Working With Data in the Browser Using python – coLaboratory

Tony Hirst - August 20, 2014 in Data Blog

IPython notebooks are attracting a lot of interest in the world of data wrangling at the moment. With the pandas code library installed, you can quickly and easily get a data table loaded into the application and then work on it one analysis step at a time, checking your working at each step, keeping notes on where your analysis is taking you, and visualising your data as you need to.

If you’ve ever thought you’d like to give an IPython notebook a spin, there’s always been the problem of getting it up and running. This either means installing software on your own computer and working out how to get it running, finding a friendly web person to set up an IPython notebook server somewhere on the web that you can connect to, or signing up with a commercial provider. But now there’s another alternative – run it as a browser extension.

An exciting new project has found a way of packaging up all you need to run an IPython notebook, along with the pandas data wrangling library and the matplotlib charting tools inside an extension you can install into a Chrome browser. In addition, the extension saves notebook files to a Google Drive account – which means you can work on them collaboratively (in real time) with other people.

The project is called coLaboratory and you can find the extension here: coLaboratory Notebook Chrome Extension. It’s still in the early stages of development, but it’s worth giving a spin…

Once you’ve downloaded the extension, you need to run it. I found that Google had stolen a bit more access to my mac by adding a Chrome App Launcher to my dock (I don’t remember giving it permission to) but launching the extension from there is easier than hunting for the extension menu (such is the way Google works: you give it more permissions over your stuff , and it makes you think it’s made life easier for you…).

When you do launch the app, you’ll need to give the app permission to work with your Google Drive account. (You may notice that this application is built around you opening yourself up to Google…)

Once you’ve done that, you can create a new IPython notebook file (which has an .ipynb file suffix) or hunt around your Google Drive for one.

CoLaboratory_Notebook

If you want to try out your own notebook, I’ve shared an example here that you can download, add to your own Google Drive, and then open in the coLaboratory extension.

Here are some choice moments from it…

The notebooks allow us to blend text (written using markdown – so you can embed images from the web if you want to! – raw programme code and the output of executing fragments of programme code. Here’s an example of entering some text…

coLaboratory_Notebook_text

(Note – changing the notebook name didn’t seem to work for me – the change didn’t appear in my Google Drive account, the file just retained it’s original “Untitled” name:-(

We can also add executable python code:

coLaboratory_Notebook_code

pandas is capable of importing data from a wide variety of filetypes, either in a local file directory or from a URL. It also has built in support for making requests from the World Bank indicators data API. For example, we can search for particular indicators:

coLaboratory_Notebook_wb

Or we can download indicator data for a range of countries and years:

coLaboratory_Notebook_wb_data

We can also generate a visualisation of the data within the notebook inside the browser using the matplotlib library:

coLaboratory_Notebook_plot

And if that’s not enough, pandas support for reshaping data so that you can get it into a from what the plotting tools can do even more work for you means that once you learn a few tricks (or make use of the tricks that others have discovered), you can really start putting your data to work… and the World Bank’s, and etc etc!

coLaboratory_Notebook_reshape

Wow!

The coLaboratory extension is a very exciting new initiative, though the requirement to engage with so many Google services may not be to everyone’s taste. We’re excited to hear about what you think of it – and whether we should start working on a set of School Of Data IPython Notebook tutorials…

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4 Network Visualisation Tools

Sam Leon - August 20, 2014 in Fusion Table, Google Fusion Table

Network visualisation has become an important tool in the armoury of the data wrangler. An increasing volume of research and journalism is using network analysis and visualisation to gain insight into the real world social, political and cultural networks that influence our lives. Take for instance GFK’s analysis of the European political Twittersphere or Gild Lotan’s piece on personalising propoganda in the Israel-Gaza war.

Instagram co-tag graph produced using Gephi, highlighting three distinct topical communities: 1) pro-Israeli (Orange), 2) pro-Palestinian (Yellow), and 3) Muslim (Pink). Source: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/08/04/israel-gaza-war-data-the-art-of-personalizing-propaganda/

Instagram co-tag graph produced using Gephi, highlighting three distinct topical communities: 1) pro-Israeli (Orange), 2) pro-Palestinian (Yellow), and 3) Muslim (Pink). Source: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/08/04/israel-gaza-war-data-the-art-of-personalizing-propaganda/

Below I’ve listed some of the top free tools for sketching and analysing the networks that you produce in the course of your investigations. The first two tools are primarily for those who want to visualise networks based on desk research and where there is a need to include many different types of entity. The latter two, Gephi and Google Fusion Tables, are more tailored for use with larger datasets. Gephi in particular let’s you perform in-depth statistical analysis of networks which can be especially useful for analysing social networks.

