Open Knowledge Foundation: PublicBodies Datathon: Collecting the information of Nepal Government diverse PublicBodies
Once again, a bunch of open philosophy believers and lovers gathered for the fourth annual celebration of International Open Data Day 2016 in Nepal. This year Open Data Day was organized in three different places of Nepal and was lead by different communities. Open Knowledge Nepal in collaboration with FOSS Nepal Community and CSIT Association of Nepal, hosted a series of presentations and a PublicBodies Datathon to celebrate the global celebration of openness. The event was held in Nepal Engineers’ Association, Pulchowk, Lalitpur and started at 10 am (NST). Event planning and details can be found on the event page.
Nikesh Balami, Open Government Data Team Lead of Open Knowledge Nepal started by welcoming and thanking all the participants for joining the event. He explained what open data day is and how it has been celebrated in Nepal during the past few years.
After making a change in the presentation schedule, Navin Khadka representing db2map, was welcomed for the first presentation of a day. Navin described their product db2map and also shared details about their upcoming planning. Db2map helps people to visualize their data in the interactive map of Nepal, by using a simple dragging and dropping method. He also shared work which they had completed in the past and how it is making an impact.
Right after the presentation of db2map, Shubham Ghimire, Volunteer of Open Knowledge Nepal was called on the stage for the presentation of NGOs in Nepal. NGOs in Nepal is the crowdsourced online directory of NGO’s located in map with their contact information. Ghimire shared how the initiative was started after the April earthquake and how people and NGO’s both benefit from it. At the end of his presentation, he asked participants to contribute by submitting additional information on NGO’s, which they know of within their locality.
Chandan Goopta, Co-Founder of The Opnio joined the stage after the presentation of Mr. Shubham. Mr. Goopta presented information about the Android app project of the Nepal Government lead by NITC. This app contains all the information related to the government administration. The idea behind the app is to bridge the gap between citizens and the government by taking the notices, decisions etc made by government accessible to the public. The name of an app was “NepGov Portal” and at the end of his talk, he also asked participants engaged with the project with their own contributions.
After that Nikesh Balami from Open Knowledge again joined the stage for his orientation presentation of PublicBodies Nepal. He first presented a little bit about the community “Open Knowledge Nepal” and then shared the whole concept of PublicBodies Nepal, including how the data / information will be presented and how it will be collected. He also notified participants that all of them will be working together on data collection during the Datathon.
Last but not the least, there was an presentation from Saroj Dhakal, Consultant for Google, and an active contributor to the Nepali Wikipedia. He presented on an upcoming project named “Open Transits Nepal”. The aim of this project is to collect the data of all transits point used by Nepali Transportation and to release those data in the Open Domain. So that anyone from all around the world can build innovative ideas around this data. After the presentation of Mr. Dhakal, the formal presentation session was completed and the coffee break started.
During coffee break, the groups split into the Datathon session. Right after the break Nikesh who is currently leading PublicBodies Nepal project, briefed participants and shared all the resources with them, which they would need while collecting data. A google form was used for data collection and participants searched and trawled different government websites for one to one data collection. The Datathon was followed by many small lunch and coffee breaks. While going through many websites for the information collection, participants also identified different mistakes and updated information in many government bodies websites, which highlights the topic for further discussion. Some participants contributed the information on local public bodies. At the end of the day, more that 150 information around Nepal Government diverse public bodies was collected by the participants.
At the end of an event, Nikesh demonstrated the basic design of the PublicBodies Nepal portal, still in the development, and gathered feedbacks from participants. The event was ended with a group photo. nd formally ends the event by asking everyone for the group photo.
This post was written by Manuel Barros Open Government Partnership coordinator at Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente.
Read the full blog in Spanish on the ILDA site.
One of the pillars at Fundación Ciudadano Inteligente has been to strengthen democracy through the creative use of information technologies. Inevitably, that mission has always been strongly linked to the use of data -in all formats- and the availability and accessibility of this data.
Open data- although still a small world reserved for a few nerds and therefore difficult to digest for most people – is a movement and a way to understand public utility data (and especially their availability). Data that is directly related to our lives as citizens; It is a philosophy that, if widely and properly used, can generate benefits for society as a whole … and that’s what we strive to communicate as an organization!
So, on Saturday March 5th we decided to celebrate the Open Data Day in a completely different way.
