Documenting Berlin Open Data Day 2013


A few days before starting our trip, we get the opportunity to take part in the 3rd Berlin Open Data Day hosted by the Fraunhofer Institut in cooperation with the Berlin Senate Administration for Economic Affairs, Technology and Research (equivalent to regional Ministry).

By gathering representatives from the private and the public sector (at national, regional and local level), this one-day seminar has demonstrated how actual and significant is the will to open public data and to join citizens on this process.

DSCF2218In Germany, even if the national state already launched its open data platform, it is not its competence to force the german regions and municipalities to proceed that way. Each of them is free to go ahead with open data or not. Of course, the federal state promote to be innovative on this issue and to create an open data platform which can be used by developers to create tools and applications for various purposes, from e-participation (an example could be Frag Den Staat) to local information such as public transport.Berlin counts among the german regions which are much active on this field and has its own open data portal

DSCF2228Also, Berlin participates with Amsterdam, Barcelona, Paris, Helsinki, Rome & Bologna into the Open Cities project co-founded by the European Union to encourage innovation in public administration. The workshop we attended today showcased some examples from Barcelona (we would like to underline the project Barcelona Urban Lab), Paris and Amsterdam where citizens have been associated to their local administration to improve comunication between each other and make their daily life better.

During the whole event, the major role of the developers in this matters has been made clear. The process of gathering data, transforming it (if necessary) and building applications has been demonstrated by some app builders who expressed the need for more and better structured data (standard formats) and more appropiated licenses that don’t prohibit the use by third parties.DSCF2236

In order to accelerate this progress, some programs and initiatives which motivate the creation of the so called “civic apps” have been presented. Two examples are StadtLandCode and Code4Europe  and it was good to hear that new challenges are to come.




The first steps

Dear readers, in the last weeks we have been really busy establishing contact with people and organisations along our journey which are willing to collaborate with us. The feedback to our project has been very motivating so far and we are looking forward to starting our trip, meeting people and documenting open knowledge related projects along the way!

Our schedule for the next 2 months has been now confirmed and we are happy to share with you the first steps of our project:

Thursday, 4th July : Talknight @ Brmlab , Prague, Czech Republic


Brmlab is a non-profit, community-run hackerspace in Prague. They provide a space where people who make things can come to share tools and knowledge. In this first stop, we will present our project on their July’s Talknight.

Wednesday, 10th July : Workshop @ , Vienna, Austria


Metalab is a hacker space in Vienna, Austria — an open center for people who do creative things with technology. On the 10th of july we are going to run our workshop on visualizing open data.

Thursday, 18th July : Workshop @ , Tirana, Albania


They are a non-government non-profit organization, based in Albania, that aims to support and promote initiatives which provide tools that bring knowledge closer to those more in need. We got in contact with its board member Redon Skikuli , who lives in Berlin, and will be interviewing him to experience about they are running in the fields of education, DIY and open-source culture. Also, we will do our workshop there as well.

Thursday, 25th July : Workshop @ FLOSSK , Prishtina, Kosovo


FLOSS Kosovo is a non-governmental non-profit organization established in order to support, promote and develop the principles behind open source,open knowledge and creative commons. We will be visiting Prishtina at the end of july and will be meeting the people from the “Free Libre Open Source Software Kosova”, documenting what they are doing and running our workshop there with them.

Tuesday, 6th August : Workshop @ Zelazolab , Istanbul, Turkei

zelazo_logo_web.Zelazo is a space of exchange and production. It gathers those specialized in arts, design and technology with those that would like to imrpove their skills. We will be visiting them in August in order to document their space and run our workshop there.