Week 1 activities and assignments

Week1ProgressThis week, over a couple of evening I watched all of the course videos, discovering that it was hard to keep my attention for even the 12 minutes required for the longest ones! I took notes and then completed the quiz questions for each video. I like this format, I like having the questions straight after the video so I can ask myself what I’ve understood. I did go back to the slides and check some of the details before answering. These answers are not actually saved (which is a bit confusing in the progress screen!). I then sat the real end of week quiz (6 out of 6 though I went back and checked before answering a few). I also read the course paper one morning, I’d printed it out and it was nice to have an off line task to do.

Another evening was spent completing the first assignment of this Open Government MOOC, you are asked to find and analyze an Open Government case to a set template and share it to the discussion boards for peer review. So here it is:

1) Open Data Scotland

2) A pilot website developed by open data company Swirrl for the Scottish Government  to show the potential of linked data and to encourage citizens to access and use the data.

3) Actors:

Primary stakeholder – Swirrl (http://www.swirrl.com/about) – open data company and developer of the website

Primary stakeholder – Scottish Government – website client

Secondary stakeholder – The National Archives -data provider (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/)

Secondary stakeholder – School teachers and students as the site encourages them to engage with open data

Secondary stakeholder – Journalists, statisticians and researchers – content/training is aimed at getting them involved

4) This website was developed as a showcase to demonstrate how linked data sets can be used to create visualizations. It demonstrates linking data from three data sets, The data is available in multiple machine-readable formats including JSON, RDF, Turtle and N-triples.

APIs are used and full technical documentation is provided.

Data visualization – Javascript

5) Geographical coverage – Scotland

6) References

http://www.opendatascotland.org/

http://www.swirrl.com/case_studies/open_data_scotland
Posted to Category 1: Data and Information Sharing

The discussion interface is horrible, requires multiple scrolling and I couldn’t get all my URLs to convert to hyperlinks! Otherwise it’s all okay and I manage to complete my first assignment.

After I’ve submitted my assignment to the discussion board and then all I need to do is click a button to say I’ve done it – and it gets added to my progress report (I’m now 13% complete) so it appears to be an honesty system.

The next task is to review 6 other submissions in two categories and to vote on your favourite. This I leave for my next session on Saturday afternoon.

I want to do the second part of the assignment but initially have some difficulty finding the correct assignment discussions. I finally find the discussion and set to work reviewing submitted cases. These three sites look particularly interesting and were the case info is complete and I add my vote to these:

http://search.politicalmashup.nl/ – a search tool to look up parliamentary debates that includes collections from Netherlands, Canada, UK, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Begium and EU

https://openspending.org/ the objective of OpenSpending is to map, track, and analyse public financial information. Geographical Coverage: Worldwide (76 countries at the time of writing)

https://www.challenge.gov/about/ – Where you can look at  federal incentive prize and challenge competitions – described as a ‘Crowdsourcing competion for all”

My case has no votes! I’m a little disappointed but I also see that having picked a local Scottish project may have been of less interest to the global group of students – those which have been voted for (and those I voted for myself) are project with a broader or global datasetWhilst reviewing the case I note that I am not the only one who struggled with the formatting in the discussions. I complete this task by checking a box, and that’s me know completed 18% – I’m wondering where the 2% has disappeared too? It’s related to voting but I don’t know if that because no one has voted for my case? I certainly added my votes?

I complete the final task by  adding my case study to a world map.