Recap: Open Data Day Boston


This post was written by Shauna Gordon-McKeon co-organizer of the Open Government Boston group.

On February 23, Sunlight Boston together with Open Government Boston, organized a one day event to celebrate the international Open Data Day. The event was created to bring together organizers to learn how to visualize or analyze data using different skill sets to help the global open data community grow. In DC, our very own Eric Mill together with Josh Tauberer organized a DC event to mark the International Open Data Day and you can read about their event that attract over 150 developers, data scientists, social entrepreneurs, government employees, and other open data enthusiasts here and here.

Here is a recap of what went down in Boston…

Boston-area activists celebrated Open Data Day by spending the afternoon together at Bocoup Loft, where we shared datasets, project ideas, and pizza. Attending were a mix of government workers, activists, hobbyists, and people who’d only just heard of “open data” and were looking to get involved – about twenty people in total.

Open Data Day Boston

Participants at the National Data Day in Boston. Photo Credit: Open Media Boston.

Attendees worked on various projects, including improving the materials for our introductory workshop, and helping with the Open Science course sprint being coordinated by Creative Commons at the Stanford Open Data Day hackathon. An employee of the Department of Labor showed off an open database she’d worked on, and the city of Boston’s chief data scientist gave advice on how to navigate local open data. But by far the most favored activity was chatting: getting to know each other and finding out about open data efforts happening in Boston and around the globe.

In just the few days since the event, we’ve begun to make plans for new collaborations and future meetups. In Boston, at least, Open Data Day was a definite success.