The event was the first in a series of meet-and-greets with the idea of getting together all the actors in the open data ecosystem.
Around a hundred data producers, startups, data-geeks and those with slightly more than a passing interest in data were here to listen to OpenStreetMap, who presented their project.
“We’ve seen an increase in the interest in open data, as much from the private sector as the public – “Data is the new oil” – with the State making a conspicuous entrance on this particular issue“.
Well, this datapéro was part of the program “Dataconnexions”, an inter-ministerial project launched in 2011 with the idea of co-ordinating the opening up of public data, Etalab. It was necessary to pick up the ball launched by Etalab last February and run with it, and that’s what’s the impetus behind these datapéros.
The format is simple : a data producer presents their method, their re-users show how they make it their own. This time, it was OpenStreetMap. What exactly is it?
Created in 2004, the project was originally born out of an ambition to “create an open map of the world” : “I challenge you to find the same level of detail on Google” jokes Gaël Musquet, Head of Communications at OpenStreetMap.
There are multiple uses for this data, he explained to those assembled : “From crisis management to tourism, not to mention security as well as education“.
Over 540,000 contributors, 10,000 of whom can be found in France, enable them to accumulate this precious data. “Mapping parties” are organized where a small group of contributors focuses on a region and map out the surrounding area, increasing both the volume of data and social interaction. It is a task worthy of a squirrel where accumulating leads to sorting out, opening up and then making it widely available!
Gaël went back over the concrete case of the town of Orange, which went from a paper map, only used internally, to the very first map of the town created with the help of data collated by OpenStreetMap and with a distribution of 500 copies. “We offer an open and free solution, this allowed the town of Orange to make real economy of scale“. Re-users of this data then took the opportunity to voice their own project as did Jean-Marc Lazard from OpenDataSoft.
The crowd was buzzing with excitement and both Cyrille and Margaux were pleased. I guess we are not the only ones looking forward to the second installment…
Translated by Huw Ryan