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Open Data Day 2019!

Celebrating Open Data Day 2019 around the world

Open Data Day 2019

This year the international open data community celebrated the Open Data Day again.

Open Data Day is an international annual event where data enthusiasts gather to connect and build new solutions to complex social issues by using open data. The event aims to not only show the benefits of open data (such as an increase in efficiency, transparency, innovation and economic growth), but also to encourage the adoption of open data policies in various government bodies, businesses and civil societies. Open Data Day takes place globally and includes talks, seminars, hackathons, demonstrations and trainings on different tracks selected for that year. In addition, there are announcements of open data releases or other milestones in open data.

For its ninth year, Open Data Day event organisers could select from four tracks:

  • Following public money flows with a focus on Open Contracting.
  • Open mapping, where participants will learn about the power of maps to develop better communities.
  • Open Science, focusing on topics from open research data to open access and how they contribute to making science more relatable and significant for people.
  • Equal development, where participants discuss anything from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to using data at a local level to create impact.

This year, Open Data Day had over 300 registered events across the world with over 50 events in Europe.

Open Belgium 2019 in Brussels, Belgium

An example of an Open Data Day 2019 event was Open Belgium 2019, an annual event that focuses on open knowledge and open data and provides a platform for people to voice their open efforts in Belgium.

This year, Open Belgium had the theme "open, usable, useful, used". The event took place on 4 March 2019 and had participants from various government bodies, different industries, areas of academia and research and interested stakeholders. Open Belgium 2019 focused on openness within Belgium from a local point-of-view and a European perspective. The event:

  • Gave stage to national and international keynote speakers.
  • Presented several use cases and workshops that focused on topics such as open data within the Flemish government, the EU copyright reform, the role of open data portals in promoting and increasing the usage of open data and FAIR - Findable, Accessible, Interoperable and Re-usable - data.
  • Showcased new evolutions in the area of open data and several best practices from within Belgium and across the world.

One keynote speaker at Open Belgium was Catherine Stihler, the chief executive of Open Knowledge International, who highlighted the importance of open data and open knowledge. In addition, she discussed how openness is at risk because, for example, expert views are being dismissed and ignored and facts are being labelled as 'fake news'. She concluded with how we need to work together to raise the profile of open knowledge and promote openness by sharing, finding and using data.

Another speech was delivered by Ton Zijlstra, the founder of The Green Land. The Green Land provides advice, research, execution and missionary work with a focus on open data to achieve 'Open by Design'. In his speech 'the (im)possibilities of measuring open data', Ton Zijlstra focused on what the difficulties are to measure open data impact; what the common patterns are across existing research; and how to avoid the pitfalls. In addition, he discussed how to use commonalities to build a framework and measure open data impact and the framework he helped developing to measure open data impact for UNDP Serbia. The framework was shown as a use case and best practice to measure the impact of open data and is meant to be relatable and usable for organisations. The framework is based on how existing cases, papers and researchers have already tried to establish socio-economic impact.

Open Data Day and the EU Datathon 2019

On this year's Open Data Day, we celebrated open data leaders and discussed how to continue creating and promoting open data to address complex social issues around the world. With the first open data milestone event of 2019 closing, we are looking forward to the upcoming events. For example, the EU Datathon 2019!

The EU Datathon is organised by the Publications Office of the European Union in partnership with the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and will take place on 13 June 2019 in Brussels, Belgium. The EU Datathon 2019 aims to stimulate the use and re-use of open data and to support competitors in showcasing their data skills and innovative ideas. Participants are invited to develop apps and interactive visualisations that offer new services or public information insights to citizens, public authorities and businesses.

Submit your ideas for the EU Datathon by 24 March 2019 to win one of the cash prizes on one of the three challenges:

  • Challenge 1: Innovative ideas through EU open data.
  • Challenge 2: New insights into economics and finance.
  • Challenge 3: Tackling climate change.

For those interested in Challenge 3, join the EU Datathon Webinar 5: Possible datasets for challenge 3 tomorrow 7 March 2019.

Learn more about the EU Datathon 2019 and other open-data events and follow the European Data Portal on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to stay up to date!