On Thursday, November 30th, the “Open Climate Data Index” workshop of the municipalities of Thessaloniki was organized by the Department of Information and Electronic Engineering of International Hellenic University in collaboration with the Open Knowledge Foundation Greek Chapter.  This initiative was organised by Charalampos Bratsas, Assistant Professor at the Department of Information and Electronic Engineering (IHU) in collaboration with the newly formed team of Open Knowledge Foundation Greece Student branch and the team of IEEE IHU Student. The aim of the workshop was for the students to record the datasets of the municipalities of Thessaloniki regarding environmental data. The students of the different departments of the International University of Greece, mainly from the Department of Information and Electronic Engineering, were divided in team groups, where each group had to search for 10 datasets to consider for the selected municipalities of Thessaloniki. Their task was to search for datasets that exist in open data portals of countries and/or cities abroad that were discussed in the previous workshop. Some of them was: data concerning green spaces or Forest Cover: e.g. the extent of forests in each municipality and locations, number of trees and tree species data on the percentage of land that is green space, such as parks and public gardens. Regarding the data search, the groups before the workshop, but also during it, had to search for the selected datasets:

  • on the websites of the municipalities,
  • in the open data portals of the municipalities (if they exist),
  • on data.gov.gr, and on the old open data portal https://repository.data.gov.gr/ where there is data of municipalities and public bodies
  • on other relevant sites such as those of the Ministry of the Environment, Thessaloniki Water Supply and Sewerage Service, Organization of Urban Transport of Thessaloniki, etc.
  • on Google

They evaluated the results, according to the questions of Open Data Index, which was presented in a previous workshop. Also, they organized their work in papers and they marked with signs the different level of openness of their results. Throughout the workshop, Dr. Bratsas and his team monitored the progress of the groups and encouraged the discussion on the importance of environmental data and its contribution to the Open Data Index. The presentation of the results will take place in the next workshop where each group will present their results, including findings and questions answered by the Open Data Index.

The students worked with great enthusiasm, as the process of recording the data from the various municipalities of Thessaloniki seemed particularly interesting to them, despite the difficulties they identified in the openness of the data. This workshop was organized in the context of the UPCAST Project and one of its pilots who concerns the 11 cities that comprise the metropolitan area of Thessaloniki and their need to realize data-driven environmental policy-making. Working under their umbrella organization, the Major Development Agency Thessaloniki (MDA), and Open Knowledge Foundation Greece (OKF Greece) this pilot will use one of the UPCAST plugins for integration and exchange of all data related to its environmental use case, thus we are planning to organize a hackathon leveraging UPCAST’s platform for the Thessaloniki pilot.

Also, at the workshop participated Mrs. Paraskevi Tarani and Mrs Anthi Tsakiropoulou on behalf of the Major Development Agency Thessaloniki (MDAT S.A.), who contributed on the procedure of collecting data in a great way with their expertise.