Do you have a question about the Sense4us project?

Please feel free to contact us:
[email protected]


All Newsletter issues are available here


European Data Portal: A family tree of 1.6 million persons

In 2014, the Regional Archive of the Dutch city of Tilburg made its genealogical records available as Open Data. By doing so, the archive wants to promote new and stimulating innovative applications for its data. Willem Vermeulen, a student at the University of Amsterdam took up this challenge and used the data for his thesis on the migration movements in the regions of Tilburg and Rotterdam.

For his research, he used records on major life events of the citizens such as birth, marriage or passing and combined this with location where the ‘act’ was registered. Using algorithms, anonymised acts for the period 1815-1900 were analysed and mapped into a family tree of 1.6 million persons. A process only made possible with the data being machine readable information, instead of the original images. The analysis led to a number of interesting findings, for example that men appear to have migrated more than women during the period. Another discovered trend consisted of the increasing importance of Rotterdam as a migration destination.

Read more here and here

Joinup: "The Global Open Data Index to be updated"

Open Knowledge International, a not-for-profit organisation that promotes openness and transparency, has decided to update the survey for its Global Open Data Index. This index measures Open Data publication in 122 countries.

The organisation said on its blog that in updating the survey, it wanted to “improve the clarity of the questions and provide better guidance to submitters in order to ensure that contributors understand what datasets they should be evaluating and what they should be looking for in those datasets”.

“Furthermore, we hope the updated survey will help us to highlight some of the tangible challenges to data publication and reuse by paying closer attention to the contents of datasets”, it said.

Enhancing our understanding of the data we measure

The proposed changes are intended to achieve the following objectives:

  • Better measure and document how easy it is to find government data online;
  • Enhance our understanding of the data we measure; and
  • Improve the robustness of our analysis.

Read the full original article here

Good News from Finland - Open data creates life-simplifying apps

Cities are constantly gathering and producing immense amounts of information. What if all that data were up for grabs for anyone to use?

The Helsinki Region Infoshare service has opened the capital region’s data for everyone, and gives rise to apps and services that make everyday life easier.

Transparent decision making

Creating neat apps to ease the life of urban city dwellers is not the only aim behind open data access. It also makes decision making transparent and thus improves democracy.

“Making lots of our city purchase data public opened up a new view for citizens into city administration, and it increases people’s trust toward the city and its officials,” says project manager of Helsinki City Urban Facts Tanja Lahti.

The city has also estimated that opening up the data has resulted in 1–2 per cent savings, because projects are now undertaken with more background knowledge.

But what if someone abuses open data? The fear that officials might be feeling is understandable, since they cannot know beforehand how the information is going to be used. However, not a single case of misuse has been reported.

Being this open means a big shift in attitudes in the cities’ administration, but for those officials having mixed feelings about openness Lahti has an answer:

“The information belongs to the citizens.”

Written  by: ILKKA PERNU

Photography & videoALEKSI POUTANEN


The article was originally posted on Design Stories from Helsinki

Read the full article

End user partners' meetings about the SENSE4US toolkit

SENSE4US end user partners had some really useful workshops in Stockholm on June 21st, in London on July 12th, in Southampton on July 13th and in Koblenz on July 20th.

A bit before the final version of the toolkit is released, end user partners were gathered to ascertain a better understanding of how the tool works and its potential value.

As a result of their joint efforts, a number of suggestions for useful improvements emerged that would make the tool much more accessible and useful to end users. So stay tuned for more updates on the demonstrator model and the upcoming end user workshops/interviews!

European Commission - European Open Science Cloud

European Open Science Cloud

Giving a major boost to Open Science in Europe, the Commission presented its blueprint for cloud-based services and world-class data infrastructure to ensure science, business and public services reap benefits of big data revolution.

By bolstering and interconnecting existing research infrastructure, the Commission plans to create a new European Open Science Cloud that will offer Europe's 1.7 million researchers and 70 million science and technology professionals a virtual environment to store, share and re-use their data across disciplines and borders.

This will be underpinned by the European Data Infrastructure, deploying the high-bandwidth networks, large scale storage facilities and super-computer capacity necessary to effectively access and process large datasets stored in the cloud.

You can read more in European Commission's website