VIS: Visual Investigative Scenarios

http://vis.occrp.org/

A tool for producing simple but stylish network maps using a stock of icons for entities that often come up in investigations e.g. people, companies and cases. It also gives you the option to share and embed your networks online, you can also export it for print. It’s in Beta stage at the moment, so play nice and be sure to report any bugs!

Network of diagram mapping the assets of Azeri Officials in Czech Republic, taken from the VIS public gallery: http://vis.occrp.org/

Network of diagram mapping the assets of Azeri Officials in Czech Republic, taken from the VIS public gallery: http://vis.occrp.org/

Text2MindMap

https://www.text2mindmap.com/

An online tool that turns lists into network structures so you don’t have to fiddle around with positioning when you add entities into your network. It is limited in terms of design options but it’s simplicity means that you can produce your network sketches pretty quickly.

Google Fusion Tables

https://sites.google.com/site/fusiontablestalks/

Google Fusion Tables now offers a basic network mapping tool. It has some useful filter functionality and although it lacks the deep customisation options and analysis functionality of Gephi (see below) it can produce insightful visualisations.

OpenOil’s attempt to map BP and its subsidiaries using Google Fusion Tables. More information [here] (http://openoil.net/corporate-networks/bp-corporate-network/)

OpenOil’s attempt to map BP and its subsidiaries using Google Fusion Tables. More information [here] (http://openoil.net/corporate-networks/bp-corporate-network/)

Gephi

https://gephi.github.io/

A desktop tool for performing powerful network analysis and creating slick network visualisations. For those interested in experimenting with Gephi, I would recommend that you try and visualise your own Facebook network. Find more details on how to do this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbLFMObmLNQ. School of Data has also published tutorials for mapping company networks and social network analysis.

GFK and University of Vienna's research on the key influencers of the EU Twittersphere: key influencers in the EU Twittersphere: http://www.gfk.com/documents/whitepaper/eurotwittersphere_final.pdf

GFK and University of Vienna’s research on the key influencers of the EU Twittersphere: key influencers in the EU Twittersphere: http://www.gfk.com/documents/whitepaper/eurotwittersphere_final.pdf

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Data Journalism in Developing Countries: Getting Beyond the Hype

Eva Constantaras - August 15, 2014 in Data Journalism

One groups visualizes when it is best to use radio to explain data instead of charts

One group visualizes when it is best to convey data findings over radio instead of charts depending on the audience’s data literacy and reliance on traditional media for information.

 

Data journalism has tremendous potential to drive transparency and reveal corruption in developing countries and many donors are funding data journalism as a means to good governance and transparency. The Defining and Designing Successful Data Journalism Initiatives in Developing Countries session at the 2014 Open Knowledge Festival focused on what it takes to grow a sustainable data community. In groups composed of journalists, developers, CSO representatives and other open advocates, we evaluate the most common strategies such as conferences, boot camps, fellowships, hackathons and reporting grants and discussed openly whether they had produced concrete data journalism that has had a social and policy impact.

To kick things off, I shared my own perspective on successes and failures by the media development community. The fastest and cheapest way to try to introduce data journalism is through Data Journalism Boot Camps. The model is based on the belief that a week-long (or sometimes three-day) training in the fundamentals of data journalism would give journalists just the push they needed to start fighting corruption through awesome visuals and news apps. But, just as a one-week conventional boot camp can hardly be expected to produce a special ops unit, the workshops do not produce a cadre of global journo-coders and what’s worse, they often gloss over topics like privacy, statistical errors and ethical reporting. In fact, many boot camps never result in a single data-driven story, despite a flurry of Twitter traffic that suggested that places like Nigeria, Nepal, and Bolivia are the next rising stars in data journalism.

My contrasting success story explored the four-month fellowship model where a group of talented media professionals (journalists, a graphic designer and developer) in Kenya dedicated themselves to learning new skills and producing experimental content and storytelling for their home media outlets but working from the Internews in Kenya data desk. For us, the fellowship served several purposes. It immersed the fellows in months of intensive training as each module built up their cumulative skills; it introduced them to data sources, including think tanks and government, that the journalists could use for stories when they returned to their media outlets; and it encouraged them to work as a team to complete two major investigations each, which they published before the end of the fellowship and earned them a reputation as data journalists.

