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“Open Data Seminar: Initiatives of Kyoto Prefecture and Kyoto City" was a great success


The Kyoto College of Graduate Studies for Informatics (KCGI), the administator of ‘.kyoto’, held a seminar on Thursday, May 24th 2018 at the 6th floor hall of Kyoto Computer Gakuin. Lecturers from Kyoto Prefecture and Kyoto City were invited to introduce their open data initiatives.

The government and public organizations are actively promoting the release of open data that can be freely used, reused, and redistributed by anyone, and this movement is not only happening in Kyoto City and Kyoto Prefecture, but also throughout Japan and around the world. Openness of administrative data, which has tended to be seen as an experimental movement by some local governments and departments, is expected to be utilized more widely in the future to solve local problems through cooperation between the public and private sectors.

As for Kyoto Prefecture, Mr. Kenjiro Higashi, Senior Director of the Policy Planning Department, gave a presentation on the Kyoto’s prefectural government's initiatives, which can be divided into two main parts: the Data Platform and the Action Platform. The prefectural government's Data Platform not only provides data but also conducts classes at the Kyoto University School of Public Policy to verify the validity of the data. He also introduced the recurrent education of prefectural government employees to train data scientists. The Action Platform is working to identify and resolve issues rooted in the local community through co-creation labs and hackathons throughout the prefecture.

As for Kyoto City, Keisuke Inoue, Assistant Director in charge of Statistical Analysis, Information Technology Promotion Office, General Planning Bureau, explained about the city’s efforts. In March 2016, a campaign to promote Kyoto’s future named “Fly to the Future! Second Stage of the Miyako Plan Implementation Plan," a description of open data was included and in September, the Kyoto city open data promotion guidelines were formed. The city has been working hard on open data initiatives in the important sectors of tourism and industry, culture and art, and safety and security/disaster prevention. The city’s open data is characterized by its support for full-text search as well as title and tag search, its extensive preview functions such as maps, graphs, and charts, and its implementation of the first 5-star open data portal site in Japan that can be automatically built. As the open data’s usage, in response to the city's challenge to expand the use of bicycles for sightseeing, the city developed ‘chariP naVi’ in collaboration with a group called 京の歴史と街並みをつたえ隊 (Kyoto History and Townscape Group). This application won the top prize in the "Challenge! Open Governance 2017," a contest in which local governments, citizens, and students submit ideas and projects cooperate to solve regional issues based on data.

Finally, Kyoto City representative concluded the lecture by calling for "further awareness-raising activities and cooperation with other cities and related organizations are necessary, as awareness of open data itself is still generally low and people involved in local governments themselves are confused" and "open data is a catalyst for everything and we need to accelerate our own efforts”.