Brussels, 16 June 2011 - European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes awarded prizes to the winners of the Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions at the Digital Agenda Assembly being held in Brussels on 16th and 17th June 2011. Companies, designers, programmers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public from across Europe participated in the two open data competitions, trying out their ideas for creative reuse of information held by the public sector and open cultural data. European public bodies produce thousands of datasets every year - from how our tax money is spent to the quality of the air we breathe. This data can be reused in products such as car navigation systems, weather forecasts, and travel information apps.
Open data re-use is a key element of the Digital Agenda for Europe (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200). To make public data widely accessible and available in Europe, the Commission intends to revise the Public Service Information (PSI) Directive in 2011 to fully unlock the economic potential of re-using PSI.
Ms Kroes said: "I am amazed by the creative ways I have seen today for public data collected by public administrations, the collections digitised by our cultural Institutions (libraries, archives, museums) to be put to good use. Public data at large is a valuable source for innovation, as today's winners clearly show."
The Open Data Challenge and Hack4Europe! competitions were organised in support of the Commission's policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. The re-use of public sector information (PSI) and open data will be a key driver to develop content markets in Europe, which not only generate new business opportunities and jobs but also provide consumers with more choice and more value for money. The market turnover of public data that is reused (for free or for a fee) is estimated at least €27 billion in the EU every year.
The Open Data Challenge
Organised by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Forum Academy under the auspices of the Share-PSI initiative, the Open Data Challenge invited designers, developers, journalists, researchers and the general public to come up with useful, valuable or interesting uses for open public data. It attracted 430 entries from across the EU. Entries were invited in four categories for prize money totalling €20 000. The categories were fully blown apps, ideas, visualisations and liberated public sector datasets. The winners were selected by open data experts, including the inventor of the worldwide web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.
Winners of the Open Data Challenge
Applications: Eva Vozarova of the Fair-play Alliance, Slovakia has developed an app to add transparency to the public procurement process of government contracts
Ideas: Jonas Gebhardt of the University of Potsdam, Germany has developed a mobile application which can help citizens learn more about urban planning in their area
Visualisations: Oliver O'Brien of University College London, UK has developed an app to visualise the current state of bike-share systems in over 30 cities around the world
Public sector datasets: Codrina Maria Ilie of the National Institute for Research and Development in Environmental Protection, Romania has developed an app that collects thousands of old historical geo-referenced maps.
Hack4Europe! was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners Collections Trust, Museu Picasso, Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre and Swedish National Heritage Board as a series of hack days in London, Barcelona, Poznan and Stockholm running from 6 to12 June. It provided the opportunity to explore the potential of open cultural data for social and economic growth in Europe in an exciting environment. There were 60 participants from the creative industries. These included mainly SMEs like web design agencies, applications developers, software firms and other digital businesses. They were joined not only by developers from the cultural heritage sector, keen to create new ways to engage people with online cultural resources, but also by some larger players like the Google Technical Group and the Yahoo Research group in Spain.
Winners of Hack4Europe!
UK: Michael Selway of System Simulation Ltd. who developed an app to obtain
improved search results from Europeana using an Android touch screen.
Spain: Eduardo Graells of Universitat Pompeu Fabra/Yahoo! Research Barcelona who created a "Timebook" for historical figures. The app integrates content from Europeana and DBpedia and presents it in an easy to use format with, for instance, posts for famous quotes, friends status for influential persons and photos of paintings.
Poland: Jakub Jurkiewicz of iTraff Technology. Using Europeana dataset, this winner developed an app that processes a photo taken of any painting in a museum to give a description of the painting in a matter of seconds, translated into any EU language or even read out loud.
Sweden: Martin Duveborg of the Swedish National Heritage Board who developed a fully functional geo-location aware search of Europeana for Android. Users can take photos and associate them with existing Europeana objects. Through an inbuilt function to overlay new pictures with Europeana pictures, a seamless "Then-Now" effect is created. The new photos are uploaded with the current GPS position so the app can also function as a geo-tagger tool for Europeana.
What is the Commission doing to promote the use of Public Sector Information?
Promoting the re-use of Public Sector Information is a collective effort and the Commission itself is well aware it can do more to put its own data online. Recently, the European Commission published a Digital Scoreboard (see IP/11/663) to show the progress of the EU and Member States in delivering on the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe after the first year of its existence. In line with its commitment to an open data strategy the Commission has made its data sets and statistics in the Scoreboard publicly available online enabling anyone to carry out their own analysis and come to their own conclusions.
In a near future, the Commission will also put forward proposals for a pan-European portal to give a single access point to the data which is being put online by the Member States.
For more information:
Nominees for the European Award of the Best Open Data Challenge:
Nominees for the European Award of the Best Hack4Europe!:
Open Data Workshop at the Digital Agenda Assembly:
Commission's Public Sector Information Website:
Digital Agenda website:
Neelie Kroes' website: http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/kroes/
Follow Neelie Kroes on Twitter: http://twitter.com/neeliekroeseu
The digital-earth.eu project examines the use of geographic media in schools and teacher education.
