What happens when we all have direct and open insight into our cities?
Knowledge about the Netherlands' landscape that only experts were privy to can now be used by anyone, from local authorities to research institutes, urban planners, architects and citizens. The new platform Open Source City (OSCity), currently in beta version, plots how space is used in the Netherlands, along with levels of flooding, heritage sites, office space, energy consumption, and more.
OSCity was created by a team from the Studio for Unsolicited Architecture in the context of 'Design & E-Culture', an event organized by the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) and the Netherlands Architecture Fund (SfA). The platform claims to herald the spatial planning of the future: an open source of information that can turn urban planning into a collective effort. Creators Rick ten Doeschate, Mark van der Net, Gerjan Streng, and Floriane Pic's research focuses on the capacity to provide solutions inherent in digital data.
Their brainchild employs open data, GIS techniques, infographics, and interactive simulations to analyse spatial patterns and allows for the ‘discovery’ of innovative spatial scenarios for neighbourhoods that are being restructured. The result is a constantly growing survey of spatial patterns that is published, managed and expanded via the online platform.
Open Source City reveals patterns such as energy costs in different parts of the country, or where a declining population is related to schools disappearing, where house prices rise but offices are vacant, or where homes are suitable for renewable energy.
OSCity was recently presented by Mark van der Net, from The Cloud Collective, at the Nationaal Congres Open Data held by the Eindhoven Open Data Platform.
2-4 May 2013. Paris, France.
This 3-day affair bills itself as the first major European festival dedicated to collaborative economy. Entrepreneurs, designers, economists, investors, politicians, and citizens are invited to participate in this community event, which will feature hands-on activities and live music.
See the full program here.
For more details, see here.
Date: 2-4 May 2013.
Place: Paris, France.
Wikimedia's centralized facts repository is completely open.
Wikimedia, operator of Wikipedia, Wiktionary and Wikiversity, has just launched its latest project: a structured data storehouse that is published under a Creative Commons 0 public domain dedication. Wikidata was actually developed a year ago by the German chapter of Wikimedia, but has only now been officially released. It feeds Wikimedia's main project, Wikipedia, but it yields its data freely to anyone. Spin-off projects like GeniaWiki, which maps family ties between famous people (i.e. the Bach family), or the Tree of Life project, a sort of life taxonomy, are some examples of reuse of Wikidata information.
ORBIlu hopes to become a massive open storehouse of scientific publications.
All scientific publications—from peer-reviewed journal articles to conference papers, to book chapters, oral presentations, and more—can have a new home starting this week. ORBIlu, the University of Luxembourg's open access server, was inaugurated this week as a repository of scientific publications designed to make research visible to the outside world.
The project provides an infrastructure that integrates original PSI data and user-generated datasets.
ENGAGE v2.0, a project by FP7 e-Infraestructure programme, has just been released. It's an updated version of the infrastructure that integrates original PSI data and datasets generated by communities such as: researchers, citizens, developers, journalists, civil servants, businesses, and archivists/librarians.
The makeover includes a more attractive interface, and the shift from a flat-metadata schema to a semantically enhanced meta-data model. This will enable ENGAGE to interoperate with a variety of PSI repositories through transformation engines.
Read on for more details on new features and future plans.
9 May 2013. Madrid, Spain.
The Consortium of the European Project SEED (Speeding Every European Digital) will hold the Workshop: “Citizens Awareness: A cloud of Public Sector Information –PSI– and Public Advertising” in Madrid (INAP, Institute of Public Administrations) this coming May.
SEED is a European project which aims at providing digital services, served from the cloud, that can help to inform and educate citizens and contribute to leverage the use of digital e-services. At the workshop, the goals of SEED will be presented, along with EU policies on cloud computing and Open Data, together with EU best-practices on digital awareness.
Speakers at the event include:
§ Mr. Salvador Soriano: Coordinator of the Spanish Ministry for Telecommunications and Information Society.
