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An Open Data Day Bounty

BY Nick Judd | Monday, December 6 2010

A screenshot of a visualization built as part of International Open Data Day, a distributed day of civic action from hackers and wonks the world over. Source: David Eaves

This weekend, Canadian writer, activist and open data wonk David Eaves co-lead an open data hackathon that, according to a post on his blog, brought in thousands of people in over 73 cities on five continents, including here in New York.

The result was dozens of we-government and civic hacking projects, including several open databases scraped from public-facing government websites by some Oregon hackers, using the recently available scraping tool ScraperWiki; a tool to find public toilets in Galway, Ireland; and visualizations of data about Argentinian presidential speeches.

Here's a complete list of Opendata Day projects.

Worldwide, many hackers spent their time producing data catalogs and repositories, creating APIs and scraping data from presumably clunky government data portals. Maybe the day was, in part, a statement in support of governmental units opening better access to their data: People building tools to make government more open or participatory will find a way to get the data they need, whether existing administrations are a part of that process or not.