On Saturday 6th March 2021, the eleventh Open Data Day took place with people around the world organising hundreds of events to celebrate, promote and spread the use of open data. Thanks to generous support from key funders, the Open Knowledge Foundation was able to support the running of more than 60 of these events via our mini-grants scheme.
Our Open Data Day was unfortunately an online event due to the situation in the country. Still we managed to attract many people. Attendance was mixed from members of the public to corporate actors and government.
The point of the event was to introduce solutions based on mapping open data that exist but should be communicated more amongst the public and also put in practice. These are the solutions that can make an everyday life of each and every one of us easier. For instance, the Council of Ljubljana has created numerous apps to make living in Ljubljana easier. One of these is for instance “Trenutek v Ljubljani” (A moment in Ljubljana) where Ljubljana citizens can see all traffic relevant information, availability of parking spaces, bikes, walking routes and also the quality of air and water at your location. Slovenia and Ljubljana are in the earthquake zone. The Council of Ljubljana has also created an app where each citizen can evaluate earthquake consequences on its residency. This app is unfortunately very unknown to the public and should be properly disseminated.
Slovenia is in economic crises. The unemployment rate is rising. Slovenian entrepreneur Miha Pšenica from Mihov.com has come to an idea to use open mapping data of Slovenian enterprises and information of jobs available at Institute of Employment. The company has linked the two and created a database free to use for the citizens of Slovenia. But a problem arose when the Institute of Employment changed its method of publicised data. It could no longer be transferred and linked. So, the question of consistency was posed to Opsi hub, the organization responsible for open data in Slovenia.
Kakšne novosti in aktivnosti @mju_RS načrtuje pri odpiranju podatkov javnega sektorja? Kako so odprti podatki povezani z mapiranjem v vsakdanjiku? Pridi na Dan odprtih podatkov! Info&prijava ⬇️ #DIHSlovenije #OPSIHub @GZSnovice #IKThorizontalnamreža https://t.co/zB5GyrFN5s pic.twitter.com/swQLCWznUn— Slovenian Digital Center (@DIHSlovenia) March 3, 2021
Open data is important. Open data should be used and should be available on many levels. At the end of the day, we concluded that we spend thousands of Euros for creating apps for the better goods of the citizens, but we forget that the real value comes from the use itself. Therefore, the solution needs to be communicated properly and loudly enough to reach the end user. Only in this way can the solution get the right value and usability.
We have also learned that open data should be in the format that can be reused for better good. And last but not least we learned that the key to open data is digital trust, the free flow of non-personal data and that personal data should be properly secured.
Not many are aware of the power of open data. Not many use it. Open Data Day has the power to raise awareness of its existence and spread it widely across the globe.