§ Mrs. Laia Pujol: EU Project Manager at the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at IESE Business School. Community Manager at the Assembly of the European Digital Agenda 2012.
§ Mr. Miguel Alborg: CEO at IDI Eikon. EC reviewer. SEED Project Coordinator.
§ Mr. Emilio García: Head of Unit - Technology and Information Systems at the Ministry of Finance and Public Administrations.
§ Mr. Juan Medina: Open Government Ministry of Quart de Poblet.
§ Mr. César Calderón: Executive Director of Think Net Public Thinking-CIPP. Coordinator of the book Open Government.
§ SEED EU Administrations: http://www.seed-project.eu/EUpartners
The workshop will be broadcast online and will feature English/Spanish translation. To register, see here
Date: 9 May 2013.
Place: Aula Magna del INAP (Instituto Nacional de Administración Pública), c/ Atocha, 106. Madrid, Spain.
8 May 2013. Madrid, Spain.
Through a series of round table panel discussions, this workshop will cover reuse of Public Sector Information, examining various tools and models that can be employed to improve transparency. Public sector speakers and panelists will share their experience in Open Data from within their institution.
The workshop will be divided into two sessions. The first one will feature representatives from the Treasury, the Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism, the Land Registry, the National Center for Geographic Information, as well as the CTIC Technology Center.
Speakers from the National Statistics Institute and Traffic Department will kick off the second session, followed by representatives from the Castilla y León region and the city of Barcelona.
To register, see here.
Date: 8 May 2013. 9:00-13:30.
Place: C.O. Ingenieros Técnicos de Telecomunicaciones. c/ General Moscardó, 33. 28020 Madrid. (Metro Santiago Bernabéu, Nuevos Ministerios).
Price: For the public sector, free. For private sector, 199 euros.
2 May 2013. Dublin, Ireland.
This upcoming day-long forum is hosted by the Royal Irish Academy and the Irish Research Council, and is centered on the implementation of Ireland's 2012 open access guidelines. Researchers, scholars, higher education institutions, librarians, research funders and more are invited to participate in the discussion of what open access means for publicly funded research.
Full programme available here
Date: 2 May 2013. 10:00-16:00.
Place: Academy House, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Ireland.
The total number of requests in 2012 represents a 5% increase compared to the previous year.
The UK's Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOI Act) and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIRs) came into full effect in January 2005. These measures grant the right to ask any UK public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject. Anyone can make a request for information—there are no restrictions on age, nationality, or where one lives. The year the FOI Act and EIRs were first implemented, a total of 38,108 requests were made. Since then, the number of requests has increased, nearly reaching their highest level of 50,000 in 2012.
The Freedom of Information Satistics' bulletin recounts how these requests were handled:
-8% of requests (2,173) were replied to late, while more than 43,000 hit the 20 working day deadline which is imposed by the act. -almost 20,000 requests were given the information they had asked for in full. -20% of initial requests (10,679) were withheld, of which - 6,486 requests were refused due to an exemption. - 3,892 were refused as they were over the cost limit of £650. - 161 were deemed to be vexatious - 149 were repeated
Read the full report here.
The call for tenders received a flood of submissions, months before the June deadline.
FILAS, the Financial Development Agency of the Lazio Region (Italy), issued a call for open data projets related to local public administrations in October 2012, with a deadline of 30 June 2013. The call received excellent feedback—so much so that in 6 months, FILAS has already allocated € 6 million in favor of 45 Open Data projects.
The fact that so many egovernment projects were proposed in such a short span of time suggests that making data repositories transparent and accessible by the public is a growing priority.
Of the 45 projects that have received funding, 18 are located in the province of Frosinone, 13 in Rome, 8 in Latin America, 6 in Viterbo and Rieti. Their applications focus on programs ranging from tourism information services, monitoring of energy consumption, the environment, to the cataloging of real estate assets.
New EU rules make maps, statistics and weather data available at minimal or no charge.
