Open Data Hong Kong news roundup (18 Mar)

Roundup of Open Data Hong Kong news – week of 18 March 2014

Next event: Meet.17 (upcoming Tuesday!)

Tuesday 25 March, 2014

Meet 17 logo

Join us for our one year anniversary! That’s right! ODHK was started almost a year ago! Come celebrate. There will be drinks, cake, music, fun, and lots of open data!


  • Looking back – a review of the past year, ODHK Executive Committee voting, ODHK Excom Purpose, Roles, Who’s running, looking forward, upcoming series of HacKnight events, Next ODHK hackathon, Preview of the Hong Kong Open Source Conference and more! There will be cake and music! BYOB: Bring your own beer / alcohol!
  • Happening at the Good Lab in Prince Edward!

More info here

ODHK Excom vote at Meet.17

We have received applications for the Executive Committee (Excom). Thank you for your interest. It’s time now to proceed with voting! Voting will happen next week at Meet.17. To find out more about Excom and the slate of names, please read here (link).


RTHK looks at Open Data (in Cantonese)

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.35.08 pm

ODHK’s famous Team IVE featured in the RTHK documentary! The first Cantonese TV show about open data, aired on TVB and RTHK. (link)




LegCo releases Legislative History of Bills

We have just released the beta version of an API to access our Database on the Legislative History of Bills. This database contains key dates and the amendment history of some 6 000 Bills considered by the Council since 1906. The Database keeps track of the passage of a Bill such as its gazette date, dates of the three readings, formation and report of the corresponding Bills Committee, if any, and its discussions in Council meetings. Comments are welcome! (link)

CSV data with Data.Two Download

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 11.03.06 pmWithin moments of notifying us on the Facebook group, already CSV data was made available by the community. Check it out! (link)

Add your HK Open Data project to the list!

Please enter in your Open Data project here! We want to try and get a listing of all Open Data projects relevant to Hong Kong. You can enter any project. It doesn’t have to be your project. We will make these projects accessible on the ODHK website. Thank you! (link)

Prototype of HK Open Data projects showcase

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.56.11 pmAlready Francis has made a prototype to showcase Hong Kong open data projects. It will update based on the data from the spreadsheet above. Check it out! (link)

App: MTRdelay

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.37.14 pmOne of the interesting apps/sites demoed at the ODHK.Meet.16 was “MTRdelay”. Check it out! (link).
The source code is available here:




Upcoming Events

HK Open Source Conference 

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.47.43 pmMore than 10 overseas speakers will join us at the Hong Kong Open Source Conference, to share on various open source and open technology topics. From the Data.One project of OGCIO to the releases of voting record of the Legislative Council in machine-readable format, a number of open data initiatives have been kickstarted by various groups in Hong Kong. is a open source and open data community in Taiwan aimed to improve the society, it is one of the most outstanding open data community in Asia. We invited the co-founder of the famous open source developer in Taiwan – Chia-liang Kao, to describe how make use of open source model and technology to develop a number of open data applications.

World Internet Developer Summit 2014 @ 27-28 Mar 2014

Get ready for Hong Kong’s signature World Internet Developer Summit!
Hosted by Internet Society Hong KongCyberport and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the action-packed two-day summit is the annual and signature cross-platform developer summit in the region.


Article: Wealthy countries share data

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 10.51.53 pm

The Oxford Internet Institute this week posted a nice visualization of the state of open data in 70 countries around the world, reflecting the willingness of national governments to release everything from transportation timetables to election results to machine-readable national maps. The tool is based on the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Data Index, an admittedly incomplete but telling assessment of who willingly publishes updated, accurate national information on, say, pollutants and who does not.

Read it: (link)
Note: HK is among the last 10.

Open Gov’t: Call for submissions by Gov’t of Indonesia

Call for submissions by the Government of Indonesia on innovative approaches to open government that will be showcased at the OGP Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Bali, Indonesia on May 6 – 7.

Seven ideas will be selected for Lightning Talks at the upcoming regional meeting. You may submit your own innovative idea or nominate someone else’s. The deadline for submitting your entry is March 23, 2014. To take part, simply fill in the nomination form at and describe your inspiring innovation.


Photos from Meet.16 (R & Open Energy Data)

Never been to an event? Come on out! A few photos from

More news!

