the European / Swiss Datapool, for developing the project into an app.Winning projects will showcase the power of open governmental data and facilitate the knowledge exchange between cities. Juried prizes include round-trip airfare to one of the participating cities and funding from Fusepool, the European / Swiss Datapool, for developing the project into an app.

Check out the website for more details, and have a look at this great visualisation of citizen mobility through cellular data “Ville Vivante”, for a bit of inspiration!

Ville Vivante Trailer from Interactive Things on Vimeo.

Open Research Data Handbook Sprint – 15-16 February

Velichka Dimitrova - January 16, 2013 in Events, Featured, Open Data Handbook, Open Economics, Open Science, Open Standards, Sprint / Hackday, WG Development, WG Economics, WG Open Bibliographic Data, WG Open Data in Science

On February 15-16, the Open Research Data Handbook Sprint will happen at the Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London EC2A 4JE.

The Open Research Data Handbook aims to provide an introduction to the processes, tools and other areas that researchers need to consider to make their research data openly available.

Join us for a book sprint to develop the current draft, and explore ways to remix it for different disciplines and contexts.

Who it is for:

  • Researchers interested in carrying out their work in more open ways
  • Experts on sharing research and research data
  • Writers and copy editors
  • Web developers and designers to help present the handbook online
  • Anyone else interested in taking part in an intense and collaborative weekend of action

Register at Eventbrite

What will happen:

The main sprint will take place on Friday and Saturday. After initial discussions we’ll divide into open space groups to focus on research, writing and editing for different chapters of the handbook, developing a range of content including How To guidance, stories of impact, collections of links and decision tools.

A group will also look at digital tools for presenting the handbook online, including ways to easily tag content for different audiences and remix the guide for different contexts.

Agenda:

Week before & after:

  • Calling for online contributions and reviews

Friday:

  • Seminar or bring your own lunch on open research data.
  • From 2pm: planning and initial work in the handbook in small teams (optional)

Saturday:

  • 10.00 – 10:30: Arrive and coffee
  • 10.30 – 11.30: Introducing open research – lightning talks
  • 11.30 – 13:30: Forming teams and starting sprint. Groups on:
    • Writing chapters
    • Decision tools
    • Building website & framework for book
    • Remixing guide for particular contexts
  • 13.30 – 14:30: Lunch
  • 14.30 – 16:30: Working in teams
  • 17.30 – 18:30: Report back
  • 18:30 – …… : Pub

Partners:

OKF Open Science Working Group – creators of the current Open Research Data Handbook
OKF Open Economic Working Group – exploring economics aspects of open research
Open Data Research Network - exploring a remix of the handbook to support open social science
research in a new global research network, focussed on research in the Global South.
Open Data Institute – hosting the event

For Australian Data Geeks, an OpenStreetMap Hackathon in Melbourne this January

Kat Braybrooke - December 14, 2012 in Events, OKF Australia, Sprint / Hackday

Living in Australia? Local Group organisers in the region are organising an all-day hackathon on Saturday, January 5th 2013 from 10 am onwards to create an OpenStreetMap-based bicycle map of Melbourne, and they want you to get involved.

The OKFN Australia Local Group will need data geeks, cartographers, programmers, graphic designers, sysadmins and most importantly Melburnians to help design and produce a beautiful paper map useful for the city’s cyclists, so now is your chance to get involved if you’re in the area!

The OKFN Australia Local Group has a few reasons for wanting to make this map. In their own words:

  1. “Melbourne has been a-changing (and will continue to change, a good thing) – we just need all those changes from the past year put down in single piece of paper
  2. There is lots of great open data in OpenStreetMap we can use to create a rider friendly map.
  3. This effort is the first of a dozen ‘Open Knowledge’ projects that the Melbourne chapter of the Open Knowledge Foundation is undertaking this year, e.g. one for each month in 2013 (subscribe to this blog for more).
  4. We like maps and we like data and getting together with a community of like-minded Melburnians who want to share their knowledge about Melbourne is great fun
  5. We think this map expertise will be the base of several other ‘Open Knowledge’ projects will do around adding data to maps, e.g. historical walk map through Melbourne, culinary food trails, etc…!”

The tasks of the day are simple:

  • a) To identify the tools needed to create a map from OpenStreetMap data
  • b) To design a beautiful map style, and to make the cartography as professional as possible
  • c) To display the most useful parts of the map into a compelling, two-sided design
  • d) To assemble the tool pipeline to produce an image ready to go to printers

The final aim of the day? Each participant will be able to print themselves a map of the best cycle routes in Melbourne!

Hackathon organisers encourage everyone who would like to know more about Melbourne and how to map data onto a map to join. As head organiser David Flanders notes, “We don’t know what will come of the day, but if enough of us get together we are confident that by the end of the day we’ll have a map that we can all use in our day-to-day – or at least all have a much better understanding of Melbourne and what cycle routes go through it!”