The EU Industry Committee approved draft rules that facilitate access to public data to both the public and private sector. Once they are voted on (in June), they will go into effect two years from now, and will facilitate data reuse to citizens as well as companies and firms.
Opening up access to maps, statistics, weather information, and more, according to the European Commission, can lead to profit—both by encouraging new services and applications, and cutting down costs.
The accepted proposal includes references to pricing, and stipulates that data be either cheap or free, except in a few special cases. Provisions are also made for situations in which an authority might deny access to information or impose excessive charges, granting rights to appeal and quick response. Another feature is new limits that curtail the scope and duration of government contracts that grant exclusive rights to specific companies to digitise and manage public data.
Read the full press release from the European Parliament here.
The deadline tender submissions is 6 May 2013.
The Territorial Collectivity of Corsica has made a call for tender submissions aimed at designing and implementing an open data portal. The competition will close on 6 May 2013 at 16:00. Read and download the public call here.
The British mapping agency publishes a number of its products in Linked Data format.
As part of the "Making Public Data Public" initiative, the UK's Ordnance Survey is releasing parts of its data storehouse as Linked Open Data. The service that will provide this information has been launched in beta, designed for testing and reviewing.
This marks an improvement over open data already available through the Ordnance Survey, by facilitating a data hub with access to all Linked Data datasets which incorporates integrated search functions. Other enhancements include embedded OS OpenSpace maps to show selected geographic locations and a redesigned search API based on OpenSearch specification and with support for geography queries.
Estonia and the Slovak Republic mend their PSI legislation upon chastisement from the European Commission.
The European Commission (EC) has suspended its infringement procedures against Estonia and the Slovak Republic now that these countries have adopted legislation better suited to the PSI Directive (Directive 2003/98/EC – the 'PSI Directive').
Accused of lack of clarity regarding the reuse of public sector information, both Estonia and the Slovak Republic have changed their laws so as to adhere more closely to the PSI Directive, facilitate its implementation, and communicate well with potential reusers.
After examining the alterations, the EC has determined they sufficiently redress the situation and has closed the infringement cases against these countries.
7 May 2013. Dublin, Ireland.
The Digital Repository of Ireland will host 'Open Access to Humanities Data' in early May. The event will include guest speakers, short presentations, and interaction with the audience in a panel format, followed by a wine/coffee reception.
Topics will include:
• Is it wise to openly share Humanities data?
• What benefits accrue from open access to Humanities data for researchers, and for citizens?
• If this data is made available online for free, who is funding this free access?
• Is open access to Humanities data sustainable?
• What sort of use and re-use is made of shared Humanities data?
• What are the major challenges of sharing Humanities data?
Prof. Laurent Romary Directeur de Recherche INRIA, guest scientist at Humboldt University Berlin, Director of DARIAH (European Digital Research Infrastructure for Arts & Humanities)
Catriona Crowe Head of Special Projects at the National Archives of Ireland, and responsible for the release online of the digitized 1901 and 1911 census.
Dr. Eucharia Meehan Director of the Irish Research Council & Head of Research Programmes and Capital Investment at the HEA (Higher Education Authority).
Date: 7 May 2013. 17:30-19:00.
Place: Royal Irish Academy - 19 Dawson St, Dublin 2. Ireland.
25 April 2013. Antwerp, Belgium.
The Vlaamse ICT Organisation will host eleventh edition of its IT conference on 25 April in Antwerp, Belgium. Designed specifically for those who work in government, this full day of presentations and round table discussions will provide a forum to examine how open standards, open data, the cloud, and information management affect governance.
Bart Rosseau (from Ghent, Belgium) and Raf Buyle (from Vlaamse ICT Organisation) will address open standards as a lever for open data. Others speakers will expound on how address information is stored and shared, as well as how to create interactive portals that make data easily accessible to citizens.
Date: 25 April 2013.
Place: Antwerp, Belgium.
The Íslendingabók spawns an app that helps Icelanders trace their bloodlines.