Next, the 50+ participants worked in groups to identify their most illustrative examples of success and failures to help others design smarter activities. Examples included great budget visualizations that engaged the public through the media, but only one person on the team actually knew how to use the software to produce the visualization. On the flip side, another group had created a website to visualize aid data but nobody ever accessed the site and those who did found it confusing. Both of these experiences illustrated the need to establish who needs to be trained to ensure a viable product that can be maintained after the initial launch and how the target audience consumes news, which, in the case of many of our participants, is offline.

A common theme addressed difficulties in bringing together developers and journalists on projects. One group sited a successful example of a mapping platform in Latin America that superimposes environmental journalism stories on maps of environmental data such as protected zones and mining areas. This way, both data and traditional storytelling are present on the same platform. Another group paired an NGO that designed and implemented a public opinion poll with journalists who published the results. In both cases, the developers and statisticians generating data stuck with the skills they were good at while the journalists became more data literate but were not expected to become journo-coders in order to report on data.

Another participant from South Africa highlighted the challenges of embedding coders in newsrooms, who generally end up either isolated or overwhelmed by newsrooms either indifferent to data or too demanding for digital products. This experience echoes embedded coder challenges faced by a similar program in Kenya. Overall, participants shared honestly and openly about successes and failures and advocated for more “Fail Faire” type events where practitioners share knowledge and experiences not only with each other but also with donors.

These were the overall conclusions:

  1. Sustainable data journalism activities require the buy-in of journalists, developers, editors and publishers
  2. Finding good matches between media outlets, CSOs and developers all committed to data are key to productive collaborations
  3. How people consume information should dictate narrative or visual form of data products
  4. Data journalism requires teamwork, whether inside or outside of the newsroom
  5. Mentoring and consulting data experts can help avert mistakes in data analysis and interpretation
  6. Storytelling to convey data helps people understand and connect with the issue
  7. Not a lot of resources are available for data journalism tailored to developing country contexts
  8. Data integrity is an emerging issue of concern as data journalism increases in popularity
  9. Topics, projects or specific production goals can help make data journalism activities more realistic and achievable
  10. Sharing lessons learned is essential to designing more effective data journalism activities

To learn more about how to design data journalism initiatives in developing countries, check out the session Etherpad and my blog post for Knight Mozilla Open News Source on Developing Data Journalists in the Developing World.

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Use of news apps on the rise in the newsroom

agnesrube - August 14, 2014 in Data Journalism

Business Daily's 2014-15 budget tree map

A tree map created for Business Daily by Daniel Cheseret.

This post is cross-posted from the Internews Kenya blog

Business Daily's NSSF deduction calculator

Business Daily’s NSSF deduction calculator.

To call it a wind of change would probably be puffery, but a slow breeze is blowing through newsrooms in Kenya, increasing the interest in data journalism and the demand for news applications.

Kenyan media houses have in the past couple of years enjoyed several collaborative project aimed at promoting data journalism and encouraging innovative use of online platforms such as Code for Kenya and data journalism trainings and fellowships offered by Internews in Kenya

But up until now however, only a few journalists have shown interest in data journalism and the media houses themselves have not developed news applications of their own – on their own.

But lately Business Daily, a weekly magazine published by the Nation Media Group, has moved into the new frontier – publishing both a news application and an interactive chart on their website within a week.

In preparation of the 2014-15 budget reading, Business Daily commissioned developer Daniel Cheseret to make them an interactive chart showing the breakdown of the budget. Cheseret was a 2013 Internews data journalism fellow, wasted no time and as the budget went public the magazine could showcase a beautiful tree map on their website.

“The online desk’s interest in data journalism is growing, I’m currently working on another project for them that will be published soon” says Cheseret.

Recently he also built a news application for the magazine, where the readers can calculate how much of their monthly salary will go to The National Social Security Fund as the scheme for the deductions will change in the upcoming four years.

Kenyan journalists and developers at large are also showing more enthusiasm for data journalism. When Data Driven Journalism recently offered an MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) in data journalism more than a hundred Kenyans signed up for the class. Internews in Kenya was one of the local learning groups during the course.

