This Saturday 4 March marks the 7th International Open Data Day. Groups from around the world are organising events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. It is a great opportunity to show the benefits of open data and encourage the adoption of open data policies in government, business and civil society. This year the focus is on four key areas: Open research data, Tracking public money flows, Open data for environment and Open data for human rights.

Open Data Day is a bottom-up initiative coordinated through a collaborative mailing list. With over 300 events currently registered on the map (a record high), it is clear that the global movement around open data is growing. Events range from meetups, talks and seminars to more hands-on demonstrations, hackathons and training sessions: anyone interested in learning more about open data is invited to participate.  All outputs are open for everyone to use and re-use.

A total of 44 events received additional support through the Open Knowledge International mini-grants scheme, funded by SPARC, the Open Contracting Program of Hivos, Article 19,  Hewlett Foundation and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. The focus was on funding events in the four dedicated categories, as well as supporting places that will be hosting an Open Data Day event for the first time. An overview of these events is available from this blog.

It is close to impossible to summarise all the activity that will be going on this Saturday: in the list below we highlight some events happening on the different continents.


  • Egypt: the Big Data, Big Questions: From Data to Knowledge in the MENA Region conference will offer a space for multidisciplinary, critical engagement, with questions formulated around knowledge and big data in the Middle East and North Africa region.
  • Ghana: The Open Data Day event in Accra focuses on “Following the money: Open Data for tracking money flows on development projects in the Accra Metropolis”. Participants will dive in with data experts to gain insights into how the government spends public funds on development projects in communities in the Accra Metropolitan Area.
  • Ivory Coast: Ovillage is hosting a conference about open data and a Hackathon for the creation of an open data website by and for citizens.
  • Namibia: the Open & Big data Innovation Hackathon invites software developers, statisticians, tech experts and citizens to work on co-creating innovative mobile and web applications that use open and big data to enhance public service delivery, solve challenges facing communities and keep citizens informed.
  • Tunesia: the workshop “Open data for Smart cities” takes place during the  yearly Forum ENET’Com Feee’17


  • China: Open Data Shanghai is a data-focused hackathon where participants will be given datasets and 24 hours to “hack it”.  For people who are new to Data Science, there will also be educational talks by experienced data analysts. The hackathon will provide participants with a diverse range of datasets, containing a lot of data relevant to China.
  • India: Datameet Hyderabad is organizing a community get together to work on generating new open data and using any existing data to make some useful tools.
  • Indonesia: the Goethe-Institut, Jakarta Smart City and Web Foundation’s Open Data Lab Jakarta are organising Open is the New Smart: Making cities work for citizens, a day focused on how open data could be a key driver of the participation of citizens to jointly address urban problems more quickly and effectively.
  • Iran: Transparency4Iran will host the first session in Iran on “Open Data and its’ good applications for government”.
  • Malaysia: During an Open Data Exhibition in Subang Jaya, participants are going to search for data, and use the resulting data.
  • Thailand: At the Open Data and Big Data Forum,  hosted by the Electronic Government Agency and Social Technology Institute of Thailand, between 150-200 participants are expected.


  • Australia: ODI Queensland is inviting people to an afternoon of updates & feedback on their training program and priority Open Data projects. You can also play their International Open Data Day Datopolis Game.
  • French Polynesia: the Open Data Day event in Tahiti is organised by the Institut de la Statistique de la Polynésie Française and focuses on government data specifically.
  • New Zealand: Open Data NZ hosts a mini-hack event at the National Library in Wellington, with a focus on environmental data.


