CEDEM 12, Day 2, Afternoon Workshops and Lightening Talks #cedem12

Open Government Data Workshop

open data workshop view

open data workshop view

This workshop was hosted by Johann Höchtl and Carl-Markus Piswanger with presentations of Anke Domscheit-Berg, Reinhard Riedl, Gregor Eibl et al. After an introduction and overview about open data portals in Austria and the cooperations by Eibl, we heard about the LOD2 Project in Serbia (Serbia’s first linked data source). More information on the project can be found here.

Anke Domscheit-Berg presented several advantages of open data visualisation with regards to the different questions that can be answered (e.g. Where: Where does my money go? Where is my subway? Where is my free bike?). The Guttenplag wiki, the phone data of Malte Spitz or Virtual Water (an application providing users with a water footprint of products) were examples of open data visualisation. visualizations of energy statistic data can be found at http://energy.publicdata.eu/ee/vis.html

In the area of data journalism drawing on open data, the guardian came up with a visualisation of the UK riots on a timeline. More visualisation of UK riot data on the Guardian Datablog.

Riedl finally explained why Open Government Data has a slightly different meaning in Switzerland. From a historical perspective, Switzerland was designed as a bottom-up construct, as municipalities delegated some power to the cantons, and the cantons some to the federal state. One can say that citizens own the state and the parliament is much stronger than the government, there is also a system of open voting. One question in the Switzerland context is how real collaboration on the basis of data as unexploited intellectual capital can be achieved. The Berner Fachhochschule researches cities of the future and questions like what Open Data might mean for the average citizen. Opendata.ch was founded in 2011/2012, and Riedl estimated that with democratic legitimation of Open Data, it will simply be done. However, at the moment there is no political authority in favour of OGD.

Afternoon lightening talks

cedem12 audience

cedem12 audience

Afternoon coma lightening talks!

I shall just summarise selected topics very quickly – short papers of all lightening talks can be found in the proceedings.

· E-Participation Declined? (Christina Griessler)

A short talk on the case of the Town of Swords in Ireland. The conclusion drawn: The Commission’s website was not e-participation friendly, the case has also not been identified as an issue for e-participation as traditional participation worked better (e.g. forms sent in together with politicians).
>> find this presentation on slideshare

· Obsessed with Facebook – How the New Social Media are changing the Social and Political Landscape in Romania and Serbia (Marc Rudolf Stegherr)

A talk about the lessons social media tell political communication in Romania and Serbia. Some politicians were leading figures with the usage of Twitter in election campaigns. In Romania, the blogosphere is extremely active. It can be assumed that the most important politicians think that they can rather rely on traditional media.

· Open Nuts! Open Government Data activities in Austria (Brigitte Lutz, Gregor Eibl)

Why does Open Government sometimes not work sometimes? By comparing open government with nuts presenters were referring to the shell of open government which is hard to crack 🙂 (e.g. when people in administration know of their data islands and want to keep them). What about a nut breaker? Examples are a white paper on OGD metadata, a framework for OGD platforms and a set of awareness rising activities.
>> find this presentation on slideshare

· The fitness of OGD for the creation of public value (Stefan Huber)

A talk about creating an index of  the fitness of OGD for creating public value. As OGD strategies vary across municipalities, and the notion of public value is discussed: It is both what the public values and what adds value to the public sphere. Indexing can help cities to find best practice examples amongst other cities. Two kinds of indexes were proposed: a municipality index and a data journalism one. Participants were invited to weigh and discuss components of such an index (e.g. cost, shattering power of OGD, empowering tools, geo referencing…) – for doing this, go to openscience.alpine-geckos.at/mogd-i.
>> find this presentation on slideshare

Peter Parycek closed the conference with a slam of short stories, pictures and quotes 🙂


  1. Thank you for the perfect organization of the Cedem12! Your team has done an excellent job.

    Just one little thing: you mention – just above – the link to the open science projet mOGD-I. In your text the link says correctly http://openscience.alpine-geckos.at/mogd-i/

    But when you click on it, the link is interpreted as an internal link on your website and wrongly leads to:
    which does, of course, not work. Would be great if you could make it work by linking it to: http://openscience.alpine-geckos.at/mogd-i/

    Stefan 🙂


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