Feb. 22, 2014 is International Open Data Day. People will be getting together all around the world to hack on open data and collaborate to further the cause of openness and transparency.
LocalWiki is a natural partner for open data efforts. Creating open knowledge is just another way to create open data about your community. Also, you can take what you've learned from open data about your community and share it on your community's LocalWiki.
Here's a blog post on the Sunlight Foundation's blog about how LocalWiki allows you to turn open local data into open local knowledge.
Find an event in your area
- Oakland, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Hampton Roads, VA
- Detroit, MI -- time and location TBA
- Ann Arbor, MI - a2civictech meetup Monday 2/24
Photos and Details of Your Event
Please add photos and information about what happened at your event here and we'll include them in an Open Data Day writeup on our blog!
- Japan: https://twitter.com/OKFNUS/status/437120652278259712
- Hampton Roads, VA: https://twitter.com/StanZheng/status/437241696590782464
- Tulsa, OK: https://twitter.com/tulsalibrary/status/437272480932048896
- Ann Arbor, MI: https://twitter.com/vielmetti/status/437275926016307200 and https://twitter.com/vielmetti/status/437279682242039809
- Volunteers worked on LocalWiki during Oakland's Open Data Day event. Volunteers made edits to over 30 entries including entries about this year's mayoral election, a local artist, past city council members, ninjas, a planned grassroots-organized mayoral candidate debate, past efforts to get speed bumps in a neighborhood and instructions for getting a speed bump (we discovered that Oakland is the "speed hump capital of the world"), a family that has lived in Oakland for 7 generations, bus drivers, sources of data about Oakland, Oakland filming locations, and more. We also planned our next event where we'll be drawing things in Oakland, scanning the drawings, and adding them as illustrations for entries on the wiki.
- Our focus was on adding content related to civic technology, open data, and digital inclusion. A team researched the open data available on data.seattle.gov and created a page that features the most useful data sets: Open data resources. Another team started a civic technology page and worked on a list of the public computer labs and neighborhood service centers that exist in the city.
Suggestions for using LocalWiki in your event
Hack on LocalWiki
We've just launched our new API!
From the LocalWiki perspective, all additions to a LocalWiki increase the amount of collective knowledge in and about a community, so all kinds of content is great (especially from one of our operating practices of "work on whatever you like!").
But if you would like to focus specifically on open-data-related content, here are some ideas:
- Make an entry for "open data about [our city]" and write about the places where people can get open data about your city, link to datasets and other public domain and creative-commons-licensed content (like Flickr Commons, DPLA, etc.). Sometimes this is called an open data inventory.
- Make an entry for "open data we want about [our city]." Work with others to come up with all the data that you wish was open about your community. You can even prioritize them if there's any agreement about which data sets would be best to have open first. You can also add ideas for improvements to open data (e.g., "I wish that our police data was more up to date" or "I wish that this dataset including geographic information," and improvements to your city's open data portal, if it has one. If it does't have one, you can post that you wish it had one!
- If your community has an open data portal, add links to datasets on your city's open data portal (for example, if there's a "crime" entry you can add a link to a crime statistics dataset). Here's a list of cities with open data portals and here is a list of cities with APIs.
- Post your city's open data policy (if it has one) and note places where it can be improved or places where the city can better adhere to it.
Ideas for event formats
If you want to incorporate work on LocalWiki into your Open Data Day event, here are a few ideas:
- LocalWiki editing track at a hackathon: If you're organizing a hackathon, have a parallel "LocalWiki edit party" track for non-hacker folks to participate. This is a great way to get people involved who are into furthering open data in their community but don't have a technical background.
- Hack on LocalWiki: If you're participating in a hackathon (or organizing one), you can work with the LocalWiki API to create new things using LocalWiki data in your community (or across the entire LocalWiki network).
- LocalWiki edit party: If there's no event for Open Data Day happening in your area, you can organize something! The easiest thing to do is to organize an edit party. This is basically an event where people get together and add content to their community's LocalWiki. It's just like in the olden days - a bunch of people sitting in a room (or cafe) with nice wifi huddled around the light and warmth of their laptops creating open knowledge together .
Resources to help you organize
There are loads of resources for organizing an Open Data Day event on the Open Data Day Wiki.
If your event is going to be an edit party, there are some ideas for how to structure the event and a printable how-to-edit handout on this Edit Party guide.
Since this is part of a larger, global event, you can piggyback onto the chatter that's already happening to promote your event. For example, you can add your event to the Open Data Day wiki. If you tweet, you can use the #OpenDataDay hashtag to let people know that there's an event in your area, etc.
Here are some other ways to publicize your event:
- Create a Facebook event
- If there's already an Open Data Day event planned in your area, help publicize it and mention that people will be editing LocalWiki during it. It really helps if you mention something like "if you're a non-coder but still want to contribute to open data in your community, you can do so by creating new content on LocalWiki, an open resource for everyone in your city."
- Invite all your friends to come
- Create an entry for the Open Data Day event on your LocalWiki and publicize that
- Create an eventbrite
- Use whatever social media is at your disposal
- Invite people in whatever community you're a part of to come
- Flyers. Good ole flyers.