Category Archives: open data

Open Access Week 2015

OA Open Access Week kicks off on October 19, 2015 across the country and here at home the University of Hawaii will host a number of events. This year's lineup includes:
  • Creative Commons Licensing
  • Make Your Work Open in ScholarSpace
  • Open Government Resources and Government Funded Open Mandates
  • Launching an Open Access Journal
  • Open Collaboration with GitHub
  • Intellectual Property, Copyright, and Author Rights
  • Learn How to Contribute to Wikipedia
Anyone interested in free access to scientific documents and research papers or learning how to publish to open access repositories like Scholar Space will want to attend these sessions. Registration is free although you may have to pay for parking on campus. OFLYR-161_OAWeekFA15

Extraordinary Machine: Public Access to Public Domain

extraordinarymachinefinal-01 Please join us for the screening of 'The Internet's Own Boy' on Friday, Sept. 5th at 6:30 p.m. at Kaka'ako Agora. Sign up here. Then come back to join us for a discussion of the film and a workshop on open knowledge on Saturday, Sept. 6th from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. We will brainstorm action plans and prototype tactics to liberate more open government data. Bring your creativity and appetite. RSVP required for lunch count. Lunch only applies to workshop attendees. Thanks! The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy and information activistAaron Swartz. From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. This film is a personal story about what we lose when we are tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties. Presented by:

Hack to the Future II


On May 31, 2014 Hawaii is participating in National Day of Civic Hacking by holding its own Hack to the Future II. Join the Code for Hawaii Brigade on this day of workshops, prototyping and civic hacks. We will use this day to build capacity and brainstorm projects to infuse government with civic innovation. Citizen engagement is taking hold in our community so let's focus on what we can accomplish in 2014.

This event is part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, taking place across the country.


9:30a - 10:00a Welcome/Registration
10:00 - 12:00p Tri-Track Workshops
  • D3 Visualization
  • Data graphs & analysis
  • Mapping
12:30p - 1:00p Lunch
1:00p - 3:00p Civic Hacking
3:00p - 3:30p Show and Tell
4:00p - ??? Pub Networking (TBD)

Transparency Camp 2012

Transparency Camp 2012 These past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of events, all swirling around the idea of open data, technology and government transparency.  I happen to be in Virginia conducting a class on social media for emergency managers for the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. While planning my trip I found out Transparency Camp 2012 (TCamp12), organized by the Sunlight Foundation, was happening the weekend I was up there at George Mason University in Arlington, VA. It was a fortuitous set of circumstances. Like the unconference format we are all so familiar with, TCamp12 was participant driven, where sessions are determined and attended by people like you and me. The difference being everyone was in some way involved, interested, worked on open government and transparency initiatives. Taking place in the Washington D.C. area gave this unconference not only a national representation but an international one. Laurenellen McCann,  National Policy Manager at the Sunlight Foundation, did an excellent summary of the event, along with conference testimonial video. I was able to attend several session including: Open Gov ROI, Data --> ActionOpen Data for Kids, Open 311 and Meta Transparency Camp. I even called a few of my own sessions including Sustainability Models for Open Data and Open Data for K-12 Education. As most conferences "un" or otherwise go, there's a great amount of knowledge sharing and people connections being made. Transparency Camp 2012 was that and more. Ideas were flowing and the call to action was top of mind. Attendees felt empowered to take what they learned and apply it in their respective regions. It didn't hurt that Todd Park, CTO for the United States gave a rousing speech about open data and innovation. Here is a clip of Todd's speech at Transparency Camp 2012. Back home in Hawaii, we held our first Sunlight Foundation meetup to see how we can continue to move the bar on open government, open data and transparency here at home. As I found out, the interest is very high not only at a national level like Transparency Camp but right here in our own neighborhoods. As I am known to tell people, the technology and the Internet have lowered the barrier to entry and has allowed us to all have the ability to make a difference. This movement is small but growing. If you are interested in finding out more about open data and government transparency, feel free to join our Meetup group.

Geeks on DaBus

One of the first publicly available open dataset/API  from the City & County of Honolulu is the one made available by O`ahu Transit Services, provider of The Bus service. With open data, anyone could develop an app using the Bus API and three such apps were built,, and an iPhone app called DaBus. Both and DaBus were developed as a result of the City's CityCamp Honolulu and Hackathon, this past Dec 2011 and Jan 2012 respectively. When DaBus officially launched on the iTunes App Store in March, it was a chance to showcase all three apps and to build awareness of the open data ecosystem, ie. data, applications and community. There was also a third goal, to demonstrate the use of social media to the City who historically used traditional media to communicate  to the public. The idea behind Geeks on DaBus came as a result of a meeting with Sheba Najmi from Code for America, Tara Coomans from Social Media Club of Hawaii and Jim Fulton of Mayor Carlisle's media team. The game plan was to engage the public, using any of the apps, to ride the Bus from where ever they choose and meetup at the Greenhouse Innovation Hub for lunch. Along the way you could tweet, photograph, shoot video, etc. As an added bonus, Mayor Carlisle jumped on a Bus near Honolulu Hale to make the rendezvous. Geeks on DaBus The estimated number of participants when originally planning this event was 20. We maxed out our Eventbrite cap of 40, but recognized that 50% of that number were City employees. According to the Archivist the hashtag #DaBusHNL represented nearly 500 tweets. Another telling stat were the number of downloads for the DaBus app:

Date     Downloads 4/11 – 162 4/12 – 220 4/13 – 226 4/14 - 154

In addition to the tweet stats and app downloads, there were the blog posts and articles by Jerome Koehler, Sheba Najmi (Code for America), Tara Coomans (Social Media Club of Hawaii), Ryan Ozawa (Hawaii Star) and Civil Beat. This all helped to maintain the dialog between the community and government. It also helped tremendously to document this process from various points of view. Another interesting outcome was the mashup of digital content, social media and the web. This Wordle word cloud captured the key words and people behind the tweets. John Garcia and Derek Gabriel created a spashpage for DaBusApp. Brian Dote created Tweetmapr, a map of tweets based on geolocation. These new ways of presentation and visualization help to stimulate ideas and insights into the data. Open data in combination with app development, social media and visualization tools not only create transparency and civic engagement but also stimulate new ways of understanding the data. With advancements in sentiment and word analysis, this opens up entirely new vistas of knowledge discovery. Acknowledgement: Diana Tran for DaBus graphics

DaBus app on KITV Social Wire

DaBus on KITV Andy Yip and Jane Zeng, creators of the iPhone app DaBus were featured on Yasmin Dar's Social Wire segment on KITV's morning show. Both Andy and Jane were part of CityCamp Honolulu and the CityCampHNL Hackathon. In fact they won top honors at the Hackathon. Since the Hackathon, they came up with a name for the app, polished it up and got it added to Apples iTunes App Store.  The DaBus app takes the guess work out of catching the bus on the island of Oahu. It uses the near real-time GPS arrival information, courtesy of the Oahu Transit Services, to provide the best estimated time on when the next bus will arrive. This app also tracks the current location of the bus you are interested using the GPS device installed on many of the buses. In addition, it also provides options to explore different bus routes and take a virtual ride to better understand its route.   DaBus app ver 1.1 is available in the iTunes App Store. Jerome Koehler, tech blogger at Non-Stop Honolulu also did a video review of DaBus and its application. Congratulations go out to Andy and Jane for the successful launch of DaBus.