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The quest for air pollution data in Paris

Cédric Lombion - August 13, 2014 in Data Expeditions

#EDpollution

On June 15th 2014, during the Parisian digital festival Futur en Seine, the French Open Knowledge local group organized its first data expedition. Our theme was air pollution in Paris urban area. The expedition was hosted by the Infolab, a progOKF - logo EDpollutionramme dedicated to data analysis for the general public.

Air pollution made sense as a theme to explore. The subject hit the news some months ago with a pic of pollution in Paris, and there were some obvious datasets we wanted to investigate. The workshop was successful on the whole, but not necessarily where we expected it to be. Air pollution in Paris urban area was definitely a complex subject to explore, and little if any related data was available.

 

14   The number of attendees

Attendees had to position themselves on a scale going from 0 to 3 regarding several competencies: Storyteller, Explorer, Data Technician, Analyst and Designer. A quick analysis showed that some competencies were unevenly distributed, with the exception of storytelling.

average level of participants
 

3   The number of approaches

After a brainstorming to find interesting questions about air pollution in Paris (first phase), five questions were selected. The participants then split in 3 groups with each choosing one question as a starting point for exploration.

  • Group 1 : Do public transport strikes have an impact on air quality?

  • Group 2 : Has the rise in bike use helped decrease the overall level of air pollution?

  • Group 3 : Is Paris different than other international capitals in terms of air pollution? And what is behind the difference?

Notably, the question about strikes came from an OKF Twitter follower, @fcharles
 

10   The number of data providers used

Airparif, data.gouv.fr, European Environment Agency… various data providers have been combed (second phase) to find useful data for the expedition. Among the 14 datasets found, the most useful were those from Airparif. They describe the evolution of the concentration of the 4 most important pollutants (SO2, NO2, O3, PM10). One group made a call for help on Twitter to find more data about Paris’ bike sharing service, which helped two important datasets to be opened to the public.
 

0   The number of significant correlations found

It looks like a low number, but no significant result does no mean no result at all. The subject was ambitious, and the data was often incomplete, or even unavailable for analysis (third part).

Group 1: this group studied the strike of the national railway company workers that occurred on June 11th 2014.
Hypothesis: by measuring the levels of pollution during and after the strike we can highlight the impact of the strike on air pollution.
Result: comparing the during and after didn’t yield significant results.

Group 2:  this group tried to compare the evolution of bike use with the evolution of air pollutants concentration.
Hypothesis: some of the people who bike to work choose this transport solution over their car, meaning that they contribute to a reduction in air pollution.
Difficulty encountered: the raw data of Airparif was complex to manipulate, which kept the group from finishing their analysis in time.

Group 3: this group decided to create a dataset from scratch with geographic, demographic, transport and pollution data regarding several world capitals.
Hypothesis: by comparing enough variables, we can observe which characteristics are linked to air pollution.
Result: Even visualised in a bubble chart, no obvious trend was found
 

5   The number of data set created, improved or made public

From Datasets Sources
Group 2 Monthly variation of Parisian bike traffic since 2008 Observatoire des déplacements à Paris
Group 2 Geolocalised data from Airparif’s pollution sensors regarding the 4 main pollutants (this data can’t be reshared) Airparif
Group 3 Geographic, demographic, transport and pollution data for Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Brussels, Copenhagen, Amsterdam Earth Policy Institute
Agence européenne de l’environnement
Commission européenne
Air Quality Index
Eurostat
Etienne Côme Historical data of 20 bike sharing services from several cities in Belgium,  France, Japan, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden http://vlsstats.ifsttar.fr/rawdata/ (fr)
Mathieu Arnold Historical data of the usage of Paris bike sharing service’s parking stations. Updated every 10 minutes since 2008 http://v.mat.cc/ (fr)

Sadly, Airparif’s licence does not grant the right to share their data. This is surely something that should be investigated considering the status of Airparif, an association whose mission of providing pollution info is a public service under delegation of the French Government.
 

Some other numbers :

0 The number of data used that were really in open data. The data retrieved was either in PDF format, or wasn’t under a open data compatible licence.
15 The approximate number of hours spent studying air pollution to prepare the expedition.
5 The number of software tools used: LibreOffice, Google Spreadsheets, R, Google Charts, Open Data Soft
270 The duration of the event in minutes. From 11h30 to 16h00

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Dispatch: School of Data Summer Camp

Heather Leson - July 29, 2014 in Community, Events, maps, School_Of_Data

Close your eyes and imagine an inviting space that you can connect, learn and share with new colleagues from around the world. What would that look like? Well, at School of Data we dreamed big to deliver an amazing event in collaboration with so many people. We are still reflecting but would consider it a successful first School of Data Summer Camp.