Curated from Open Data Weekly

Introducing Streamtools: A graphical tool for working with streams of data 

(OpenNews) We see a moment coming when the collection of endless streams of data is commonplace. As this transition accelerates it is becoming increasingly apparent that our existing toolset for dealing with streams of data is lacking.

How Open Data Policies Unlock Innovation 

(Socrata) The World Wide Web just celebrated its twenty-fifth birthday. In the years since its inception, an entire generation has grown up with the web, and helped to shape it. For these people, Facebook, Amazon, and Google are the norm for connecting with friends and family, browsing a universe of goods, and searching the world’s information.

Sixteen ways councils can better use data 

(The Guardian) We asked experts to give their tips on making the most of data in local government. Here’s what they had to say.

“Open-washing” – The difference between opening your data and simply making them available 

(OKFN) Last week, the Danish it-magazine Computerworld, in an article entitled “Check-list for digital innovation: These are the things you must know“, emphasised how more and more companies are discovering that giving your users access to your data is a good business strategy.

Watch: The Power of open data by Sir Nigel Shadbolt (CeBit)

Voting on ODHK Executive Committee

We have received applications for the Executive Committee. Thank you for your interest. It’s time now to proceed with voting! The slate of names proposed for the Executive Committee are:

About ExCom

The Executive Committee (ExCom) is responsible for the leadership of ODHK. ExCom is made up of five individuals responsible for:
  • Strategic and tactical decision-making for ODHK
  • Coordination with Communications with WG to make plans and decisions public
  • Interfacing with Working Group leads
  • Incorporation of ODHK within 6 months.

ExCom will define the terms of incorporation and take the necessary steps to fulfil this goal. Once ODHK is incorporated, the positions on ExCom will be up for re-election. We are limiting the initial terms of ExCom membership so the leadership structure can be independently decided upon from those who will take up leadership of the incorporated entity.

Next step

Come to Meet.17 for the vote on March 25!

Voting rules

To vote, please respect these two rules:

  • One vote per person. If you vote online, please opt not to vote at meet.17.
  • To be eligible, please have already attended one or more ODHK events.

Thank you for your participation!

Questions? Please send to

Update: Online voting was removed. 

Open Data Hong Kong news roundup (28 Feb)

Roundup of Open Data Hong Kong news – week of Feb 28.

Next event: Meet.16 (upcoming Wednesday!)

Wednesday March 5, 7pm. meet16_03_FB Cover Photo

Topics: R stats programming language
R is very useful for journalists and data scientists to crunch sets of data to find trends and run scenarios. Guy Freeman and Fuk Chan of the Hong Kong R User Group will be giving us a practical overview of the R programming language that’s been getting people buzzing finding trends in statistical data and big data. They’ll be brazenly honest about it too – no pitches, just the low-down – how to use it, what to use it for, the shortcomings, the aggravations, and the awesome potential.

Energy data
Waltraut, Guillaume and Eric are hacking energy data, and they’re getting it open. Find out what is the state of energy data – public and private – in Hong Kong. Energy data is critical for sustainable urban development, smart city planning and climate change mitigation. Both private and public organisations collect data related to energy generation and consumption, some of it, e.g. utility consumption data, is held by private companies.

More info here:

Request for Comments: Legco Innovation and Technology Bureau

Legislative Councillor Charles Mok‘s office asked ODHK to comment on the preliminary proposal for the structure and role of the Innovation and Technology Bureau. The ITB will be very valuable for supporting Open Data and its benefits for innovation and analysis for citizens, as well as freedom of information, open science, technology innovation to position Hong Kong as a “smart city”. This preliminary document outlines (very broadly) how ITB can support Open Data, inside the HK Gov and with citizens and industry. Read our comments and add your own!

(Original Facebook post link)

ODHK Executive Committee (“ExCom”): Deadline tonight!

We are now moving to form an Executive Committee for Open Data Hong Kong. As a voluntary organisation we will always rely on the passion and goodwill of our members to lead projects, to take up positions and to contribute where they can. ODHK wants to act as a catalyst for Open Data projects, so that we can support great ideas and cultivate different approaches to infusing Open Data into the way Hong Kong is run.
Read more here about applying.

(Original Facebook post link).


HK Budget is out! Has support for Open Data

hkbudgetThe Hong Kong Budget 2014-2015 is out, and there’s support for Open Data! Sort of. Read Bastien’s round up here.

