Code For Bandung – What, Why, and How to Work with Open Data

December 8, 2014 in Community, Events

Last Friday the Code for Bandung, a local movement of techies and developers who are trying to create civic apps for the City of Bandung, Indonesia. The group took its inspiration from the Code for America and conducted its first community meetup in a coworking space in Bandung called Co n Co. I was there together with a local community data champion Prasetyo Andy Wicaksono to share about the usage of open data both in social and business sense.

The purpose of this event is twofold. The first is to introduce the Code for Bandung movement to the people of Bandung and the second is to give an insight how the people of Bandung can use data especially open data for civic technology. The second purpose is very important because right now awareness regarding the usage of data for civic tech is still low, even in the technology community. There are currently many effort in the field of data based decision for business but for things like civic tech based on data is still pretty much undeveloped.

In the event, we talked about things such as: what is data and open data; why those are important; examples of civic tech apps using data that is publicly available; etc. One example of such project was the water height in the city water canal which gives early warning information for flood alert. Besides civic tech usage, we also discussed about making a start-up with publicly available data, and continued with listing and searching what kind of data actually can be provided by the government of Bandung and can be used to create a useful solution.

The event covered some interesting topics. It is a nice and refreshing perspective to see how data can used for social and civic goals from the perspective of the technology people. It brings to mind that sometimes the most creative uses of data can be achieved by combining the perspective of many different people from different backgrounds, such as from the government, technology, and advocacy.

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