A Day with Open Data Enthusiasm: Open Data Day 2015 Kathmandu, Nepal

Nikesh Balami

Nikesh Balami


Wed Feb 25 2015

Short preparation but after a long wait we were all set for celebrating Open Data Day 2015 in our country Nepal. This year also with an help of different open communities like Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal Community, Mozilla Nepal, Wikimedians of Nepal, CSIT Association of Nepal, Acme Open Source Community (AOSC), Open Source Ascol Circle (OSAC) etc planning of Open Data Day 2015 Kathmandu was made and Open Knowledge Nepal was a core organizer of an event.


Key Activities of an event was:

– Presentation Session

– Spending Data Party

– CKAN Localization

– Data Scrapathon

– MakerFest

– Wikipedia Editathon

– Community Discussion

You can find more details about an event from Event Page: https://np.okfn.org/2015/02/16/opendataday2015/


[21st February 2015] Event Day:

Participant started to check in from 10:00 AM (NST) and many unregistered participant from various colleges & organization did their registration on the venue at registration desk. Must say interest about Open Data is too high among people, we received 105 registration for an event within 65 hours and more than 90+ registered and 20+ unregistered participant joined us for Open Data Day 2015 Kathmandu celebration.

After registration & check in, all the participant, supporters and organizer gathered at the venue ground for an orientation about the event. Mr. Hempal Shrestha from Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) Nepal Community welcomed everyone at event and requested Mr. Ayush Shrestha, Director of  mDevSolution (Venue) to have a short introduction speech. Mr. Shrestha told that mDevSolution always welcomes this kind of initiatives and shares their interest to host this kind of events again and again in the coming future. Right after him Mr. Nikesh Balami, Member of Open Knowledge Nepal gave a short orientation about an event and shared the event plan with all participants. He explained how event will flow whole day and how different communities will be facilitating separate groups/teams. After an introduction of all organizer, mentors and representatives, all participant moved towards respective rooms. Volunteers served coffee to all of them.


Spending Data Party and Data Scrapathon at Hall 1:

With more than 40+ participant, Open Knowledge Nepal hosted Spending Data Party and Data Scrapathon. Before starting at first Mr. Shubham Ghimire, Member of Open Knowledge Nepal gave a short introductory presentation. In his presentation he clarified what is Open Knowledge Nepal, what are the visions of the community, why open data is important etc. After making all participant clear about open data, another member of Open Knowledge Nepal Mr. Nikesh Balami started his presentation on the topic Open Data – What and How?? On his presentation he showed the process of making data public & open. He also discussed about the Data Process, how we need to work with open data. Last but not the least, there was a presentation from Mr. Firoj Ghimire where he gave an introduction on different data visualization tools and explained the importance of it.

After a presentation session Data Scrapathon and Spending Data Party was started, Nikesh Balami and Subham Ghimire was mentoring the participant. At first introduction of “Tabula” data scraping tool was given, by using Tabula we can easily scrap the PDF data and can easily convert those data into Comma Separated Value (CSV) format. Then participant were asked to search and download the spending data, budget, balance sheet etc of their locality in PDF format from Internet. After that, process of scraping PDF data was taught, all participant used tabula to scrap their locality spending data and filter those data using spreadsheet. After scraping and filtering, it was a time for data visualization. Since, participant of MakerFest was using datawrapper.de for data visualization we decided to use something different. At first participants shows their interest of using OpenSpending for visualization but after trying and looking those complicated process we decided to use Google Fusion Table for data visualization. Nikesh Balami shows the process of visualizing data using Google Fusion Table and participant visualized their data.


CKAN Localization at Room A:

More than 15+ participant were busy localizing CKAN, where Mr. Manish Dangol & Mr. Firoj Ghimire from Open Knowledge Nepal were looked busy mentoring them. “CKAN is a tool for making open data websites. (Think of a content management system like WordPress – but for data, instead of pages and blog posts.) It helps you manage and publish collections of data. It is used by national and local governments, research institutions, and other organizations who collect a lot of data.” They were targeting to localize more than 500 string at the event day. Anyone from all around the world can contribute for localization, we just need to create an account at Transifex and then start localizing. Interested contributors can visit: https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/ckan/resource/2-2/
Editathon at Room B:

During the introduction session Mr. Nikesh Balami, the event coordinator has urged “Today we are not going to learn, we are going to show products. By the end of the day every team shall come with number of products. You will not say I learned this and that, you’ll have something to show.”

It was a big challenge to our team because in most of the computers which participants brought, there was no Nepali input keyboard. Many of the participants were new to Nepali typing and some of them were opening their Wikipedia accounts for the first time.

The challenge was simply met by the active contributor of Nepali Wikipedia Mr. Navaraj Ghimire who was coordinating the editathon at Room B. Nepali Wikipedia Editathon kicked off when Nepali Wikipedia Sysop Mr. Ganesh Paudel briefly introduced Wikipedia explaining how everyone can edit wikipedia. Altogether 15+ participants participated in the editathon among them 50% were newbies. Although there was frequent obstruction of internet connectivity the editathon session went on. By the end of the day, participants have created new pages and wrote new article in Nepali Wikipedia and  pages in Doteli test wikipedia was also created. Participant learned how to create and write article at Wikipedia. They improved lots.


MakerFest at Room C:

AKA Mozilla Maker Party, was themed specially for Open Data Day. Some data visualization was done on the occasion using webmaker and some free scraping & visualization tools “Tabula” and “datawrapper.de” were used. With around 20+ participants, the party started at 11:30 AM (NST) with brief introduction to Webmaker and its application and use. The session was hosted by Ms. Shristi Baral and Mr. Abhash Adhikari later joined by Mr. Nootan Ghimire and Mr. Kuber Sodari. They helped the participants to use the data visualization tools and Thimble.

After the warmup session the participants grasped various data freely available on web. After converting those PDF data into CSV using tabula, the CSV data was visualized by using datawrapper.de and then presented using thimble. Then the event was followed by presentation session about the products and things composed by the participants during event.
After the presentation session, Mr. Avash Mulmi gave a brief introduction about Mozilla Nepal and Mozilla as a whole and question answer session followed the short Appmaker warmup by Mr. Mulmi.


Final Hours:

Participants worked and learn different innovative ideas about open data and openness whole day followed by some coffee and lunch break. At the final hours of a day there was and output discussion session. where participant present their output at respective rooms & mentors gave suggestion and feedback to them. That discussion session was almost an end session of a event and participant slowly started to leave venue after than. But again Nikesh Balami from Open Knowledge Nepal called interested participant to join community discussion. More than 40+ participant gathers at venue rooftop where discussion about future plans, community engagement and feedbacks about an event were asked. Participant gave some sweet and bitter moments feedback of an event. With a big smile on everyone face Open Data Day 2015 Kathmandu, Nepal celebration ends.


To see more images of an Event: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Open_Data_Day_2015_Nepal