South America presents a very active environment in terms of Open Data so we didn’t want to loose time and scheduled our first meeting for the next day after our arrival. At their great offices in Santiago’s downtown area, the team from INRIA Chile welcomed us warmly for a great encounter where we could get lots of useful information about Open Data in Chile and its neighbouring countries.
As a joint initiative from both the french research centre INRIA and the chilean innovation incubator CORFO, the non-for-profit organization INRIA Chile is working on several areas (ITC, renewable energies, transparency) with the focus of putting technology in action for society’s good. For this purpose, they rely greatly on data-collection and analysis mechanisms which represent the component of their work we wanted to discover about.
The team of developers, researchers and engineers are developing solutions such as Adkintun, a project which monitors the quality and availability of the internet access provided by the different ISPs in the country. The goal of this project, which counts also with a mobile version for measuring 3G networks, is to ensure that customers get what they pay for, transparently. We could experience as well about their ongoing project to monitor the movement patterns of Santiago’s cyclists and to generate relevant traffic data. This information could be very helpful to support the local administration’s plans for improving the current bicycle roads in the city.
Also a member of Data Publica was among us, another french endeavour working actively with Open Data. Collaborating closely with INRIA, Data Publica is a for-profit organisation which provides a wide spectrum of services around Open Data, Big Data and data visualisation that companies, administrations and other organisations can profit from.
INRIA Chile initiated in January 2013 the event series named Data Tuesday. Taking place in different locations of Santiago every 2 months, the sessions gather experts and data enthusiasts with the aim to discuss and exchange about the state of the art, new projects and future developments. After last yearÂ´s success, Data Tuesday will continue in 2014, now with a thematic approach, the next date is the 25th March and focus on Health data.
The existence of such a high-profile event taking place regularly and attracting numerous attendees is another evidence of the great momentum Open Data is experiencing in Chile nowadays. After leaving the military dictatorship behind in 1990, the country has been quickly transitioning towards a democratic and transparent state. As a matter of fact, Chile belongs to the Open Government Partnership and has already built different online sites promoting Open Government initiatives and citizen’s participation. Additionally, there is an official Open Data platform (implemented with Junar) since 2011 where the government is releasing and showcasing a lot of applications that use the available datasets. Not only the public administration is putting its efforts on this line, but civil society organisations as Ciudadano Inteligente or Poderopedia, and an independent agency for transparency have been all involved.
Indeed, there is a lot going on. Sadly we won’t be in Santiago for the upcoming Data Tuesday, but INRIA Chile has invited us to run one of our sessions on a closer date. We will be happy to meet you on 10th March at their offices for our Open Data Visualisation workshop!