For more details and to RSVP for this event, go to its Meetup page – and do be sure to say hello on the public OKFN AU discussion list. Announcements will also be posted via the #OKFNau tag on Twitter.

Image thanks to Andrew Robinson.

Following Money and Influence in the EU: The Open Interests Europe Hackathon

Liliana Bounegru - November 29, 2012 in Data Journalism, Events, Featured, Open Data, Open Government Data, Open/Closed, Sprint / Hackday

This blog post is cross-posted from the Data-driven Journalism Blog.

Making sense of massive datasets that document the processes of lobbying and public procurement at European Union level is not an easy task. Yet a group of 25 journalists, developers, graphic designers and activists worked together at the Open Interests Europe hackathon last weekend to create tools and maps that make it easier for citizens and journalists to see how lobbyists try to influence European policies and to understand how governments award contracts for public services. The hackathon was organised by the European Journalism Centre and the Open Knowledge Foundation with support from Knight-Mozilla OpenNews.

At the Google Campus Cafe in London, one group dived into European lobbying data made available via an API: api.lobbyfacts.eu. Created by a group of five NGOs: Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, Lobby Control, Tactical Tech and the Open Knowledge Foundation, the API gives access to up-to-date, structured information about persons and organisations registered as lobbyists in the EU Transparency Register. The API is part of lobbyfacts.eu, a website that aims to make it easy for anyone to track lobbyists and their influence at European Union level, due to launch in January 2013.

One of the projects created with the lobby register data is a map showing the locations of the offices of lobby firms based on their turnover. The size of the bubbles on the map corresponds to the turnover of the firm. Built by Friedrich Lindenberg, the map is an overlay of a Stamen Design map with Leafletjs.

Screenshot of api.lobbyfacts.eu/map showing locations of lobbying firms across Europe

Other teams focused on data analysis, comparing the data from the EU Transparency Register with that of the Register of Expert Groups. Interesting leads for possible further investigative work resulted from the comparison of the figures reported by lobby firms in the Transparency Register with those collected by the National Bank of Belgium. “Some companies underreported massively to the National Bank of Belgium and some of them were making themselves look bigger in the Transparency Register,” said Eric Wesselius, leader of the lobby transparency challenge and co-founder of Corporate Europe Observatory. Wesselius’ organisation will continue investigations in this area.

A second group of journalists and graphic designers led by Jack Thurston, an activist involved in Fishsubsidy.org, discussed how fish subsidy data could be used for finding journalistic stories and explored various ways in which the unintended consequences of the EU fish subsidies programme, such as overfishing, could be compellingly presented to the general public.  

Sketch for interactive graphic showing fishing vessels, their trajectory and the subsidies they receive, made by graphic designer Helene Sears

A third group looked into European public procurement data. “Public procurement is an area that is underreported by journalists,” said data journalist Anders Pedersen, founder of OpenTED. “9-25% of the GDP in the EU is procurement – highest in the Netherlands where it is around 35%. It’s a real issue in times of austerity who provides our services,” he added.

Several scrapers were built to access the data relating to winners of contracts and the values of these contracts from the EU publication TED (Tenders Electronic Daily). A map of public procurement contracts by awarding city was created using Google Fusion Tables by geocoding the original CSV file, enriched with OpenStreetMap.

Screenshot of map of public procurement contracts by Benjamin Simatos and Martin Stabe

Pedersen’s long term goal is to create an interface and an API for EU public procurement data and to publish some more visualisations. “A lot of the work that got done here [at the hackathon] we would not have gotten done in the next months maybe. It really helped us push far ahead in terms of ideas and in terms of getting stuff done.”

 

Photo of participants at the hackahon by Mehdi Guiraud.

Hackathons: the How To Guide

Herb Lainchbury - October 26, 2012 in External, Sprint / Hackday

Energy & Climate Hackday

Hackathons are a wonderful way to introduce people of all walks to the amazing possibilities of open data. Here in British Columbia we are fortunate to have a very active open data community which has organized and run 17 open data hackathons in the past two years. This year a few of us decided that there was enough demand for hackathons that we wanted to figure out how to scale them out so that a lot more events could be held. We saw lots of people wanting to facilitate and sponsor them, but the hackathon concept was still quite new to them.

We decided that the best way to scale it out was to create more champions and encourage others to hold their own hackathons. As part of that effort we decided that a guide would be a great tool for this purpose. The guide is meant to describe not only how to run a hackathon but why we run them the way we do. Our intention is that our participants walk away from our events inspired and with a new understanding of what open data is and how it can be used to inform, and add value. Our intention with the guide is that other people will take on running their own hackathons and create that same result in their own communities.

So – we’re happy to announce that v1.0 of our Open Data Hackathon How To Guide is ready and available here:

http://goo.gl/W2sr2

Please feel free to use, share, remix, etc..

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