Geo-media is the visualisation of information from different media sources and is concerned with digital content and its processing based on place, position and location. Many geographic media are widely used for navigation and routing purposes. Cartographic communication has never been so easy to implement, therefore 21st century school education needs to include geo-media into daily work. Innovative approaches to teaching and learning are needed to study environments from local to global scale.
The digital-earth.eu network links innovative centres around Europe where geo-media use is well developed. Products, resources, experiences and ideas are shared between the centres and opened to the public wherever possible.
A digital-earth.eu infrastructure is under development. The European Centre and an accredited network of national and regional Centres of Excellence are developing an online catalogue of materials, courses, publications, links and good practice scenarios, and are publishing a series of core publications.
The digital-earth.eu network project is a Comenius Multilateral Network (2010-2013). It complements the activities of two previous Comenius Multilateral Projects (GISAS and iGuess) that used specific GIS software and produced teaching materials for schools and training courses for teachers.
The digital-earth.eu network seeks to provide broad access to resources (Europe-wide and international), promoting innovation and best practice in the implementation of geo-media as a digital learning environment for school learning and teaching. The goal is to raise the profile of learning with digital geo-media. The network encourages the sharing of innovative practices and rewards organisations and individuals displaying ‘excellence’.
ePractice Digital Literacy Workshop on Digital Competences for Social Inclusion Actors and Intermediaries
This report reflects the presentations, discussions and conclusions on a "Digital Competences for Social Inclusion Actors and Intermediaries" workshop organised in the context of ePractice Digital Literacy community (Brussels, 12 October 2010). The purpose of this workshop was to identify good practices and success criteria regarding ICT-enabled training, resources, and tools for developing digital competences for intermediaries and social actors (professionals, volunteers, carers, actors in general from the Public and Third Sectors) to support them on their job on providing assistance to groups at risk of exclusion and on fostering their digital, social inclusion and economic participation. As a result, six policy options for the development of digital competences for intermediaries were identified and debated by participants.
Site da Educação is a Portuguese website entirely dedicated to education as the name itself (“educação” is the Portuguese word for “education”) reveals. The site is part of the Texto Editora Group, a holding that started its activity back in 1977. Site da Educação was born in 2000 and has been growing fast ever since.
.The site’s main target are teachers but psychologists, pedagogues and parents are most welcome. We aim to build a “place” where all teachers may find good tools and, most of all, find each other and seize the chance to exchange valuable learning experiences that otherwise would be confined to a far too small universe.
As we see it, from our daily experience, Site da Educação has the potential to be a crossroad where the learning community from the Portuguese Speaking Countries can meet up.
As for the site’s structure, it includes five main areas:
1. Actualidade (Current Events)
2. Serviços (Helpful Tools)
3. Professores (Teachers)
4. Escola (School)
5. Cultura (Culture)
The “Actualidade” area encloses breaking news about education, relevant dates and the most recently published works about education and pedagogy.
Inside the “Serviços” area people will find such useful tools as free webmail (a 6 MB mail box), the chance of building one’s personal webpage (10 Mb available), weather forecast or an on-line store.
“Professores” is the richest area of the site. Here teachers can find almost everything they need to help them in their practise and according to the level they teach from Infant or Junior Schools, Secondary and Grammar Schools or CTC. At this area teachers can also find articles, exercises and tests regarding several subjects. An image bank, a thematic glossary, a forum , the national curricula contents, a selection of the laws and decrees that may prove themselves useful, along with relevant comments made by skilled lawyers are some other available contents. There are also tens of large thematic articles which are quite popular. And at last, there is a section dedicated to all parents
The “Escola” area is composed by three sub-areas. The first one, called “Escola em Destaque” presents a complete file about a portuguese school (every month two different schools are presented). The second one, “Espaço Escola”, is like a very specific news section concerning sport events, school plays, field trips and so on - in dozens of schools all over the country and also abroad (we’ve been also publishing news sent to us by brasilian schools). The third item is a list of all the schools in the country.
“Cultura” offers our visitors an up-to-date cultural agenda along with monthly interviews focusing on outstanding personalities of the Portuguese educational/educational panorama. As a result of a protocol between Site da Educação and the National Library, this area has a special area which establishes a fast link that allows people to consult valuable digitalised titles that are not usually available for public and even to book field trips or demand one of the Library’s itinerant exhibitions.
One of the most recent surveys produced in Portugal, inquiring Portuguese teachers about ICT showed that by 2002 most teachers (91%) used the computer as a personal tool to prepare classes. However, only 39% possessed computers and only a low percentage (26%) actually used it (in learning situations) with the pupils.
These were some of the biggest difficulties we had to surpass in order to put Site da Educação in teachers path and state itself as an essential and strategic player in every teacher’s professional life.
But the fact is that day by day the teachers attitude and openness towards ICT training and acknowledgement of the ICT potencialities for learning is growing and consequently causing good reflects on our activity.