By on February 23, 2015
Code for Ghana on February 21, 2015 organised the Open Data Day Hackathon at the Mobile Web Ghana lab. Open Data Day is an international event where citizens gather to learn and share knowledge about Open Data and build Apps using Open Data. It was an all-day event that saw lots of people from various backgrounds participating: journalists, students, coders and non-coders alike.
The theme of the event was “Open Data for Strategic Development: Health and Education in focus”. Activities for the event included: talk sessions from keynote speakers, hackathon and networking.
Eyram Tawiah of Leti Arts gave a short talk on “Using games to gather data and simulate live scenarios”. He challenged the participants to go beyond just representing data in beautiful visualizations but to be more creative with data. He also shared with participants some interesting projects that he and his team developed to gather data from Kenyan Nurses using an interactive game. He touched on how Leti Arts is using data to improve the user experience of their games.
Nehemiah Attigah gave an interesting talk on “the future of open data in Ghana”. He touched briefly on some crucial issues in using open data. His submission made it clear that some data cannot be demanded by citizens. These include: personal information of government officials; data that will jeopardize the security of the nation once it is in the public domain; culturally sensitive data and many others. In Nehemiah’s presentation, he made mention of some job opportunities that could be created as a result of the establishment of a vibrant Open Data ecosystem in Ghana. These include: data librarians, data scientists and data analysts.
It was not all talk. We had a short hackathon. This was led by Nii Okain Quaye. Participants were provided with data sets on health and education from the GODI platform. The data provided was in MS Excel and most developers found it rather unfriendly, so they converted it to JSON and shared it amongst themselves. There were three teams of hackers and they came up with some interesting projects within a very short period:
- The first team worked on building an app to help users locate the nearest health center in their community.
- The second team also built a simple quiz game to make users abreast with statistics and data so far as our educational system is concerned.
- The third team: #50ShadesOfData built an api that will provide public access to large amounts of datasets and also enable them to contribute data to the platform.
At the end of the event the #50ShadesOfData team was adjudged the best group. We want to thank all those who participated in the event and we promise a mega event next year.