  • Estonia: Open Data Day Tartu centres around open data in science and how to use data to establish facts in the age of post-truth problematics. There will be workshops on many different tracks, from linked data methods to using data in humanities.
  • Germany: Many events are taking place across Germany: a good overview is available from this Open Knowledge Germany blog. During the Heilbronn Open Data Day for example, you can work with various datasets and interfaces, such as weather data, and the organisers will provide hardware for the assembly of fine dust sensors.
  • Italy: At Open Data Day Palermo, there is a full program of talks on open data applications and portals, followed by a workshop on web scraping in the afternoon.
  • Spain: In Granada, the Oficina de Software Libre will organise different workshops, activities, and an open data hackathon using the data of the city and province of Granada and the open data portal of the University of Granada. Participants can work with data linking university, gender and geographical origin, air pollution data, electoral data and contracts and cultural heritage data.
  • Sweden: At Brainhack Global in Stockholm, researchers from across the globe and a myriad of disciplines come together to work on innovative projects related to neuroscience and open collaboration.

North America

  • Canada: in Halifax, Nova Scotia you can participate in an Open Data Contest focused on promoting tourism, assisting new immigrants and effective management of Nova Scotia’s natural resources and protection of the environment.
  • Mexico: The Failure Institute is organising the first Datatón del Fracaso (Datathon of Failure), where participants will work in teams to analyse and visualise various datasets of the institute, such as that of business closures, to better understand entrepreneurial failure.
  • Mexico: Open Data Day Xalapa + Mapatón Ciudadano invites students, entrepreneurs, professionals, graphic designers, technology-based companies and anyone with an interest in open data to a full program of a Codeando Mexico workshop, talks about Social Entrepreneurship and Mobility and the presentation of the results of the first Citizen Mapatón in Xalapa.
  • USA: the California Data Collaborative hosts the Open water rate spectacular event to find out more about local water prices, and whether these vary by ethnicity, income, or location. Participants will help document water prices from agencies across the state to better understand water use in California and enable regional water agencies to prepare for an uncertain future.
  • USA: Code for America will hold its sixth annual “CodeAcross”: a weekend of civic hacking events hosted by over 100 cities in the Code for America network where Brigades (local communities) are located. Code for America is a national network of community organizers & technologists who are putting technology to work for the benefit of their local communities. They recently put out their Brigade Rally Cry reflecting their mission. Events are happening all over the USA, from Code for Hawaii to Code for Burlington, Vermont, but everyone interested can also hack from home or join or start another brigade (more information on this page).

South America

  • Argentina: the city of Rosario hosts their first Open Data Day this year around open government data. Different organisations have been invited to work for the advancement of data and open governments in the 21st century, working on themes such as social inclusion, open justice, sustainable mobility, responsible consumption and access to public information.
  • Brazil: The Hackers Club of Teresina in conjunction with APISOL and the Open Knowledge Brazil will hold a hackathon about transparency.
  • Colombia: GANA, the open government program of the Department of Nariño, hosts the NariñoVis exhibition of data visualizations that have been made using the data from the Open Data Portal of the Government of Nariño.
  • Ecuador: Datalat and MediaLabUIO are organizing Open Data Day Quito, an event that includes workshops, talks and hands-on activities on opening and using open data, as well as a workshop to use local data related to the environment.
  • Uruguay: the DATA Cafes community in Montevideo is organizing a meeting to renew and improve the project, which allows you to visualise the streets of Montevideo that bear the name of a woman and to know more about those women and their stories.
  • A summary on more events happening in South America is available from this blog.
Montevideo has more than 5000 streets: only 100 are named after a woman

More information on Open Data Day itself is available from You can also follow news on the day itself through Twitter: #opendataday and #ODD17. If you are unable join an event, but would still like to participate virtually, check Why you should take 10 minutes to look at the Open Data Roadmap this Open Data Day.

4 thoughts on “Sneak peek of Open Data Day: where will you be?”

  1. Unfortunately, Pakistan is not among the list and you don’t accept applications from Pakistanis.

    1. Hi Sabeen, Open Data Day is open for everyone to join. This year two events were organised in Pakistan: one of these by the Youth Association for Development (YAD) received funding through the mini-grant scheme. A blog report of this event will be published on our blog soon!

      1. Lieke Ploeger: Thanks, Youth Association for Development (YAD) will be always with you for open data in Pakistan, hope you will share YAD pictures of the open data event 2017 on your blogs and social media

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