Data has become an important means of communicating; government relies on data to identify trends about a particular issue, as individuals we subconsciously deal with data when we want to know how the Ghanaian cedi fared against the American Dollar. Most at times data becomes useless when individuals are not able to understand and appreciate the message the data portrays. Code for Ghana an organization which seeks to help shape the open data movement in Ghana organized an Open Data Hack Night from 31st July – 1st August 2015. The event drew together data experts, developers, journalists and all individuals committed to promoting open data in Ghana.
The two days event saw participants working in teams on various data sets obtained from gov.data.gh, NITA and other agencies in Ghana committed to the open data society. Participants were also taken through some training to equip them with the necessary skills needed to work with data. Nana Baah Gyan, one of the trainers introduced participants to R, one of the programming language used for working on data. Participants demonstrated an understanding of the programming language by using R to word mine the 2015 State of the Nation Address delivered by President John Dramani Mahama and the Mid-year report by Minster For Finance, Seth Terkper among several other documents. Using R participants were able to visualize data from Wikipedia about searches made by Wiki users.
At the end of the hack night, the following projects were developed by participants:
Team X developed a web application which tallied the prices of various commodities over the past 35 years. The web application allows users to see in real time the effect of commodity prices on Ghanaian lives.
Team Data Awesome developed a data analyzing app where you can generate visualizations and embed them in your site. This app is to allow journalist and bloggers tell stories using visuals.
Team AIT developed Project Infocidento a web application where users can input data and visualize it in real time.
Team Sprouty developed a GDP growth trend visualization of GDP data in Ghana showing the various growth trends in the various sectors of the Ghanaian economy.
Team Dab Lab developed an interactive Map that visualizes data on toilets per region. The map interactive shows households that have toilets and those who do not have toilet plus the number of public toilets in a region.
Team FireViz visualized on the map of Ghana the history of fire outbreaks in the country. The web application allows you to view the number of fire outbreaks recorded in every region in Ghana; you can also navigate to find out the type of fire outbreak whether it is domestic, industrial, bush etc. Visit fireviz.pe.hu to view the visualization of fire in Ghana
Team Dear MP developed a platform where you can report problems in your area, the data will then be generated into a visualized map that shows where the problem is.
All the teams were guided by Afua Ankomah .
The applications developed by the various teams are available on GitHub and can be assessed for use at no cost at all.
Visit codeforghana.org for more information.