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||The Time is Now
||May 8 2019
||Despite the tech world’s image of being fast-moving and constantly evolving, segments of those working in, or wanting to work in, tech are often told to wait. It’s no secret that the tech and data worlds do not reflect the nation’s diversity. And for those of us working in Civic Tech or Public Interest Technology, the struggle to secure long-term funding for projects or identify career paths is real. What if we shifted our mindset from “with a lot of time and a lot of work, we’ll figure it out,” to “let’s experiment and incite change today.” The time is now to tackle the question: as the data-driven community matures, how does it do so in a way that’s inclusive and sustainable?
||Frictionless Data Processing in the Wild
||Amber D. York
||May 8 2019
||Daisy Bingham Room
||Frictionless Data (FD) initiatives out of Open Knowledge International provide attractive informatics and processing capabilities. The BCO-DMO data repository used FD tools on real-world datasets, and we have some lessons learned to share. By building upon existing FD tools, we found ways to reduce the amount of time data managers spend generating metadata, and writing custom scripts. We are also developing ways for data managers with varying levels of scripting ability to make use of Frictionless Data tools.
||Digging for Urban and Civic Data in Eastern Europe
||May 8 2019
||The Open Data and Open Knowledge movement in developing countries is constantly bumping against the paradoxical question: is there a way to open up data when the datasets aren't yet present? Where do you get the data to make your effort worthwhile and how do you scale to make the initiative relevant to the larger society? More importantly, do the data producers (the state bodies and the surveillance apparatus, social networks or municipal service providers) share the interest of publishing data for everyone's and society's benefit? Is there a way to dig out interesting and relevant datasets that people didn't know existed to show new ways to analyze and fight urban problems, educate people about the environment, propose solutions to post-Soviet problems like unemployment, decaying public infrastructure, never-digitized cultural assets? Do we cooperate with the fashionable "Smart city" projects funded by Chinese state corporations or remain vary of the surveillance methods they introduce in cooperation with the police and other government structure? Practical cases, civic hacking and citizen data science, establishing cooperation between unlikely partners and other questions of interest for anyone interested in the community building process from scratch.