SCODASummerCamp02

The School of Data Summer Camp was held on July 18 – 21, 2014 at Villa Adlon in Potsdam, Germany. There we collaborated to build School of Data with all the participants: partners, network leaders, local instances, fellows, senior fellows, funders, special guests and staff. The 4-day event with 47 people focused on individual and community growth with participatory activities in a programme consisting of conversations, documenting, skillshares, brainstorming, networking, and gamestorming.

Here is a small window into the spirit of Summer Camp:

(Video by Social Tic’s Juan Manual Casanueva)

Thank you

The house, lake, gardens and complete environment provided a perfect setting to unite people for School of Data Summer Camp. We would like to extend a very special thanks to our host Mathilda Huss of Villa Adlon. She generously provided the beautiful location.

Special thanks goes to our funders who made all of this possible: Partnership for Open Data (World Bank, Open Data Institute, and Open Knowledge), Hewlett Foundation, Open Society Foundations, IndigoTrust, the British Embassy Skopje, Hivos, and SEATTI.

We are all taking a much needed rest and then will begin to share more about the next steps for School of Data. Thanks again to everyone who made School of Data Summer camp so special.

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Announcing the School of Data Fellows

Milena Marin - July 15, 2014 in Community, News

We are proud to announce the School of Data Fellows 2014. During the next six months 12 amazing individuals will train and collaborate with civil society and journalists to drive accountability, transparency and social change across five continents. The Fellows are joining OKFestival this week in Berlin and will take part in a dedicated School of Data Summer Camp with trainers, partners and staff to share skills and develop action plans.

We are grateful for the interest from partners and members in the School of Data community. A special thank you to the more than 200 applicants who applied to join the programme.

Meet the School of Data Fellows

Antonio Cucho Gamboa, Peru
antoniocucho
Antonio is a specialist in website development – as a PHP and Python programmer. He is the founder of the Open Data community Peru and Co-organizer of Hacks / Hackers Lima. Participate in projects Open Data, Data Journalism. In Juny 2013 I participated in AbreLatam 2013 in Montevideo, Uruguay with my project Lima I/O (DAL Regional Winner 2012). In February 2014 I organized a Open Data Day Peru, we had workshops, hackaton and talks about open data. Also in March 2014 I went to Montevideo, Uruguay to participated in the first Databootcamp for journalists. This year, I’m teaching open data tools in some workshops for journalists, citizens and NGO’s.

Codrina Illie
codrina photo
Codrina is a PhD Student at the Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest working within the Groundwater Engineering Research Center “CCIAS”. She is actively promoting free and open source software for geospatial and she is a dynamic supporter of the open data movement in Romania through her work within the geo-spatial.org community. Codrina is part of the GEodata Openness Initiative for Development and Economic Advancement in ROmania project team. The main objective of GEOIDEA.ro is to improve the scientific basis for open geodata model adoption in Romania. The project is built on the strong believe that publishing government geodata in Romania over the Internet, under an open license and in a reusable format can strengthen citizen engagement and yield new innovative businesses, bringing substantial social and economic gains. You can follow her on twitter.

Dona Djambaska, Macedonia
VA6_2297
Dona graduated in the field of Environmental Engineering and has been working with the Metamorphosis foundation in Skopje for the past 6 years in assisting on projects in the field of information society. There she has focused on organising trainings for computer skills, social media, online promotion, photo and video activism. Dona is also an active contributor and member of the Global Voices Online community. She dedicates her spare time to artistic and activism photography.

Hannah Williams, South Africa
hannah
Hannah is a graphic designer working in both web and print. She also does copy writing now and again and have worked on a couple of public art projects. Recently she she has been trying to focus more on doing work that has a positive social impact. You can find some of her work here: http://www.hannahwilliams.co.za

Happy Feraren, the Philippines
HeadShotferaren
Happy Feraren is the co-founder and CEO of Bantay.ph – a Manila based civil society organization (CSO) that monitors the quality of service in frontline government offices through volunteer reports. Along with the rest of her team, Bantay.ph has engaged over 100 student volunteers to monitor their local government offices and check for compliance of service standards mandated by the law. Her CSO aims to uplift the standard of public service and create a culture of active citizenship. Happy finished a degree in Literature at the De La Salle University, Manila before pursuing a career in advertising. After 4 years in the industry, she decided to leave advertising to work full time in the development sector. She is also a member of Manila’s premiere improvisational theater group, SPIT (Silly People’s Improv Theater). As a member of the group, she has performed in international improv festivals, conducted training modules for corporations, and developed special immersive theater shows. She also has diverse local and international experience in the fields of education, tourism, broadcasting, and HR training.

