This year, on Saturday 5 March, the fourth annual International Open Data Day was celebrated.
In Northern Ireland, ODI Belfast organised and facilitated an informal grassroots event bringing together people to talk about what they are doing with open data.
The event which was sponsored by the NI Open Government Network was attended by over 35 people, with a number of speakers from the academic, private and voluntary and community sector and government sharing their experiences of open data. This event brought together a community of open data users to talk about their experiences, hopes, challenges and ideas.
As well as showcasing how open data is currently being used, we also saw the progress that Northern Ireland has seen due to the Open Data Strategy, the Open Data NI and Detail Data portals, the emergence of several open data projects and the increasing interest in data journalism.
Several open data projects and initiatives were highlighted including three NICVA projects (ODI Belfast, Detail Data and Community API), OpenDataNI, NINIS, Kainos, NI Open Government Network, Farset Labs, MastodonC, Queen’s School of Geography and some Open Archaeological Data.
As often happens at events such as this one the challenges around open data were identified including the reluctance of some government departments to share data. Challenges aside, the event was very positive with great discussion around possible collaboration on open data fuelled by fresh coffee and freeflowing discussion afterwards in the local pub.
Thanks to everyone who attended and in particular our ‘lightning talk’ speakers: Andrew Bolster, Brian Cleland, David McBurney, Eoin McFadden, Jason Bell, Lorraine Barry, Mark Savill, Piers Campbell, Ryan Somerville, Robert Chapple and Stephen Gray.