City of Mannheim shows appreciation to Open Data engagement of GIScience group

On friday 3/13, Melanie Eckle, Steffen John and Stefan Hahmann of the GIScience group Heidelberg were invited to a special event at Mannheim town hall. The city of Mannheim showed appreciation to the engagement of the GIScience group during the Open Data Day in Mannheim.

Melanie Eckle (distaster mappers Heidelberg) gave a presentation about the speed mapping session in the area of South Sudan which was performed during the Open Data Day. It was emphasized that the same mapping techniques that were applied during this event could also help if disasters, such as severe floodings or fires, happen in the Rhine-Neckar-Region.

Stefan Hahmann presented the outcomes of the Open Data Day that are relevant for the CAP4ACCESS project. These are the citizen science tool Crowdcrafting applied to the detection of sidewalks from Mapillary imagery and the extension of an OSM quality visualisation tool to show streets in OSM that do not have sidewalk information yet. Both of these applications emphasize the need of open data to support accessible route planning.

The first mayor of Mannheim was very impressed by the engagement of all of the involved hackers in the Open Data Day. Ideas raised by the developed applications were discussed and further support for similar events was announced. The city of Mannheim plans to start an Open Data portal by September 2015 where social data, geodata and election data shall be available under open data license.

The event was a great way to make some of the most important actors in our region aware of the advantages that Open Data has for the public. Many thanks goes to Oliver Rack from Open Data Rhine-Neckar for organizing the Open Data Day. All presented project were honored with 200€ each.

To learn more about the Mannheims Open Data initiatives, we recommend to watch the Open Data Day movie and the corresponding Rhein-Neckar-Fernsehen TV broadcast (both in German)!