Joachim Mangilima, Tanzania
joachim
Joachim Mangilima is a technology and data enthusiast with a passion for using technology and data in addressing the most common problems facing communities around the world. He is active in consulting in the areas of development, deployment and management of mobile and web-based solutions and systems for decision support, data collection, analysis and management. Joachim is also the Co-founder and Co-manager of Google Developer Group (GDG), Dar es Salaam, a group of technology enthusiasts and software developers who are interested in open source technology with a bias in Google’s developer technology; this includes everything from the Android, App Engine, and Google Chrome platforms, to product APIs like the Maps API, YouTube API and Google Calendar API. Joachim holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Dar es Salaam majoring in Computer Science and Statistics with a minor in Economics.

Nisha Thompson, India
profilepicnisha
Nisha is currently working as Lead Organizer of a new organization called DataMeet, which is a community of people who are working towards open data by sharing experiences and helping others with data related problems. Datameet is hosting meetups and Open Data Camps around the country to promote dialogue about the use of data for civic purposes. Nisha moved to India in 2010 and worked with the India Water Portal to open up water data and worked with partners on the ground to improve the use and management of data. She also co-wrote a report on Open Government Data in India with the Centre for Internet and Society located in Bangalore. Previously she has worked with the Sunlight Foundation, in the United States, as social media and community organizer.

Oludotun Babayemi, Nigeria
Oludotun
Oludotun Babayemi has 5 years experience in the nonprofit sector and a Masters degree in Information Management. He is a Monitoring and Evaluation Expert with Connected Development [CODE], and the Lead Development Consultant with Cloneshouse Nigeria. He is a Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional and presently a USAID and Google sponsored CrisisMapper Fellow. Oludotun Babayemi is working on monitoring and evaluation systems [such as the Follow The Money and the Education Budget Tracker] that could be used in putting pressure on governments and organizations in developing countries to be more responsive to demands from internal and external stakeholders for good governance, accountability and transparency, greater development effectiveness and delivery of tangible results. He has worked in participatory mapping projects with UNOCHA during the Libya Crisis, UNOSAT in the Post Libya Crisis Geotagging , WHO in the health facility registry post-Libya Crisis, Amnesty International-US during the Syria Uprising, UNSPIDER in the Samoa Simulation Exercise, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative Simulation Exercise and also with USAID on the mapping of poverty alleviation projects around the world. He was the Geo-Team Lead with Humanity Road using his expertise in information communications in disasters and humanitarian relief support.

Rita Zágoni, Hungary
profilRita
Rita is a programmer with social science background. She has worked in IT management and web development before joining the Economics department of Central European University, where she is in charge of parsing unstructured, free text data to create analyzable format. Wandering across these fields she has gained some experience in website development, text processing and statistics using mainly Python, Java and MySQL.

Ruben Moya, Mexico
ruben_moya_1
Ruben studied computer science at the Autonomous University of Guadalajara (UDG). He is currently freelancing developing web applications. He is a follower of technology and love to see new places. In the past months he has given lectures on code optimization, and have been teaching basic and advanced programming and developing. He also manages the programming of online conferences (hangouts) and online courses on various topics of technology, development and design.

Siyabonga Africa, South Africa
Siyabonga Africa
Siyabonga is from the east coast of South Africa but is currently living in Gauteng and working as a data visualization lead developer at Apehllion. His career has its roots in public administration and journalism from the University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University respectively. He completed his masters in new media design at Indiana University before returning to South Africa in 2012.

Yuandra Ismiraldi, Indonesia
photo_yuandraismiraldi
Yuandra is a full stack mobile engineer and game developer from Indonesia. He holds a bachelor and master degree in software engineering, and started his career working with several startups in mobile and gaming space. He became interested in open data after participating in a hackathon about open data. Thinking that open data is a very interesting field, he is currently expanding his skill set to the world of open data and feels that information technology can become a great tool for open data.

Delivery partners
The Fellowship Programme is developed and delivered with Code for Africa, Social-Tic (Mexico) and Publish What You Pay Indonesia.

