Updates from Open Knowledge Portugal

This blog post is part of our summer series featuring updates from local groups across the Open Knowledge Network and was submitted by Open Knowledge Portugal team.

Here is a run-down of our recent activities:

Open Data Day 2017

In March, we joined the international community and organised a local Open Data Day. Unlike the previous two years, we decided to forgo an application to the generous OKI mini-grant scheme since we felt that none of the areas of focus would fit our current practice, and we didn’t want to squander the initiative by shoehorning a subject that we hadn’t developed so far.

Instead, we invited speakers from OpenStreetMap Portugal, Wikimedia and the Lisbon City Hall Open Data Initiative to allow us to touch many facets of open culture. The event was divided into two parts: a Mapping Party and a Discussion & Quiz session. The Mapping Party was aimed at OpenStreetMap newbies (most of us!) who wanted to learn how to contribute to the OSM community mapping initiative. The afternoon session was focused on the nitty-gritty of open data, featuring talks from guest such as Jorge Gustavo Rocha [OpenStreetMap Portugal], João Tremoceiro [Lisbon City Council] and André Barbosa [editor and administrator of Wikipedia] and a conversation between the guest speakers and audience. The day ended on a lighter note with a Quiz dedicated to open culture subjects.

Participants at the Open Data Day event organised by Open Knowledge Portugal

The event was in our view a great success, having served its main purpose of strengthening the national network around open knowledge and open data and cementing OKI-PT’s role in that field. You can read a machine-translated write-up of the details of the event here; for some reason, the photos are missing from the translated version so you can read the original post here for those fluent in Portuguese.

Other Updates…

As showcased in the Open Data Day post, we also had some interesting developments on our projects; our data-package related project Datacentral was adopted by the folks at Open Knowledge Switzerland for their Open Food initiative. We also launched DadosAbertos.pt, a central location to provide Portuguese-language information about what exactly is open data — a resource that we had been lacking for years.

We have also been maintaining Central de Dados, our independent data portal built on Datacentral and the data package standard developed by Open Knowledge Labs, and have been assessing ways to move to a more community-centered management for this resource.

We’ve been keeping up as well with our monthly Date With Data meetups, which are dedicated to the collective development of civic tech tools, apps and sites around Portuguese public information and open data.

We have also started a new monthly initiative, OKcafé (where the OK naturally stands for Open Knowledge ;-) ) which we intend to build into a meetup which, unlike the Date With Data meetups, is less focused on hands-on development and more about higher-level discussion and exchange between people interested in open data, and who might want to get closer to OKI. We’re hoping to get the interest of people who can help us develop efforts on the side of advocacy and local/national policy related to open data, which is a field that we haven’t had the manpower to develop properly over the recent years.

Finally, we took part in a debate, representing Open Knowledge Portugal, about the potential and perils of data mining and machine learning in an initiative promoted by the local Google Developers & Users Group in Porto.

Follow OK Portugal’s Twitter page for more information about the team and their projects. For anything specific concerning the team, contact the group leads Ricardo Lafuente and Marta Pinto.

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