Iceland's national genealogical database Íslendingabók (Book of Icelanders) started ten years ago as a collaboration project between the scientific research company DeCode Genetics and anti-virus software entrepreneur Friðrik Skúlason. The project's original intent was the task of trawling through parish records, censuses and registries to provide data for medical genetics research. Its creators' decision to host an app competition on the project's tenth anniversary, however, recently catapulted this lineage database to fame.
The challenge was to create a mobile device application that would put 1,200 years of Icelandic family connections to good—and creative—use, a gauntlet taken up by three young software-engineering students who produced the IslendingaApp: a mobile version of the 'Book of Icelanders' that allows users to determine their relationship to others. For an island of 320,000 inhabitants, most of whom trace their ancestry to the country's 9th century settlers, drawing these kinds of family connections holds special interest.
What has caused particular sensation, though, is a unique feature that employs 'Bump' technology: 'bumping' two mobiles together jumpstarts the app into defining the degree of kinship between phone owners. If lineage proves too close for comfort, the app sets off an alarm. News of Iceland translates the slogan behind this warning bell as "Bump the app before you bump into bed."
24-28 April. Perugia, Italy.
The 2nd edition of the School of Data Journalism is hosted by the International Journalism Festival.
The annual Perugia International Journalism Festival is the leading journalism event in Italy. It is an open invitation to listen to and network with the best of world journalism. The leitmotiv is one of informality and accessibility, designed to appeal to journalists, aspiring journalists and those interested in the role of the media in society. Simultaneous translation into English and Italian is provided. The festival is open to the public free of charge.
With a stellar team of panelists and instructors from the New York Times, the Guardian, Deutsche Welle, Duke University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and ProPublica, last year’s edition of Data Journalism School attracted hundreds of journalists.
From the official site:
"This year we return with a leading team of about 20 new and returning panelists and instructors from Reuters, New York Times, Spiegel, Guardian, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, Knight-Mozilla OpenNews and others, and a mix of discussions and hands-on sessions focusing on everything from cross-border data-driven investigative journalism, to emergency reporting and using Excel, the Twitter API, data visualisation and mapping for journalism."
For more information, see http://www.journalismfestival.com/news/data-journalism-at-ijf13/
Date: 24-28 April.
Place: Perugia, Italy.
27-28 April 2013. Manchester, UK.
BlueLightCamp is a free event that is geared toward workers from across the blue light services i.e. Fire, Police and resilience services. Participants in this 'unconference' and hackathon will be encouraged to build prototype solutions for challenges blue light workers are currently faced with.
Through two mapping agreements with the Public Sector, Ordnance Survey already works closely with many of the blue light services, providing: digital map products; the sharing and visualisation of data; supporting better problem solving and helping to reduce costs and drive up efficiency levels amongst other aspects. The goal at BlueLightCamps will also be to promote OS OpenData and OS OpenSpace amongst attendees.
The prizes will be as follows:
1. For the best use of OS OpenData in addressing a real problem arising from Saturday’s unconference.
2. For the best use of OS OpenSpace in addressing a real problem arising from Saturday’s unconference.
The prizes will not preclude the use of other open data used together with OS OpenData and/or OS OpenSpace.
Date: 27-28 April 2013.
Place: Manchester, UK.
For more information, see here.
26 April 2013. Brussels, Belgium.
Appforgeo.be is a 5 hour long hackaton, where apps (web or mobile) will be developed with a focus on Geodata in Open Data format. Geo data-owners and application developers are invited to participate and benefit from available open geodatasets. Public geo-authorities, data owners and other participants, will get a chance to improve and learn how to facilitate opening up public data. For more information and registration, see here.
Date: 26 April 2013. 8:30-18:30.
Place: iMinds – Digital Society SMIT, Studies on Media, Information & telecommunication Vrije Universiteit Brussel Offices: Pleinlaan 9, 2nd floor B – 1050. Brussels, Belgium.