Global Community Stories #6 (a): Greece, Bangladesh, Argentina and Canada

It is once again time to take a trip around the world and hear a bit about some of the great things that are happening in our growing network of Open Knowledge Foundation Local Groups. Due to the sheer volume of activities and updates we want to share this month, our Global Community Stories post is coming to you in two instalments. Today, we’ll set our virtual feet down in Greece, Bangladesh, Canada and Argentina and later in the week we will share updates from Germany, Ireland and others.

Bangladesh: Afterthought from OKCon, Wikipedia collaboration, impressive media coverage and lots of events…

After participating in OKCon, the Open Knowledge Conference in Geneva in September, our Bangladeshi friends wrote an article about the experience. The article was published as lead story in Bangla newspaper The Daily Prohom Alo (the highest circulated paper & leading bangla IT portal). Well done!

Also on the event side the group has been really active; they celebrated Software Freedom Day (SFD) by organizing a seminar about open source & open knowledge. Shortly after, the group organized a meetup as part of the global celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the GNU open software license. In late October they joined the Online Data Expedition on October 18-20 on Garment Factories around the world. This data expedition was arranged in collaboration with School of Data.

In other news our Ambassador in Bangladesh, Nurunnaby Chowdhury Hasive, was recently elected as Administrator of Bangla Wikipedia, which was covered in among other The Daily Star and C News Voice. Open Knowledge Foundation Bangladesh also partnered with Society for the Popularization of Science, Bangladesh (SPSB) recently and will onwards organize events and other activities together – for instance children science congresses.

Greece: Organizing app-competitions and improving the web presence…

Our Greek friends most recently held their first event as part of the Apps4Greece series in the city of Thessaloniki (see the presentation slides here – and plans are now being made to expand to other cities. Last week all co-organizers of the event participated in a press conference, where also Open Knowledge Foundation’s Sander van der Waal took part and gave a presentation. Several blog posts and publications newspapers documented the event, among other this one from the Karfitsa newspaper.
Next the group is working on a complete overhaul of their website and project portfolio, stay tuned!

Argentina: Doing presentations across the country, working with School of Data and helping develop crisis situation software…

Our Argentinean friends did a School of Data presentation in August at Hacks Hackers Buenos Aires in the good company of journalists, programmers and designers from three continents. Later, in September, they held a Open Spending Meetup that was visited by Open Knowledge Foundation old-timer and Knight-Mozilla Fellow Friedrich Lindenberg – which was followed later that month by a presentation at the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology and University of La Plata. Lastly, they presented at the International Conference of Free Software in Technopolis.

The group has also started collaborations with other organizations such as Chequeado; a platform where the public discuss, study and verify president’s political speeches. The collaboration aims to put together a neat database and an application that makes it easier for citizens to engage.
Further, on the project side, the group has been working on School of Data with Mexico. They set up workshops that teach how to use open data tools: Every Wednesday a specialist hosts a workshop on tools such as Open Refine, d3.js display, Timeliner, Github, Fusiontable and more. The group is also helping with the Citizen Emergency project: An application that alerts citizens in disaster situations such as during floods. Next step is to help develop the application towards a national implementation.

Canada: Starting the group, hosting meetups, contributing very actively to the Open Data Census…

Back in July, the group held Open Data Canada Meetup #1, which was dedicated to starting up the local group in Canada and was attended by around 30 people. Read some of the follow-up blog posts here and here.

The group has also very actively been contributing to the Open Data Census as part of both the sprint leading up to the G8 meeting in North Ireland in June, but also as part of the bigger sprint leading up to the Open Government Partnership Summit in London in October – shortly before which we released the Open Data Index.

They have also been supporting the GeoThink.ca research project across Canada by co-organizing a meetup for Québec with Dr. Renée Sieber (McGill University, Montréal) and Dr. Stéphane Roche (Université Laval, Québec City) – read more about that here and here.

Furthermore, they have been supporting the Popolo project to develop open government data specifications, focusing on the legislative branch of government, while remaining useful to a broad set of use cases.

Support has also been given to the use of an Open Agenda about Free-Open-Libre within an Agenda aggregator, the Agenda du Libre by FACiL.qc.ca.
Lastly, the group has promoted the CKAN open source data handling platform, which has subsequently been integrated into the City of Montréal Open Data Portal that launched just a few weeks ago. One of our Canadian Ambassadors, Diane Mercier, is the City of Montréal Open Data Project Manager.