In this celebration, held annually for several years all over the world, events like hackathons or conferences are carried out and unfortunately, due to its high level of technicality, they are difficult to access for most people. Activities that, although they are very useful, work for the same circle of people interested in such issues (nerds, geeks and other astronauts in the “open” atmosphere).
This time, however, we decided to take the “open” philosophy to the streets.
Yes, to the streets!
How did we do it? Very simple. We installed our stand on a pedestrian path at the Quinta Normal Park in Santiago and invited passers-by to contribute to mapping their neighborhood and extended area surrounding the park. Our objective was to build a collaborative physical map, from which all data would go to the OpenStreetMap records.We had a couple of computers enabled to make a collective and strong contribution to the open, online map and, incidentally, learn about open data and the several concepts around it. So, people who approached our stand (or taken by the hand by our team of evangelizers) used colored stickers to add important landmarks, like restaurants, bike workshops, cultural centers, schools, shops and a number of other points to the physical map, while others worked on the online map.
The results were better than we expected!
Many people were interested and participated in the activity. Everyone left the place with a clearer idea about what open data is and its benefits (thanks to the super marvellous triptychs we distributed) and some even took advantage of the data on the physical map to decide where to eat or a drink that very evening.
So, today the OpenStreetMap has more and better data in the area of Yungay, Brazil and Mapocho neighborhoods in Santiago.
We all share, we all use, we all win! That is what open data is all about and that’s what we wanted to do on this special day. So in the same vein, it’s expected that more actions of this type are made in the future, from public, private and citizen initiatives. It is necessary to broaden the debate and, especially, to put the data to use…because opening it’s not enough.
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My formative years as a librarian were in library systems that built themselves around the concept of aggregated strength through collective action. (If you’re thinking that sounds socialist, take heed that this concept could easily describe the armed forces.)
That concept has a very weak toehold in California, across all systems. Yes, there are some shared systems and some resource-sharing and “power of this and that” and whatnot, but colleagues I know who can compare California with states with strong “systems” self-identification agree that for whatever reason, it’s different here.
Now fast-forward to early last year, when as a newly-minted CSU library dean I smoothed my starched pinafore, straightened the bow in my hair, and marched into my first statewide meeting, only to be corrected when I referred to our library “system” that the 23 state university libraries are actually a “loose federation.”
There are long-term ramifications to being a “loose federation” that are publicly available to anyone who cares to find them. To quote my doctoral cohort buddy Chuck, “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.” (Ben Franklin may or may not have said that, but Chuck says it a lot.) But more interesting to me is that not long before I arrived, our loose federation came together on a momentous decision that puts us on a path to systemhood by agreeing that the 23 libraries, currently independently licensing a mishmosh of library management systems from varied vendors, would move to a single system, prophetically named the ULMS (Unified Library Management System).
In all fairness, this isn’t the first collective effort of the Loose Federation. We stand on the shoulders of Biblio-Giants, which in my case is particularly helpful since it means I can see the projector screen even when taller deans are in front of me. We have a common core of e-resources that are centrally funded and brokered. In times past, there have been joint statements, strategic plans, and so on. It is because of our ancestors we can at least think of ourselves as a Loose Federation, versus 23 libraries doing their own thang.
I’m part of a committee that is deeply involved in the process to identify and answer key questions related to resource sharing. It is possible… just a wee possible… that it might have been good to ask some of these questions, if not before agreeing to move to a unified system, at least within the context of the vendor selection, but that’s spilled milk.
As we deepen the questions we pose and study the data for our answers, it’s increasingly evident that there’s a critical difference between agreeing we will provide all libraries a garden-variety database we would all license anyway versus agreeing that we’re going to move to a centralized system. This is one of those movies where two people go on a date and then find themselves married, except it’s biblio-polygamy, and most of us are opposed to polygamy on the practical ground that multiple spouses sounds exhaustingly complicated, like having more than two cats, and when you add librarians to the mix it sounds even scarier.
First, we’re losing local control to a central office, so we need to design and practice governance at a scale we haven’t experienced before. The central office needs our guidance (and they are the first to say that). We no longer have the luxury of having weak or strong governance years. We need to be always on our game. And the communication across and among the 23 libraries needs to be top-notch.
Second, the new system simultaneously provides opportunities and limitations. For example — the example I’m most intimate with — we will have the capacity to share resources among the 23 libraries as we have never done before. We’ve done it with physical books, but in a work-around-y, hodgepodge manner, and we haven’t done it with e-resources. That opportunity/limitation opens many doors and poses many questions. The smartest folks are either thrilled or alarmed by this because they see a future where our physical and electronic library collections are managed and shared on a massive scale.
