Open Data Day 2014

“For data to be open, it should be available, accessible and machine-readable.” Participants at Open Data Day Nepal gathered together to work towards making data open. While participants of Mapathon created data and made it freely available and accessible to all via OpenStreetMap, participants of Hackathon worked on visualizing open datasets to make information accessible and usable.

Saturday’s International Open Data Day was the second of its kind celebrated in Nepal. This year we had two events organized here in Kathmandu: one at Kamaladi (organized by FOSS Nepal Community, Wikimedia Nepal, Mozilla Nepal, NOSK, and Open Knowledge Foundation Nepal) and the other at Lagankhel (organized by Kathmandu Living Labs (KLL), Young Innovations Pvt. Ltd (YIPL), NGO Federation Forum, Accountability Lab, Galli Galli, and Institute of Engineering.)

KLL led all the mapping related activities and Young Innovations led the hackathon and scrapathon sessions. Among the different activities scheduled by KLL, the highlights were: OpenStreetMap talk, Mapathon for newbies, OSM Patrol and Geocaching.

Over 20 open data enthusiasts gathered at the Local Development Training Academy to map Nepal on OpenStreetMap. These were all newbies—maiden mappers, who set their hands to OpenStreetMap for the first time. They were students from different universities (majorly Kathmandu University and Tribhuwan University), representatives from leading NGOS and INGOs in Nepal, University faculties, Rotaractors, and open data supporters. The theme of this mapping session was “country coverage”. Participants mapped their home towns and the places they are familiar with.

Below are the user IDs of OSM members who took part in the mapathon:

amritkarma, Anup Shrestha, aryan amrit, ashmi, asjbrana, Ban Medo, Dipendra Shrestha, Geoaashu, Geofreund1, hellopratap, krishna2014, lumana23, maheshwor1, Manoj-OSMNepal, momoites, Nirab Pudasaini, Poshan, rhoit, Sagar Dahal, sawbin15, Sazal(Solaris), sures

Well done guys!!
These new mappers were also involved in Geo-caching—a game where maps and GPS devices are used as tools to navigate to hidden caches. Our volunteers very cleverly molded the game into a mapping model, where mappers were sent to field to collect data and on the basis of number and type of POIs collected, they were awarded points. Mid-session quiz was also run to assess and reinforce the knowledge of participants about open data and OpenStreetMap. 

The following map shows the areas edited in OpenStreetMap during ODD Nepal 2014:

These mappers were in addition to the other 10 mappers who were involved in mapping for quality—OSM Patrol. The 10 mappers engaged in OSM Patrol were experienced mappers with changesets exceeding 100. The theme of OSM Patrol was “Quality assessment of OpenStreetMap data in Kathmandu”. These 10 experienced mappers checked the quality of data in small sections of the valley using tasking manager as a tool to monitor the edits. Poshan Niraula from KLL shared his Undergraduate research findings on the quality of OpenStreetMap data compared to the reference data obtained from the Government. He also stated and explained his research findings: Assuming the Government dataset (reference set) is 100% accurate, the average accuracy of OpenStreetMap data for roads and buildings in Kathmandu is above 80%.

gagan-thapaThe day had started off with Mr. Bibhusan Bista from YIPL explaining what open data means and why it is important. Dr. Budhathoki from KLL then presented the use of OpenStreetMap in Kathmandu as a tangible and feasible example of power and utility of open data. He presented OpenStreetMap as an Emerging Infrastructure for Development (view presentation slides)

Gagan Thapa, youth leader and Member of Parliament, then took it a step further and expressed his interest in undertaking Open Data model for opening up data in his constituency. Thapa stated his commitment to consider open data concept in policy making as well. During his visit to the stalls, Thapa also mapped his Chabahil based office, in OpenStreetMap.

Congratulations to all the open data enthusiasts, practitioners and supporters for making the event successful. Last year, open data initiative kick-started a movement in the country. Let’s keep at it, let’s keep the open community growing!

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