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Open Data Portals & Civic Hacking

Open Data Portals & Civic Hacking

Stefan Oderbolz

September 29, 2016

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  1. Civic Hacker / Hacktivist • Creative use of technology •

    Transform data in machine-readable form ◦ Provide APIs, if there is only raw data available • Provide alternatives ◦ Advance Open Source • “Political” goals ◦ Promote open knowledge ◦ Help the local community
  2. Curiosity is the key • How does it work? Was

    steckt dahinter? ◦ e.g. am I able to reproduce the statistics in the official brochure of an upcoming vote? ◦ How much does my community spend on waste collection/recycling? • Before I’m able to change something, I have to understand it Ask questions, until you understand the topic!
  3. Examples of datasets • Results of votes • Tax revenue

    of natural persons • Health insurance premiums • National Map 1:1 million • Bicycle lane network • First names of newborns in Zurich
  4. There actually is Open Government Data! • Open Data portals

    publish OGD: ◦ opendata.swiss ◦ data.stadt-zuerich.ch • The government provides the (data) infrastructure ◦ Raw data + interfaces (APIs) ◦ Data processing by specialists (e.g. in the form of apps, visualizations, news articles, tools)
  5. What data is still hiding in the administration? • There

    are treasures, that nobody yet knows about • There is no complete data inventory • You can only request known datasets
  6. Example: FragDenBundestag • Wissenschaftlicher Dienst des Bundestags (“scientific service of

    the German Bundestag”) creates reports by request of delegates of the Bundestag, e.g. ◦ Legal basis for flyovers ◦ Participation of foreigners in plebicites • List of reports was put online, so that citizens could request it • Result: very many request, leading to a decision to make them directly available in the future
  7. Requests for data Feedback from the administration: “An actual request

    for data is a door opener. Without it, we have no proof of a need.”
  8. Requests for data • Appreciation for Open Data Pioneers in

    the administration ◦ Data Owner see new potential in their data ◦ A request increases the legitimisation of collecting the data in the first place • “Bottom-up” opening of data ◦ Waiting for laws or regulations is tedious ◦ Goal: Find data owners, that are willing to publish on their own
  9. Hackathons • Intense events (24-48h) ◦ Analyze data ◦ Create,

    improve and discard ideas ◦ Build prototypes ◦ Iterate • Usually with an overall topic like ◦ Energy ◦ Finance ◦ Culture
  10. Hackathons • Team building at the event with people interested

    in the same idea: ◦ Designers ◦ Topic experts ◦ Developers ◦ Ideators ◦ User
  11. Open Source • Open source code ◦ Read, analyze and

    change source code ◦ Contribute changes back • Free ◦ There are no licence fees associated with the software • World-wide community of developers, testers, translators and users (e.g. GitHub)
  12. What’s next after the open government? • Open Education -

    open schools and educational material ◦ OpenTechSchool ◦ School of Data • Open Research / Open Science ◦ Research financed by the public sector (e.g. Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF) • Open Culture / Open GLAM