The thrilled-or-alarmed crowd also understands (at least I think they do) that some of the most keenly-desired wishes of the resource-sharing community can–in some cases, will need to–come to fruition. I particularly relished the moment earlier this week where I spoke with an expert who noted a particular limitation that would make most interlibrary loan department heads I know of faint for joy, because it would frog-march us to the Promised Land of standardized loan policies, where we would all have to–are you sitting down? Do you have smelling salts pressed to your nose?–agree on how long a borrower at another library could check out a book. (As Trotsky said, “You may not be interested in standardized resource-sharing loan policies, but standardized resource-sharing loan policies are very interested in you.”) And that’s just one teensy finding that has surfaced.
There are many more ramifications of this system move; most, I believe, will be good. But what I am also being reminded of is that change is a hurricane or a door. The people who expected this to be like things always were, except maybe a little less expensive and labor-intensive, are now spinning in the eye of the hurricane, wondering what hit them. The people who saw this as leading to opportunities both seen and unseen are slowly (not without pain, but with keen anticipation) opening a massive door to our future.Bookmark to:
Part of my job includes instruction at my small art school library, and while I only just recently took teaching on for the first time, I’m sure that every instruction librarian regardless of experience can agree that one of the biggest difficulties to face is assessing whether or not students are connecting to what you are saying. There’s only so much pizzazz you can put into your powerpoint and time you can spend talking at your students.
My least favorite part comes at the end of my session, when I ask “Any questions?” and my students just stare blankly at me and I can only hope that what I said resonated with at least one of them.
Being at a small library means that we don’t have large-scale instruction strategies. It’s a very DIY environment, where we work out our ideas and see what works and above all, try and try again. I’m fortunate in that way, that I have the space and leverage to experiment and grow. But it can also be like grasping out for something in the dark – you don’t know if something is there, but you’re going to try and find it anyway.
We also do not have the space for things like a computer lab. Instruction sessions are usually limited to one-shot classes in the back of our library, where we do our spiel in front of a projector. Our faculty usually don’t have enough time allotted in their syllabi to bring us in as embedded librarians, so we have to take advantage of this time as much as we can and hope that we’ve provided enough information to send our students on their way to do their own research.
Lately though, my fellow instruction librarian and I were approached by one of our more enthusiastic faculty members who wanted to devote an entire class to have us come in and lead a hands-on session for research. With an assignment in mind, we instructed all students to have their laptops on hand with them – all students here are required to own a laptop for their schoolwork. After leading a discussion on scholarly sources and Boolean operators, we guided the class through different databases and search strategies. It was absolutely refreshing to be there in person with the students as they searched, exploring new databases for the first time, and learning how to mind map. The professor, my fellow instruction librarian, and I made ourselves available to walk around and answer questions, helping students refine their search terms. It was new for a lot of students who are used to turning directly to open-web sources first before they venture into library resources, as so many studies will tell you. Trying to shift a student’s perspective from a Google-centric view of searching (where you only stick to the first two pages of relevant results that have been tailored to your past search history) to that of a library database (where you might find the best result on page 11) is a challenge, but it’s something that could possibly be addressed with more hands-on research sessions in the classroom like the one we led.
“Why can’t all of our classes be like this?” we mused together after the session came to an end.
This may be a very regular occurrence at other institutions, but it was a breakthrough for us and it really got us thinking about how to improve our information literacy strategy. With the right technology and time, we could be improving our students’ research capabilities in every class.
Following this classroom session, that professor reached out to the library and our Vice Provost with a brilliant idea to conduct a brown bag workshop for all of our faculty to show these findings and advocate for the library to be integrated into more class syllabi. We would give a demo of the library services we could provide, have iPads and laptops available for faculty to follow along with our research instruction, and provide an open dialogue for instructors to voice their observations on student research & writing at the institution with the hopes that we can address challenges with our sessions while tailoring them to individual subjects of study.
Having faculty and administration advocate for you is one of the most helpful ways for your library’s instruction program to be given the time and attention it needs. We hope that this will give our infolit strategic plan new life and improve our school’s writing and research capabilities overall.
I will be following up with the outcomes of this workshop in the months to come. But until then….any questions?
How has your library used technologies & resources in and outside of classrooms to help teach library instruction? Do you have any success stories?
