Open Data Hong Kong news roundup (28 Feb)

Roundup of Open Data Hong Kong news – week of Feb 28.

Next event: Meet.16 (upcoming Wednesday!)

Wednesday March 5, 7pm. meet16_03_FB Cover Photo

Topics: R stats programming language
R is very useful for journalists and data scientists to crunch sets of data to find trends and run scenarios. Guy Freeman and Fuk Chan of the Hong Kong R User Group will be giving us a practical overview of the R programming language that’s been getting people buzzing finding trends in statistical data and big data. They’ll be brazenly honest about it too – no pitches, just the low-down – how to use it, what to use it for, the shortcomings, the aggravations, and the awesome potential.

Energy data
Waltraut, Guillaume and Eric are hacking energy data, and they’re getting it open. Find out what is the state of energy data – public and private – in Hong Kong. Energy data is critical for sustainable urban development, smart city planning and climate change mitigation. Both private and public organisations collect data related to energy generation and consumption, some of it, e.g. utility consumption data, is held by private companies.

More info here: http://blog.opendatahk.com/?p=244

Request for Comments: Legco Innovation and Technology Bureau

Legislative Councillor Charles Mok‘s office asked ODHK to comment on the preliminary proposal for the structure and role of the Innovation and Technology Bureau. The ITB will be very valuable for supporting Open Data and its benefits for innovation and analysis for citizens, as well as freedom of information, open science, technology innovation to position Hong Kong as a “smart city”. This preliminary document outlines (very broadly) how ITB can support Open Data, inside the HK Gov and with citizens and industry. Read our comments and add your own!

(Original Facebook post link)

ODHK Executive Committee (“ExCom”): Deadline tonight!

We are now moving to form an Executive Committee for Open Data Hong Kong. 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. 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.
Read more here about applying.

(Original Facebook post link).


News

HK Budget is out! Has support for Open Data

hkbudgetThe Hong Kong Budget 2014-2015 is out, and there’s support for Open Data! Sort of. Read Bastien’s round up here.

Some other Open Data projects include:

Code4HK

Open Data Hong Kong members are also quick to innovate on the budget. The Code4HK team have built a budget calculator (in Chinese) at http://budget.code4.hk/

HouseNews

A very popular page reporting on the budget (Chinese) from an ODHK member visualises the data.

Open Data China initiative launched

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 5.52.42 pmCitizen’s in China are getting into Open Data! Check out their site (in Chinese). At least one ODHK member is involved!
http://opendatachina.com/

(Original Facebook post link)

Gazetteer HK

Gazetteer Screen Shot

This exciting project started at the Open Data Hong Kong Make.02 event is getting a lot of buzz. 

Gazetteer “makes geographical data about Hong Kong’s diverse neighbourhoods accessible and easy to use…collecting and standardizing numerous datasets and making them available to everyone — journalists, researchers, developers, and anyone curious about the city around us.”

Check it out! http://gazetteer.hk/

(Original Facebook post link)


App updates!

Heritage on the go – now on Android

ODHK member and Open Data Day collaborator Connie Leung’s team just released this app for Android. It displays information markers of declared monuments on Google Maps, locates declared monuments that are within the chosen proximity of the current location and displays location, name, address, opening hour, description, homepage, phone, email, remarks and QR code of declared monument’s URL. Check it out!

(Original Facebook link)

Licencheck app – now on Android

The renowned IVE team are at it again. They’ve updated their notorious LicenCheck app for Android so you can look up if that restaurant is legit or not. Check it out!

(Original Facebook post link)


Interesting link:

Google “Making Sense of Data” online:

Data literacy is important, and its valuable to have useful tools to work with when using surveys, demographic informaion, evaluation data, test scores and observation data. Google has a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on making sense of Data. And no, this isn’t an advertisement. If you followed this, tell us what you think! Check it out: https://datasense.withgoogle.com/preview

Open Data Day

Last week was International Open Data Day! Organised with Sammy Fung and Haggen’s Hong Kong Creative Open Technology Association, we hosted a hackathon at Good Lab in Prince Edward. There were 8 open data hack projects and we webconferenced with our Open Data counterparts in Taiwan, Shanghai and Chengdu! Check out some photos:

Support for Open Data in the HK Budget

hkbudget

Hong Kong’s budget chief loves Microsoft Excel- the budget was released in spreadsheet format.

The 2014-2015 budget was released and there is support for Open Data. Well, not exactly Open Data, but for “Public Sector Information“, which in Hong Kong, is close enough. There are 3 simple laws for Open Data:

  • Find: The data is indexable, available, findable;
  • Play: The data is machine-readable;
  • Share: The data is available for use without limitations.

These 3 laws seem to be covered in the budget’s section about building Hong Kong into a Smart City.

making all government information released for public consumption machine-readable in digital formats from next year onwards to provide more opportunities for the business sector. Currently, Public Sector Information available for free access covers real-time data such as road traffic information, geo-referenced public facility data, property market statistics, population census statistics, etc;

Legco councillor for IT Charles Mok points out there is another technical groundbreaking element to this budget as well:

For the first time the high level budget estimates are made available in excel format on budget website. A small but good first step in.the right direction…..