Funding partners
The School of Data Fellowship is made possible thanks to the generous support from the World Bank through the Partnership for Open Data, Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO), Hivos, Indigo Trust, Southeast Asia Technology and Transparency Initiative (SEATTI), The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and Open Society Foundations.

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Festing with School of Data

Heather Leson - July 8, 2014 in Community, Data Expeditions, Data Stories, Events, School_Of_Data

School of Data Fellows, Partners, Friends, staff and supporters will converge on Berlin next week for OKFestival: July 15 – 17, 2014. We know that many of you may be attending the festivities and we’d love to connect.

Mingling: Science is Awesome!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 18:00 CET
OKfestival starts with a Science Fair to help you get to a taste of of all the amazing people and activities. We’ll be there to share School of Data with the large global community. Please stop by and say hi!

Activity: Be A Storyteller

July 15 – 17, 2014
As those of you who have attended Data Expeditions before, being able to tell an impactful story is key to success. Join the Storytelling team as we meander through the festival collecting and sharing real-time stories. To join.

Session: How to Teach Open Data

Thursday, July 17th, 2014 15:30 – 16:30 CET
Are you passionate about teaching data and tech? Are you striving to support a community of data teachers and learners? Are you keen to exchange experiences with other professionals in the field of teaching data? Then this is the right session for you.
Join us for a conversation about standards and methodologies for data teaching with School of Data, Peer to Peer University and Open Tech School.

  • How to organise tech and data workshops
  • Building effective curriculum and accreditation
  • Type of education activities: a blended offline, online
  • Designing passion driven communities

More about the session.

Informal Session: How to Build a School of Data

Thursday, July 17, 2014 16:30 – 17:15 CET (same room as the previous session.)
Are you keen to join School of Data? Do you want to set up a School of Data instance in your locale? Join us to meet staff, fellows and partners. We’ll answer your questions and start the conversations.

Most of all – happy Festing!

(Note: For those of you are unable to attend OKfestival, we’ll be sure to share more details post-event. See you online.)

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What’s new at School of Data

Heather Leson - July 2, 2014 in Community, Events

What’s new at School of Data? Today we held a Community Session all about School of Data. In the session, we shared updates on fellowships and upcoming events, including OKFestival and School of Data Summer Camp. As well, we talked about what it means to be involved in School of Data – as a partner, fellow, contributor and potentially a School of Data instance. We are very keen to get your input on how you want to be involved and garner your guidance for upcoming programming and community plans.

Here is our 30 minute conversation for your review:

As well, we’ve set up a School of Data Youtube Playlist. If you have a video related to School of Data, just send it our way and we’ll add it.

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Community Origami: How can we better Support you

Heather Leson - June 30, 2014 in Community, Events

stickies are love

We have two School of Data Community Sessions this week. The goal is to share the latest School of Data news from you and the team. We will also be asking some questions on how we can better serve your learning and teaching journeys. Join us for either of the timezone friendly sessions:

School of Data – Community Session (G+ Hangout to air)
Date: Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Time: 09:00 EDT/14:00 BST/15:00 CEST
Register for the July 2nd session

School of Data – Community Session( G+ Hangout to air)
Date: Thursday, July 3, 2014
Time: 08:00 BST/ 07:00 UTC/09:00 CEST/15:00 PHT
Register for the July 3rd session

Small, Medium and Large Tasks

We’ve been doing some analysis to try and better support you – community members. With a growing community plus the overwhelming interest in fellowships, we want to make it easier for you to get involved. Here are some ideas and some suggested programming ideas. Join us for the community calls or drop us a line – info at schoolofdata dot org or heather dot leson at okfn dot org. Our goal is to get your input and plan together.

Here is a list of some ideas we have:
Our goal is to be a value-driven community. Tell us what you would like to do and we will work to co-build it with you.

  • Blog editors
  • Blog post procurement/wrangling
  • Social media outreach – twitter, facebook
  • Regular online meeting co-chair
  • Bloggers
  • Badge committee to help design and test badges
  • Website committee to help build and test website
  • local event organizers
  • storytellers – impact interviews, regular storify
  • assistants for weekly roundup
  • feedback loops -test loomio?
  • assist on Q & A tool?
  • Writing and Curating online courses/modules

If you are really keen, we think there is about 24 different roles/tasks that could be done ranging in type of activity and levels of time/skill (small, medium and large tasks).

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