This is a very short post intended to test the theme I’m using (veryplaintext) but the title was inspired by a thought I tweeted the other night:
This country is starting to wear clown shoes.
— K.G. Schneider (@kgs) March 9, 2016
To which Tim Spalding replied:
@kgs If you want a picture of the future, Winston, imagine a clown shoe stamping on a human face — forever.
— Tim Spalding (@librarythingtim) March 9, 2016Bookmark to:
You may have noticed me writing on here previously about some research I’ve been planning on computer assisted appraisal. Unfortunately, I think these efforts have suffered from being a bit too cluttered. I’d like to be able to state the core of my research problem in a lot less space, with a lot less words.
Hernon and Schwartz’s advice is welcome because they encourage a very concise series of statements–almost like an elevator pitch for your research–that address three interlocking things:
- The Lead In: What context is needed to understand the problem space?
- Statement of Originality: What is a gap in our knowledge of this area?
- Justification: What is a tangible benefit of filling this gap?
As you can see the three statements operate almost like the three legs of a stool that allow a research project to stand.
So here’s my attempt at boiling my previous work down into these three statements:
The World Wide Web is an inconceivably large and constantly changing information space. Even at the organizational level, it can be a challenge to identify what portions of the Web are in need of preservation, and when to collect them.
Significant work has gone into shaping collection development policies that articulate the mission, scope, intellectual property and access policies of Web archives. However, very little is known about how these policies translate into the actual appraisal of Web content. How are specific Web resources discovered and evaluated for addition to an archive?
An improved understanding of how and why Web content is selected for archiving will help inform the design of systems and processes to assist archivists in their work.
Ideally each of these would be one sentence. If you have suggestions for distilling them further please let me know. And of course, if you have any thoughts about the research problem itself please get in touch. Comments and annotations here should work, or you can send me a tweet or an <noscript>email (ehs at pobox dot com)</noscript>.References
Hernon, P., & Schwartz, C. (2007). What is a problem statement? Library & Information Science Research, 29(3), 307–309. Retrieved from http://www.lis-editors.org/bm~doc/editorial-problem-statement.pdf
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This post was written by Julio López P – 2015 School of Data Fellow. Julio is currentl working on energy information management and capacity building projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
See post in Spanish on ILDA’s (Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos) blog
In 2016, the Quito open data community joined the worldwide celebrations for Open Data Day. It all started a month ago with an online call from School of Data and the MediaLab UIO to collect ideas and proposals to organise the event in our city.On Saturday, 5 March 2016, around 80 people joined our event, which included two opening presentations about the potential of Open Data in Ecuador and four interactive workshops. Here we share some details:
A civic mapping workshop was led by the MediaLab UIO, who shared their experiences on how to map and collect data around urban issues and groups and also invited participants to contribute with ideas for future mapping projects. The Latin American and the Caribbean Youth Network on Climate Change (CLIC) joined the workshop to share their project YoutHAB, a conference for groups of young people working towards sustainable urban development that will take place in Quito this year along with the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III.
Data Science and Python
Learning coding with Python may not be at the top of your list, but Carlos De Smedt (Atikux, @wikicarlos), an Ecuadorian developer, shared his knowledge with a bunch of people interested in using this tool to do scraping and other tricks to use data in different ways. They also had time to talk about data science and its possible applications.
How to manage open data?
anaging data is not an easy task. We had a team from ThoughtWorks Ecuador who shared an open tool to find (CSV, Excel, APIs), use and visualize data from open data portals. They used a dataset from the World Bank on foreign debt to show participants how to use this tool to create a simple model to work with these data as they would do in a company.
Data Driven Journalism
In the region we have some fact checking projects, such as Chequeando, El Sabueso and Ojo Bionico. During the ODD16, a new fact checking project called El Verificador – Gkillcity was attended and presented. They had fun listening to a TV programme from the Presidency of Ecuador that is broadcast on Saturdays to get material to fact check. They identified 14 facts and checked five using public data, we hope that they will publish the results soon.
All of these presenters showed how interesting it is to work with data and data-driven projects (thanks for that!). We had lots of fun and mostly people enjoyed the idea of having these type of events organised by local communities to share and spread their knowledge and explore common ideas around open data.
The local community around open data is growing in Quito and surely more proposals and events are just around the corner! Let’s keep an eye on it!
