Open Data Day: NYC Graffiti, Citations, Open Science and Dr. Who

February 26, 2013

On Saturday Feb 23 the City of Albany participated in the

The city event was organized by member of ASIST at SUNY-Albany, and Kitware.

A group of about 10 Open Data Enthusiasts gathered in a room
at the Science Library building of the State University of New York at Albany.

The event followed the open agenda of a hackathon.

After scouting, participants dived into dataset of their particular interest.

Here are three examples of notable activities.

NYC Graffitti

New York City has a system in place to track Graffiti locations, this information is crowdsourced via phone calls to the 311 number. If you are walking around New York City and see a Graffiti that you would prefer to be removed, you can call this number and enter the graffiti in that database. On the other hand, if you have an appreciation for the Art of Graffiti, or are interested in their use for social and political expression, then you also have right there a Tourist guide for places where you will find graffitis to see (that is, until the City removes them…).

DJ. Deo and Alex Jurkat  went after this dataset, downloaded it and massaged it, and developed a web application to display the locations of graffiti in a map. Given that the dataset includes dates information, their Web application also provides a slider to see the times when the graffiti appeared, and when they were removed.

Here is the link to the web application deployment:

DJ put the source code in Github at the site of the SUNY-Albany College of Computing and Information
(under Apache 2.0 License).



Article Citations

Catherine Dumas, from ASIST, (and along with Dima Kassab, one of the organizers of the event), worked on Citations for Academic Papers.

Using the SPARQL endpoint of DBLP, performed searches for articles authored by a particular person.

For example, placing the following SPARQL query in DBLP:

PREFIX rdfs: <>
PREFIX akt:  <>
PREFIX akts: <>

SELECT DISTINCT ?paper ?title ?coauthorname WHERE
 ?node    rdfs:label      “Seth Chaiken” .
 ?paper   akt:has-author   ?node .
 ?paper      akt:has-title ?title .
 ?paper   akt:has-author   ?coauthor .  
 ?coauthor    akt:full-name  ?coauthorname
LIMIT 1000

We get back the list of papers and coauthors of Professor Seth Chaiken.

Open Science Course Sprint

The Creative Commons organized a distributed sprint to put together a Course on Open Science.
The documents gathered during the sprint are available in an open folder here.


Dr. Who

Popular culture couldn’t be missing from the event. Sharon Wolff worked on exploring
data from the Dr. Who series by using the SPARQL endpoint of the BBC.

For example, using the following SPARQL query:

<> <> ?o .
?o <> ?title .

We get back the list of episodes from the new Dr. Who series.

While this SPARQL query:

<> ?r ?e .

Will open to your the graph of the Classic Dr. Who series.

…this led to a discussion on the merits of the Dalek’s invasion planning strategies…



With activities happening in more than 100 Cities around the World,
The Open Data Day Hackathon was a true celebration of what can be achieved
when Data is made available in usable forms for all to access.

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