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Notes from Visualizing Europe event, 14th June 2011

Jonathan Gray - June 22, 2011 in Events, Open Data, Visualization, WG Visualisation, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Last week I participated in an event called Visualizing Europe organised by the folks at in association with the Open Knowledge Foundation and Infosthetics.

There were lots of really interesting talks and demos on data visualisation projects from across Europe and around the world – including from David McCandless of Information Is Beautiful (who worked on some of the original designs for and Gregor Aisch of Driven By Data (who is currently working on the new designs for

Gregor’s talk was about the concept of open visualisation – which includes open data, open source visualisation tools and open, collaborative working processes. He also gave a sneak preview of some of the new designs for!

The Open Knowledge Foundation is hugely excited about the potential of open data visualisation technologies to help people explore and analyse open datasets. The opportunity here is enormous – especially given the speed of recent developments in this area!

If you’re interested in meeting others interested in using open tools to visually represent open data, you can join our open-visualisation mailing list!

For more about the event you can see photos here, some of the comments on Twitter here and find more blog posts here, here, here and here. We’ll link to further material from as it becomes available!

Visualizing Europe, Brussels, 14th June 2011

Jonathan Gray - June 7, 2011 in Events, OKI Projects, Open Knowledge Foundation, Visualization, WG Visualisation, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

Next week some of Europe’s leading information designers and data visualisation experts will descend on Brussels for a one-day event showcasing projects and applications which visually represent Europe’s data. The event is organised by in association with the Open Knowledge Foundation and Andrew Vande Moere’s wonderful Infosthetics blog.

Among those presenting are:

Further details (including information on how to request an invitation) are available at:

Europe’s Energy: a new mini-app to put the European energy targets into context

Jonathan Gray - February 4, 2011 in Ideas and musings, OKI Projects, Open Data, Open Government Data, Releases, Sprint / Hackday, Visualization, WG EU Open Data, WG Visualisation, Working Groups

The following post is from Jonathan Gray, Community Coordinator at the Open Knowledge Foundation.

If you hang around any of the Open Knowledge Foundation’s many mailing lists, or if you follow us (or any of our people) on Twitter you may have noticed that we’ve been quietly working very hard on something recently. That ‘something’ is a new mini-project called Europe’s Energy and you can now explore it here:


It is being launched to coincide with a big European Council meeting today, which has energy policy as one of its core topics. The application aims to help to put European energy policy (including the 2020 energy targets) into context, building on the work we did at the Eurostat Hackday in London just before Christmas.

You can use it to:

  • Compare different EU countries in terms of their carbon emissions, renewable energy share, energy dependency, net imports, and progress towards their respective renewables targets
  • Find out how much energy different EU countries consume, how they consume it, and how this has changed in recent years
  • Find out how much energy different EU countries produce, what the energy mix is like in different countries and how this has changed in recent years

The data is mainly from Eurostat, with a few other additional bits and pieces from elsewhere. This is just the beginning of our work in this area, and we’re very interested in looking at more fine-grained data, and new kinds of data. As part of, we’ll be aggregating and providing a single point of access to all kinds of energy-related open data from local, regional and national public bodies from across Europe. So if you’re interested in energy data, watch this space! :-)

If you want to follow our work in this area, you can join our new europes-energy announcement list. If you’d like to contribute to discussion, or you’d like to talk to us more about our work in this area, please do come and say hello on our open-energy discussion list!

Design Meets Data, Berlin, 29th November 2010

Jonathan Gray - October 27, 2010 in Events, OKI Projects, Open Data, Visualization, WG Visualisation, Working Groups, Workshop

We’re helping to organise an event (hopefully a series of events!) about data visualisation in Berlin later this November.

We started doing workshops on open source visualisation technologies in London a few years ago and hope to pick up with more activity in this area very soon! If you’re interested in keeping in getting involved, come and say ‘hello’ on our open-visualisation list!

  • What? Design meets data is a “support group for data and visualization junkies”
  • When? 29th November 2010
  • Where? Erkelenzdamm 59-61 – 10999 Berlin
  • Register? via

From the blurb:

To all designers, developers and other visualization junkies out there: on November 29th, we‘ll serve fresh data in our cozy, spacious office kitchen. You‘ll have the opportunity to get to know people who share your passion. Georgi and Friedrich will talk briefly about their data visualisation projects. Afterwards you‘ll meet the rest of the gang, namely representatives of Open Knowledge Foundation, onformative, pimpmyscience, uberblic labs, Yourneighbours,…


lisa - July 1, 2010 in External, Visualization, WG Visualisation

The following guest post is from David Price, co-founder of Debategraph, a debate tool for visually representing complex debates.

Debategraph provides a novel way for geographically dispersed groups to collaborate in real-time in thinking through complex issues.

It does so by enabling groups of any size to externalise, visualize, question, and evaluate all of the considerations that anyone thinks might be relevant to the issues at hand – and by facilitating an intelligent, constructive dialogue around those issues.

Whether the group is a small team, an organization, a network of organizations, or society as a whole, the ability to augment our individual capacity to choose wisely in the face of the complex, multi-dimensional problems we confront today is ever more pressing.

Peter and I co-founded Debategraph in 2006 with the social entrepreneurial goal of creating a new form of public service communication in which the best arguments on all sides of any policy debate would freely available to all and continuously open to challenge and improvement by all. In the iterative pursuit of this goal, we have been lucky to collaborate on a stimulating range of projects with amongst others: Amanpour on CNN, the Prime Minister’s Office, the White House open government team, The Independent newspaper, and with partners for the European Commission – with all of the public maps forming intersecting parts of a single, emerging graph of thought.

The field in which we are working with other teams is still nascent, and as pioneers together we are still exploring the two-fold challenge of making the tools as simple and natural to use as possible and of cultivating wider literacy and fluency in these structured expressions of thought.

There’s much still to be accomplished with both dimensions of this challenge; however the long-term potential that inspires us to pursue this field can be seen in two of our current projects.

In the first, we are working with the support of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to develop a large scale map of the nuclear politics domain. Although the map is still in the early stages of development it already encompasses over a thousand ideas expressed from multiple perspectives – and its utility will grow significantly as the branches broaden and deepen to capture the expertise embodied in all of the relevant sub-disciplines and all of the different international perspectives on the key policy issues.

In the second, we have seeded a map with the new Coalition’s programme for government – and subsequently the Bills set out in the Queen’s Speech and the spending cuts proposed – offering a tantalising glimpse of how this collaborative mapping approach could be applied to track the entire policy agenda of the government across its full term in office.

New policy proposals can be added to the map as they emerge, and the map can track what happens when the proposals are implemented. Contradictions and inconsistencies between the measures being developed in different departments of government can be highlighted, and granular ratings can be used to signal the levels of support and opposition for the individual proposals and the salient reasons for this support or opposition.

It would fascinating, too, to begin to interconnect the map with the work being done on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s excellent Where Does My Money Go? project – as indeed it would be to interconnect the map on anthropogenic climate change with the CKAN Climate Change Group project – and if you would be interested in learning more about and/or collaborating on any aspect of our work please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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