Sure enough, the Excel files of the estimates are available:

Summary of Expenditure Estimates (PDF PDF file) (Excel XLS file)

Join the conversation about this on Facebook at our Open Data Hong Kong group

Interesting HK budget data projects

Interesting tools and projects are out to help you crunch the numbers in the HK budget. Here are some below.

Inland revenue department calculator

IRD calculatorThe Inland Revenue Department also has an online calculator to help you build your own budget (in Chinese).

Code4HK

Open Data Hong Kong members are also quick to innovate on the budget. The Code4HK team have built a budget calculator (in Chinese) at http://budget.code4.hk/ code4hkbudgetcalculator

HouseNews

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 7.37.42 pmA very popular page reporting on the budget (Chinese) from an ODHK member visualises the data

Other projects?

If you have any HK budget projects to be highlighted here, please leave a comment! Or post to our Open Data Hong Kong group.

Budget Hack event?

We’re considering a hackathon-like event to hack the HK Budget. Find trends, build other scenarios, improve visualizations. Interested? Please leave a comment or post to our Open Data Hong Kong group.
Thanks to Cedric Sam for posting in our Facebook group about the budget!


Update

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.00.25 amCedric Sam has posted lots of data visualization about the budget in the SCMP online. Check it out.

Innovation and Technology Bureau – request for comments

Now an innovative way to get citizen input, with ODHK to show the way! Comment & review other comments on a LegCo document in Google Docs.

Legislative councillor +Charles Mok has developed a preliminary proposal to the Chief Executive last week regarding the role and structure of the Innovation and Technology Bureau (“ITB”) which will be put forward to LegCo.

The ITB will be very valuable for supporting Open Data and its benefits for innovation and analysis for citizens, as well as freedom of information, open science, technology innovation to position Hong Kong as a “smart city”. This preliminary document outlines (very broadly) how ITB can support Open Data, inside the HK Gov and with citizens and industry.

Your comments on this document are important! Is something missing to better support Open Data? Are there red flags? Does it not go far enough, or needs to be more specific? Please leave your comment in the document! (Right click in the document, “Comment”.

You can read comments I’ve already placed.
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YnZNzuisaP-sX84u9ZWkNtTMwNfHyfPcwJAza1YEYtE/edit

Thanks!

Meet.16: R stats programming language & energy data

meet16_03_FB Cover Photo

This event we’re finding out about R and energy data.

Event is BYOB (bring your own beer / alcohol).

Date:

Wednesday March 5, at 7pm

Add to: 

See this event on:

Event low-down:

Energy data
Waltraut, Guillaume and Eric are hacking energy data, and they’re getting it open. Find out what is the state of energy data – public and private – in Hong Kong. Energy data is critical for sustainable urban development, smart city planning and climate change mitigation. Both private and public organisations collect data related to energy generation and consumption, some of it, e.g. utility consumption data, is held by private companies.

R stats programming language
R is very useful for journalists and data scientists to crunch sets of data to find trends and run scenarios. Guy Freeman and Fuk Chan of the Hong Kong R User Group will be giving us a practical overview of the R programming language that’s been getting people buzzing finding trends in statistical data and big data. They’ll be brazenly honest about it too – no pitches, just the low-down – how to use it, what to use it for, the shortcomings, the aggravations, and the awesome potential.

Open announcements

Then we open up to the floor to announcements:


LOCATION

See this in Google Maps

DIFFERENT Location : Good Lab @ Prince!
5th floor of Le Prabelle Hotel, literally a 2-minute walk from Exit C2 of Prince Edward MTR. LITERALLY (click here for a Google Map location)

Thanks to The Good Lab 好單位 for sponsoring the venue at their new co-working space! 



Whether you’re already familiar with Open Data or just want to find out what it is, come to our regular meetup (happens every 3 weeks). No technical skills required. Come out and meet fellow Hong Kong Open Data enthusiasts.第16次例會了!無論你已很熟悉Open Data,或只是想多認識Open Data,歡迎參加我們每三個星期的定期聚會,跟其他Open Data關注者碰面。

 

Open agenda

Collaboration

Connecting trees (Connie – FB)

+Resources

rOpenGov: ropengov.github.io (Rob)
NIPS/MLOSS workshop on Machine Learning Open Source SoftwareNIPS/MLOSS workshop on Machine Learning Open Source Software Written By Leo Lahti — December 10,…

+Apps / Sites

Fresh Hikes In the last Open Data Hong Kong hackathon, Stephanie and I started making The Fresh Hikes Finder, a mobile app that combines gov data on air quality and user-generated hiking data to recommend the “freshest” routes on any given day. You can now see a prototype on:http://freshhikes.herokuapp.com/

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: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cc8TAJYFsNdNXbykA3tesJC2kwn922mdcpv7-d732uc/viewform 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.

ODHK supports the establishment of a Technology & Communications Bureau

Open Data Hong Kong supports Charles Mok’s initiative to establish the Technology and Communications Bureau in the 2014 Policy Address and 2014-15 Budget.

Through our engagement with OGCIO and the technology community in Hong Kong, we have identified a real need to establish a more agile approach to researching and experimenting with new technologies. Open Data is now a well established movement which is helping governments world-wide to be more efficient and accountable. (more…)

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