February 23rd, 2013 marked a day in Kathmandu with an event that was first of its kind in the country. It was Open Data Day celebrated in events such as Hackathon, Mapthon, Editathon etc bringing in various stakeholders of the open data and related subjects together. In the Hackathon we saw 8 teams working hard extracting data, visualizing the data and creating tools and apps using open data. One of the teams included students from Kathmandu Engineering College, Kalimati. This group of second year students from KEC created a visualization of oil price comparison between Nepal and India and they became successful in bagging the first place in the Open Data Day Hackathon.
While advocating about the concept of open data and its usefulness, it is also important to know the demand of data of the specific region. The kind of data that people from various sectors are looking for needs to be identified. Therefore, to understand the level of awareness about open data and the demand of data in Nepal, we conducted a survey during the Open Data Day. Out of 56 participants of the survey, there were 35 students and 21 professionals working in various sectors.
There were eight groups of hackers working on their projects on Open Data Day Hackthon in Kathmandu. Those groups and their projects are:
1. Mapping of dependent/independent population map
Group Members: Everest, Sushant, Abhibandu
2. Comparison of oil prices - Nepal and India
Group Members: Kshitiz, Ayush, Deepak
3. Meterological forecast data visualization
Group Members: Sanjeev, roshan, ranit
4. Newspaper data visualization
Group Members: Rohit and group
Numbers speak by themselves - Over 400 visitors comprising of researchers, CSO representatives, students, techhies and general public; 11 open data stalls showcasing innovative projects related to open data; 8 teams developing products during Open Data Hackathon; More than 40 people involved in OpenDRI Mapathon. This was the scene at first ever Open Data Daycelebration in Nepal on February 23, 2013.
Open Data Day refers to the day where citizens gather in cities around the world to celebrate, show support for, and encourage the adoption of open data policies. Everyone who come to enjoy the day will not only have the opportunity to watch Hackathon, Mapathon, Wikithon and Localization Sprint but also be able to learn more about Open Data projects in Nepal.