Open Data Day with Open Austin 2018

Victoria O'Dell
Mar 21, 2018 · 4 min read
Just before getting our day started

Earlier this month on March 3rd, Open Austin held Open Data Day at Capital Factory in Downtown Austin. Open Data Day is an international day celebrating open data all over the world.

We invited 9 folks to come out and talk about work being done to use, make, and free data. With over 30 people in attendance, Open Austin worked to provide space for people to learn, share ideas, and ask questions about the use of open data in our community and beyond.

Our speakers came from different organization and business backgrounds

The Event

We kicked off the day a little after 10:00am and started with introductions and a group icebreaker. Representatives from Socrata then kicked us off as our first lightning talk speakers. Socrata, was also our sponsor that helped make this event possible and they are the makers of the platform that the City of Austin’s open data lives on.

Below you can check out our speakers, presentations, and some choice tweets from our event.

Full Event Deck [View the deck]

Lead With Data [View the deck]

Presented by Bill Connelly, Christopher King, and Steven Moerbe from our sponsor, Socrata.

A Picture’s Worth 1000 Words [View the deck]

Presented by Sara Safavi, Software Engineer from Planet

Open Data & Policing [View whiteboard photos]

A more traditional whiteboard presentation by Chris Harris, Data Analyst & Campaigns Coordinator from Grassroots Leadership

10 Pragmatic Lessons for Building Data Collaboration [View the deck]

Presented by Patrick McGarry, Head of Community from local startup

Social Activism for Technologists [View the deck]

Presented by Jonathon Morgan, CEO of New Knowledge

Making Data More Human [View the deck]

Presented by Kaley Coffield, Co-Founder of The Pulse of Austin

City of Austin Open Data Initiative [View the deck]

Presented by Happiness Kisoso and Brad McCarty from the City of Austin’s Communication and Technology Management Department

🍕🍕🍕After a pizza break and some mingling we moved on to the final portion of our event. We had one last lightning talk by Shellee O’Brien, current Community Outreach Lead, and a workshop on using the City’s Open Data Socrata API with former Open Austin Brigade Captain, Mateo Clarke.

⚡️ Aaron Swartz, Digital Rights Activism and World Making [View the deck]

Presented by Shellee O’Brian, Founder and Learning Experience Designer from Politicolor.

⚡️ Intro to Open Data [View the deck + Get the code]

Presented by Mateo Clarke, Front End Engineer from the City of Austin’s Communication and Technology Management Department

And That Was Our Day!

If you missed the event it was also live-streamed and recorded. Videos can be found on Facebook. Open Data Day Facebook Livestream Part 1. Open Data Day Facebook Livestream Part 2.

Feel free to reach out if you would like to get in contact with any of the speakers or find that a resource is no longer available.

And if you attended there’s still an opportunity to give us feedback on the event.

Have Ideas for Next Year? Leave a Comment!

Let’s grow Open Data Day for 2019 and go beyond lightning talks.

As we begin to understand and care about the value data has in our community and country it’s important we share how we can make data work for us in the open.

It’d be awesome to include data art and visualizations in a gallery, have some open data hack projects, or work on a community wide data collection or cleaning project.

If you’re interested in contributing and collaborating you can drop a comment or email us at

Open Austin

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