Open Data Hong Kong news roundup (7 Apr)

Roundup of Open Data Hong Kong news – 7 April, 2014

Next ODHK events:

ODHK HacKnight! (Meet.18) - this Thursday, April 10

ODHK is starting a series of monthly hack nights for members to get together and work on their open data projects. If you have an idea, already working on a project, or just want to lend a hand and find out more about open data, come on out. People will pitch and present their projects for others to decide or start their own. No technical skills required – everyone has something they can contribute. Bring your laptop!

More info here:

Open LegCo & Open Data with LegCo Secretary General Kenneth Chen (Meet.19) - Tuesday, April 22


Event link, Facebook event link

Our speaker will be Kenneth Chen, Secretary General of the LegCo Secretariat will present “Open Legco”, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council’s foray into the Open Data space, as well as speak about the opportunities of open data for civic engagement, politics and legislation in Hong Kong, and the challenges for government to get with Open Data.

With projects like “Open LegCo“, the Legislative Council attaches great importance to the promotion of openness and public access to information about the work of the Legislature. Check it out!

More info here:

Want more events?

Here you go! See calendar of Open Data – relevant events here:
Happy to add your open data-related events.


Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 12.01.33 PMOpen Data + ODHK featured in TimeOut Magazine

A growing movement of data enthusiasts are hoping to use government information in apps and products in a way that could change our daily lives. Anna Cummins meets the volunteers behind ODHK

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 1.26.09 PM

ODHK is now on

ODHK is now on Check us out:


Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 1.35.16 PM“Wired Hong Kong doesn’t understand the true value of information”

(SCMP) ODHK member Waltraut Ritter says lack of access to public data hurts competitiveness public data hurts competitiveness. (Link)

“Access to information in HK falls behind other countries, says Ombudsman”

(SCMP) “[Government staffers] misunderstood how the [access to information] code was to be followed, especially when turning down public requests for data. One complainant said the Environmental Protection Department had refused to provide information on the exhaust systems of two problematic restaurants because it was “third-party information” and therefore protected by privacy rules. (link)

More news!

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 1.54.53 PMCanada sets up “Open Data Insititute”

(NextGov) How Canada plans to fuel its Economy with Data! The Canadian govt funded $3M to set up an Open Data Institute “charged with finding, compiling and standardizing government and private sector data that companies, entrepreneurs and academics can use as the raw material for new products and services.”. If Hong Kong wants to become a “smart city”, an institute set up here would help the engine to run it. (link)

Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 1.55.57 PMHow to decide which data sets to release?

(Sunlight Foundation) Data.One doesn’t properly weigh which datasets to release first. They look for ‘low-hanging fruit’, which means big datasets and publicly ‘easy to understand’ data. HKG needs to instil a culture of open. This means that all departments take data that is already broken down into formats like Excel and CSV and simply post it. And they need to do this whether they understand its usefulness or not. It’s public sector information. As long as it does not contain personal information, it should be shared (D Christ) (Link)

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.56.11 pm

Add your HK Open Data project to the ODHK project list!

Please enter in your Open Data project here! We want to try and get a listing of all Open Data projects relevant to Hong Kong. You can enter any project. It doesn’t have to be your project. We will make these projects accessible on the ODHK website. Thank you! (link)

Open Data-related Upcoming Events

Our 1-year anniversary (Meet.17)

ODHK passed its 1-year mark a little while ago. We had cake!
A summary of the past year is available here.

A few photos from

Never been to an event? Come on out!

Meet.19: Open LegCo and Open Data


Our speaker will be Kenneth Chen, Secretary General of the LegCo Secretariat will present “Open Legco”, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council’s foray into the Open Data space, as well as speak about the opportunities of open data for civic engagement, politics and legislation in Hong Kong, and the challenges for government to get with Open Data. (more…)

A Structure for Open Data Hong Kong

Update: Applications are now closed. Thank you for your interest.

Read here for an update about the next steps!

Original post:

The cold weather is barely behind us, but ODHK Admin series is waking up from its hibernation slumber. We left last year’s admin discussion with a rough outline of what we wanted for ODHK’s incorporation, but it also became clear that the structure of the organisation and its legal footing are two separate steps which can be taken in turn. So we are now moving to form an Executive Committee for Open Data Hong Kong. For the overall structure of ODHK, the Executive Committee (ExCom) is responsible for the leadership of ODHK, whereas Working Groups (WG) will form the operational backbone of the organisation. WGs can be either project-specific (e.g. hosting a LegCo Hack, or building a FOI portal), domain-specific (e.g. Open Science, Data Journalism), or dedicated to a particular function (e.g. Communications, Events). The WG leads are responsible for coordinating their operations, and act as a link with the ExCom by seeking its support for plans and informing them of developments. The ExCom itself is a group of five individuals which is responsible for:

  • Strategic and tactical decision-making for ODHK
  • Coordination with Communications WG to make plans and decisions public
  • Interfacing with WG leads
  • Incorporation of ODHK within 6 months.

As one of the goals of the ExCom is to define the terms of incorporation, the positions on ExCom will soon be up for re-election. We are limiting the initial terms of ExCom membership so the leadership structure can be independently decided upon from those who will take up leadership of the incorporated entity. Anyone can apply to become a member of ExCom by sending in their responses to the following questions:

  • What’s your vision for the organisation?
  • How do you see your role in getting there?
  • Why are you suitable for the coordination of ODHK?
  • What do you see as being the greatest challenges for ODHK?

To apply

Please provide your answers via this form: The applications are made public for review by the membership. Applicants can then discuss with one another to form teams of five people who think together they would present the best possible leadership for ODHK. Once a team is formed, it will announce its ticket and strategic goals to the wider membership. At the next Admin meeting, the teams will seek the approval of the membership. Anyone who was attended at least one ODHK event is eligible to vote. Voting is anonymous. The team with the most votes is elected. The event and deadline dates are:

  • 13 Feb : This announcement was posted
  • 28 Feb : Deadline for applications for ExCom positions
  • 7 Mar : Deadline for teams to announce themselves
  • 25 Mar : ExCom election at Meet.17 [edited]

As a voluntary organisation we will always rely on the passion and goodwill of our members to lead projects, to take up positions and to contribute where they can. The existence of a ExCom won’t change that. However, the ExCom is there to support the WGs and the idea is that members can take their projects up with the ExCom which will then see what resources can be made available to support the project. ODHK wants to act as a catalyst for Open Data projects, so that we can support great ideas and cultivate different approaches to infusing Open Data into the way Hong Kong is run. Very much looking forward to your applications and to see what we can do together for Open Data Hong Kong.

Meet.15: Open Steps

When: Thursday February 15
Where: Dim Sum Labs, 14/F 100 Jervois Street, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Add to Google Calendar

Open Steps is an initiative from Margo Thierry and Alex Corbi, two young Berliners travelling around the world meeting activists and organisations working in the field of Open Knowledge. Their research covers, among others, the promotion of the principles behind Open Source, Open Data and Open Government, or the use of data and technology for digital activism and journalistic purposes.Starting in July 2013 in Berlin and after touring Europe, India and Southeast Asia, Open Steps will now pass through Hong Kong before heading to South-America. 
On their session, they will do a recap of the most exciting projects they have discovered: the release of real-time transport data in Austria, how hackerspaces are taking the initiative to promote Open Knowledge in the Balkans, or how organisations in India are helping administrations to make efficient social improvements by analysing data. These are just a few examples of the numerous initiatives they have documented on their website so far.

Also, as featured in previous workshops, an Open Debate will be the opportunity to discuss together about the status of these topics in Hong Kong and to explore relevant projects presented by the participants.

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