🐑 Almedalsdata – Almedalsveckan's program as open data

The title is quite self-explanatory, Almedalsdata is a dataset containing all the events of the festival, right now from 2009 to 2021.

The data is here on Github, as is the source code used to fetched the data from the official program website.

I’m hoping to have more time to dive into it in the future to see if it can be of interest to analyse the weight of corporate lobbying, see how some topics have been covered over the years and identify the political career of some recurring speakers.

You can find more information about this project in this blog post: EN|SV.

As usual, the goal with this project is also to help others by making data more accessible. I’m really hoping that journalists and political scientists will be able to use it in their work. And don’t hesitate to engage in this forum and to reach out if you want to do something together! :blush::heart:

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I had a great meeting with Mia from Region Gotland today. She gathered a few people interested in seeing the program published as open data to discuss the topic.

Overall, the interesting items were:

  • Region Gotland is soon going to change IT-system to handle the program and booking of events
  • They are currently providing the program as Excel for a cost. In total, the revenues are around 4000kr per year. It is considered insignificant compared to the main revenue of the festival (several millions in facility rentals).
  • The main barrier to publishing today is that they would need a political decision to stop taking payments for the program.
  • They don’t consider themselves responsible for the personal data in the program, their jurists have interpreted GDPR in a creative way where the event organisers keep responsibility over the information they put on their platform, Region Gotland then “borrows” it to show the program in a number of format

I told Mia that the program was already available as open data since last year due to my project. She didn’t know and they didn’t notice any potential consequence. They will have a look at it.

I asked how they would see that the data be added to Dataportal.se. She said that they wanted it to be clear that the data doesn’t come from Region Gotland, that they can’t be held responsible for it and they asked that we don’t take any legitimacy from Region Gotland being the provider of the data.

This time, I thought I would discuss it in the open before adding it. @mattias, @Ainali, what do you think?

It feels like despite writing a blog post, having it all on Github and posting it to a few groups specialised in open data, few people found about Almedalsdata. So putting it on the data portal seems like a good idea.

PS: I just checked and the blog post comes 2nd on Google when searching for “almedalen program öppna data” so I’m not sure visibility could get any better.

Exciting! Mia who? Mia here? Kontakta oss - Almedalsveckan

Interesting! Can you share which people were invited?

Interesting, did you bring up procurement recommendations for built-in transparency such as data portability and open APIs?

Great to have these numbers. Obvious case for increased economic value publishing as open data instead.

Have politicians of Gotland been informed of the values they’re missing out on by not releasing as open data? Is it clear yet which political coalition will rule this mandate? Valresultat 2022 för Gotland i kommunvalet | SVT Nyheter

People submit their personal data to a public sector agency. It becomes a common document and public sector information according to Tryckfrihetsförordningen. I think it would be strange if GDPR would apply and overrule constitution here but it’s Friday afternoon and maybe my mind has checked out already! :slight_smile:

That’s a good sign that it could be published as open data.

Great. I suggest not adding it inofficially to dataportal.se. Instead I suggest that we arrange another meeting and talk about procurement from the @Ainali & publiccode.net perspective and DIGG’s recommendations on built-in openness for the the IT system that will handle program and booking of events.

I think these are great reasons to not publish it inofficially. I think it might create confusion on dataportal.se. My experience talking to people is that they expect to find data published by the original publisher of the data. I would rather see Region Gotland grow into their role of open data publishers themselves since they have much more data than this and that would be more beneficial to the public and taxpayers than having an old community made dataset.

Perhaps it is because it’s not Region Gotland themselves publishing it?

Cool! Still I see potential confusion and credibility issues. Region Gotland would get so much more reach if they published the data as files and open API and produced news about it.

Maybe I should have given a more complete summary of the meeting. I didn’t want to disclose every participant.

But Björn Hagström and Joakim Söderberg were present and they very strongly highlighted the importance for Region Gotland to publish the dataset as open data. Björn sent at least 5 different documents from DIGG with arguments, procurement guidelines, publishing guidelines and examples :grin:. I’m not saying one more meeting wouldn’t help but they got much more information than I mentioned in my summary.

It’s unclear to me if and when Region Gotland will publish the program as open data. Even after this meeting, the only certain thing is that they will look into it and that a new IT system might make it easier to publish.

But once I explained to them that the data was already out thanks to this project, we discussed instead the benefits for Region Gotland to be the official publisher. To have more control over the quality of the data, to know better the potential users, etc… Many of the arguments came from them so I don’t think publishing it ourselves has deterred them from doing it officially.

I understand your arguments regarding the confusion it can create if the data isn’t published by Region Gotland, I think it’s very important that it’s made clear where the data comes from. As long as it’s clear though, I don’t think there is an issue. On the opposite, it’s only good if more people can find it. And of course, we should continue pushing for an official release of the data. :slightly_smiling_face:

Whether dataportal.se should have unofficial versions of public datasets or not seems to me more like an editorial choice from DIGG. Right now, the portal is quite open, I was able to publish without control. And I don’t think the data I published breaks the guidelines. If DIGG finds it detrimental, I guess they should change the rules? I could proactively ask Kristine to clarify the situation.

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