We've been working hard all summer, and today we're very excited to unveil new features and enhancements on data.worldbank.org.
I spent the day at Wolfram Data Summit 2010, where repository managers and experts from all over the world have convened in Washington to discuss the rewards -- and challenges -- of a new data frontier.
A series of speakers shared fascinating insights on the power of data, including examples of how data is at the forefront of new and exciting developments in the fields of medicine, health care, science, lexicography, media and more.
We recently hosted the Aid Information Challenge in cooperation with Development Gateway. This event brought together over 100 participants to work on visualizing aid information and data. The morning started with inspiring talks by Aleem Walji of the World Bank’s Innovation department and our keynote speaker, Clay Johnson, Director of Sunlight Labs.
Below is a clip from Clay's keynote where he explains that "the next step for this field is not just to open the data, but to put it into context for people...not just so that the World Bank can make better decisions in Uganda and we can save some children, but also so that we can get people in the long run to make better decisions, personal decisions."
It's been a week since we launched the open data initiative and the feedback we've been receiving is truly amazing. Here's a tag cloud showing what the twitter community has been saying:
A couple of weeks ago, a few World Bank staff members teamed up with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, NASA-AMES, disaster relief experts, and the software developer community in Mountain View, California to help find better ways to support disaster relief efforts.
The result, the Random Hacks of Kindness Codejam, brought together about 150 people at the Hacker Dojo, and resulted in some innovative hacks (or solutions to technical problems) that will hopefully shape the way the developer community supports disaster relief efforts going forward.
There has been a lot of coverage of the event already (including a great post on the East Asia & Pacific on the rise blog), so instead of going in to that, here's a quick list of posts and articles about the event that you might want to check out:
- East Asia & Pacific on the rise: Random Hacks of Kindness: software developers create and share code to tackle disaster relief
- Humanitarian FOSS Project: Random Hacks of Kindness
- Emergency Management: Random Hacks of Kindness
- In Case of Emergency Blog: “Random Hacks Of Kindness” Starts Today
- openNASA: Random Hacks of Kindness
- CNET: Hackers Create Tools for Disaster Relief
- CNET Photos: Random Hacks of Kindness
- ESRI at the Random Hacks of Kindness Codejam
- AFCEA: “Random Hacks of Kindness” to Aid Emergency Response
- CMU: Carnegie Mellon Team Wins First Prize at Random Hacks of Kindness
In his most recent TED talk, open data advocate Hans Rosling blasted the World Bank (and lauded the US government) on data sharing practices. Rosling said that while we at the Bank have some of the best researchers and the best access to data, we're not doing enough to share that data openly, and for free.
We've been doing a lot with data visualization here at the World Bank these days.