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the organisation of the event: Ivan Terceros, Ruben Zavala and Pablo Escandón (MediaLab UIO); Lisette Arevalo, Isabel Jervis, Rodney Espinosa, Denise Valle, Lorena Serrano and Doménica Garcés (GkillCity); Carlos De Smedt (Atikux); Carlos Fuentes, Mauricio Murillo, Gabriela Chasifan and Byron Torres (ThoughWorks Ecuador); Ana Cristina Benalcazar, Margarita Yepez, Roberto Madera and Christian Lopez (YoutHAB) and Susana Guevara (Fundación Telefónica Ecuador).
Special thanks to Open Knowledge International and the Latin American Open Data Initiative (ILDA) for funding this event and CIESPAL (MediaLab Uio) for letting us use their building.
Two weeks ago we were thrilled to join The New York Public Library, First Book, and Baker & Taylor in announcing the launch of Open eBooks, an app containing thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for children from low-income households. The goal of Open eBooks is to encourage a love of reading and serve as a gateway to children reading even more often, whether in school, at libraries, or through other eBook reading apps.
You may be wondering: what was DPLA’s role in all of this? It was our national network of librarians and cultural heritage organizations who helped to coordinate books for inclusion in Open eBooks. In summer 2015, we issued a call for interested librarians and school media specialists to apply for the opportunity to be a part of the inaugural Curation Corps. We evaluated over 140 compelling applications from across the country and selected nine passionate individuals who represent a broad range of expertise and a commitment to serving low-income and diverse populations.
The DPLA Curation Corps applied their knowledge and professional skills to shape a compelling collection that is diverse, exciting, and age-appropriate so that every child has a book to read and enjoy.
“I believe in literacy as the basic skill for success in school. I work in a special education school and spend every working day with barriers to literacy. My goals in both applying and wishing to continue with this initiative are to promote accessible and diverse books for children. Specifically, the books that make a child laugh, ask questions, and read out loud just for the fun of it!” writes Curation Corps member Dorothy M. Hughes.
Continuing Curation Corps member Vandy Pancetti-Donelson serves because, “this library is always open and I want to make sure our children have good books to choose. There is a book for every reader.”
To learn more about the members of the Curation Corps, visit the Curation Corps homepage.Call for Curation Corps Class of 2016
After the successful Open eBooks launch, partners and publishers are excited to continue growing the collection with the help of the second class of the Curation Corps. Content selection will continue to prioritize diverse books, with an eye to multicultural and non-English language titles. We are also looking to create a collection of ebooks available to all readers, even without access codes.
We are seeking motivated, engaged community members who have experience with building and organizing children and young adult book collections, who have time to continue growing the Open eBooks collection through the end of 2016. Curation Corps members will select top content, highlight kid favorites, and help categorize titles to make them more discoverable inside the app.
If you are interested in helping us connect books to young readers, and you have expertise in this area, please consider being a member of our Ebook Collection Curation Corps. Applications are due Friday, April 1. We will announce the second class of Collection Curation Corps in April 2016.
Questions about the Curation Corps? Email us.
Open eBooks is a partnership between The New York Public Library, DPLA, and First Book, with assistance from Baker & Taylor, and made possible by generous commitments of publishers with funding support provided in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. To learn more about Open eBooks, visit the Open eBooks website.
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Kate Krauss delivers keynote on social justice and patron privacy at code4lib 2016. "I don't know a data model that isn't politically charged."
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code4lib 2016: Shira Peltzman and Alice Sara Prael: Can’t Wait for Perfect: Implementing “Good Enough” Digital Preservation: "Preservation without access is pointless."
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code4lib 2016: Shira Peltzman and Alice Sara Prael: Can’t Wait for Perfect: Implementing “Good Enough” Digital Preservation: "Digital preservation is expensive"
jestaub posted a photo:
Kate Krauss delivers keynote on social justice and patron privacy at code4lib 2016. "Whose data do you protect?"
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code4lib 2016: Julie Swierczek : Digital Preservation 101, or, How to Keep Bits for Centuries : "tpverso.wordpess.com"
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code4lib 2016 : Nick Ruest and Ian Milligan : Enabling Access to Old Wu-Tang Clan Fan Sites: Facilitating Interdisciplinary Web Archive Collaboration
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code4lib 2016 : Allison Jai O'Dell and Steven Duckworth : The Fancy Finding Aid: Makeover your Collections with HTML5, Responsive Design, RDFa, Circulation Management, and Visual Content
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code4lib 2016 : Katherine Lynch : Growing Accessibility: Advanced Web Accessibility Coding and User Testing for Libraries