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Open Data Workshop

Working with Data: A Workshop on Understanding, Visualising and Mapping Data
3rd, 4th and 5th of August 2012 @ Chennai


In the spirit of furthering the conversation of open data, and to keep the momentum of the open data camp going, Transparent Chennai is organising a three day workshop on understanding, visualising and mapping data in Chennai in August 2012.

Complementing previous events in Bangalore and Hyderabad, this event will focus on training activists, researchers and students to work with data. Different from a data camp, this will be a workshop where participants will learn about open data, data visualisation, spatial data and practical issues that come up when working with data in various forms.


After the first Data Meet in Bangalore, there was a wide discussion among people who are interested in open data but who do not have the skill set or technical background to materialise their thoughts of making the data open. The whole idea of training was formulated through these limited yet useful discussions. Experts in the field of open data were contacted to provide hands-on training to the people who use data the most for various crucial reasons.


It will be a three day workshop. The first day will demystify various aspects of working with data ranging of technical understanding of various data storage formats to questions of legality and data rights. The second day will focus on data visualisation, and collecting, cleaning, managing of data). Sessions on both these days will involve presentations on the topics concerned but at the same time will demand inputs from the participants regarding their own experiences in working with data. This will ensure a dialogue between actual data challenges felt by the participants in their own work and technical possibilities and methods. The third day will have three longish successive sessions on specific data visualisation tasks – gis and geo-visualisation, participatory mapping and web-based data visualisation. These will be hands-on sessions where the participants will simultaneous learn about the tools and start working with them.

What you should expect to learn
  • Understanding various formats of data, diverse possibilities of data visualisation and effective tools for doing so, with a special focus on web-based tools.
  • How to think through projects involving collection, processing and visualisation of data.
  • Introduction to software packages and methods for visualising quantitative data, creating geo-visualisation and undertaking participatory mapping.
  • The connection between data technologies and rights to access and use data.
What you should NOT expect to learn
  • Statistics and econometrics: though you should learn elements of these to work with data.
  • Database softwares: though knowledge of SQL and other databases are quite important when working with large data sets.
  • Computer languages: though some languages like Python and JavaScript are very helpful in working with data.
  • Anything related to Big Data: though we will briefly discuss what Big Data means.


Time Day 1Day 2Day 3
Time What is data? What is open data? What is spatial data? Introduction to data, various types of data, rights to access and manipulate data What is data visualisation? Introduction to data visualisation, history, types of visualisation, exploratory visualisation GIS and geo-visualisation GRASS, Quantum GIS, MapBox and TileMill, GeoCommons, Open Layers and Leaflet
Time What is ‘data format’? In what forms do data come? Introduction to various formats of data, useful formats, databases and stand-alone files Tools and methods of data collection Collecting and storing data of different types, tools for scraping and crowdsourcing dataOpenStreetMap and participatory mapping Introduction to OpenStreetMap, participatory mapping using GPS device, satellite imagery and paper maps
Time Day 1 - Break Day 2 - BreakDay 3 - Break
Time What can be done with data? Analysis, visualisation, stories, advocacy Working with quantitative dataIntroduction to types of quantitative data formats and softwares to work with such data Web-based data visualisation ManyEyes, Google Charts, d3, R
Time Working with quantitative dataIntroduction to types of quantitative data formats and softwares to work with such data Tools for data visualisationIntroduction to tools for cleaning, organising and visualising quantitative data
Time Working with spatial data Introduction to types of spatial data formats and softwares to work with such data


srinidhisampathk1 at gmail dot com

odwche2012.txt · Last modified: 2014/02/03 05:22 by thejeshgn