Some other Open Data projects include:


Open Data Hong Kong members are also quick to innovate on the budget. The Code4HK team have built a budget calculator (in Chinese) at


A very popular page reporting on the budget (Chinese) from an ODHK member visualises the data.

Open Data China initiative launched

Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 5.52.42 pmCitizen’s in China are getting into Open Data! Check out their site (in Chinese). At least one ODHK member is involved!

(Original Facebook post link)

Gazetteer HK

Gazetteer Screen Shot

This exciting project started at the Open Data Hong Kong Make.02 event is getting a lot of buzz. 

Gazetteer “makes geographical data about Hong Kong’s diverse neighbourhoods accessible and easy to use…collecting and standardizing numerous datasets and making them available to everyone — journalists, researchers, developers, and anyone curious about the city around us.”

Check it out!

(Original Facebook post link)

App updates!

Heritage on the go – now on Android

ODHK member and Open Data Day collaborator Connie Leung’s team just released this app for Android. It displays information markers of declared monuments on Google Maps, locates declared monuments that are within the chosen proximity of the current location and displays location, name, address, opening hour, description, homepage, phone, email, remarks and QR code of declared monument’s URL. Check it out!

(Original Facebook link)

Licencheck app – now on Android

The renowned IVE team are at it again. They’ve updated their notorious LicenCheck app for Android so you can look up if that restaurant is legit or not. Check it out!

(Original Facebook post link)

Interesting link:

Google “Making Sense of Data” online:

Data literacy is important, and its valuable to have useful tools to work with when using surveys, demographic informaion, evaluation data, test scores and observation data. Google has a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on making sense of Data. And no, this isn’t an advertisement. If you followed this, tell us what you think! Check it out:

Open Data Day

Last week was International Open Data Day! Organised with Sammy Fung and Haggen’s Hong Kong Creative Open Technology Association, we hosted a hackathon at Good Lab in Prince Edward. There were 8 open data hack projects and we webconferenced with our Open Data counterparts in Taiwan, Shanghai and Chengdu! Check out some photos:

Support for Open Data in the HK Budget


Hong Kong’s budget chief loves Microsoft Excel- the budget was released in spreadsheet format.

The 2014-2015 budget was released and there is support for Open Data. Well, not exactly Open Data, but for “Public Sector Information“, which in Hong Kong, is close enough. There are 3 simple laws for Open Data:

  • Find: The data is indexable, available, findable;
  • Play: The data is machine-readable;
  • Share: The data is available for use without limitations.

These 3 laws seem to be covered in the budget’s section about building Hong Kong into a Smart City.

making all government information released for public consumption machine-readable in digital formats from next year onwards to provide more opportunities for the business sector. Currently, Public Sector Information available for free access covers real-time data such as road traffic information, geo-referenced public facility data, property market statistics, population census statistics, etc;

Legco councillor for IT Charles Mok points out there is another technical groundbreaking element to this budget as well:

For the first time the high level budget estimates are made available in excel format on budget website. A small but good first step in.the right direction…..

Sure enough, the Excel files of the estimates are available:

Summary of Expenditure Estimates (PDF PDF file) (Excel XLS file)

Join the conversation about this on Facebook at our Open Data Hong Kong group

Interesting HK budget data projects

Interesting tools and projects are out to help you crunch the numbers in the HK budget. Here are some below.

Inland revenue department calculator

IRD calculatorThe Inland Revenue Department also has an online calculator to help you build your own budget (in Chinese).


Open Data Hong Kong members are also quick to innovate on the budget. The Code4HK team have built a budget calculator (in Chinese) at code4hkbudgetcalculator


Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 7.37.42 pmA very popular page reporting on the budget (Chinese) from an ODHK member visualises the data

Other projects?

If you have any HK budget projects to be highlighted here, please leave a comment! Or post to our Open Data Hong Kong group.

Budget Hack event?

We’re considering a hackathon-like event to hack the HK Budget. Find trends, build other scenarios, improve visualizations. Interested? Please leave a comment or post to our Open Data Hong Kong group.
Thanks to Cedric Sam for posting in our Facebook group about the budget!


Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 11.00.25 amCedric Sam has posted lots of data visualization about the budget in the SCMP online. Check it out.