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Data Dive: Using Open Data to Make Brussels more Bicycle-Friendly

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We are using Open Data to make Brussels 
more bicycle-friendly. We need your help!

About this Event

With the Bike Data Project, Open Knowledge Belgium vzw/asbl is launching a community-driven platform that collects data about where and when people cycle. In collaboration with Brussels Mobility and Minister Elke Van Den Brandt, there's a crowdsourcing campaign running in Brussels in October-November in which cyclists use mobile apps to collect and share the data of their bike rides on www.bikedataproject.org. The platform aims to collect GPS data from cyclists and make the anonymous aggregated data available as open data.

On Friday November 13, we'd like to invite you as a cyclist, data analyst, mobility planner, city planner, activist or journalist to join us during our data dive event, where we want to explore the opportunities of a more bicycle-friendly city with open data.

This is what we will do on November 13th: let's put our ideas together to make Brussel more bicycle-friendly and dive into the cycling data!

What will we do?

During this Data Dive event, we will both exchange ideas on how we can build a more bicycle-friendly city with open data and explore the data collected by cyclists in Brussels. After the event, we will also make the cycling data available as open data.

Where is the event taking place?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be two options to take part in the event: either you attend remotely (online) or you join us at BeCentral (if governmental measures allow). When we finish the data dive, the apero is on us! ;)

Do I need a technical profile to come?

Absolutely not! Just your ambition to make Brussels better for cyclists.

What's the schedule? [provisional]

13:00: Welcome (introduction and tutorial)

14:00: Start Data Dive

17:00: Data Dive ends, let's have a drink!

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More cycling data means more power to and for cyclists

Little is known about how cyclists move around in cities today. If there’s data available, it’s closed and restricted data sold by one single app provider or static data collected through manual counts. If we want to have more people cycling in cities and make the bicycle as easy and logical to opt for as the car, we also need to get the same data insights into cyclists’ behavior as we do have about car transport.

To make this project work we ask for a simple favor from the cycling community. We ask different types of cyclists (e.g. commuters, delivery riders, sportsmen and tourists) to track their bicycle rides via their preferred mobile application and donate their data to our community-driven bike data platform. Some people already track their activity for training purposes. That’s great but we also really want to take into account the short routes like commuting to work or just taking a quick ride to the grocery store. In return, the anonymous aggregated cycling data will be opened up to the public and can be freely used by anyone. The collective data gives us patterns we can use to demonstrate our cause.

Launch of the first data collection campaign in Brussels

In collaboration with Brussels Mobility, a first campaign will be launched for the Brussels-Capital Region asking cyclists to track and share the data of their bike rides during the month of October. On Tuesday 13 and 27 October, online meetings will take place where participants can learn more about the collection and potential use of cycling data. As the closing event of the campaign, a data dive is scheduled for Friday, November 13. During this event, participants will work with the cycling data and come up with applications to make cities more bicycle-friendly.

Cycling data freely available as open data

The open cycling dates offered will be freely available to everyone and for different purposes, such as:

  • Transport experts, city planners, mobility planners and urban planners can use the open data to develop modern infrastructure and sustainable cities.
  • Citizens can get an overview of the number of cyclists and kilometers cycled and view a map with the number of cyclists per route.
  • Civil society and journalists use the data to analyze the situation for cyclists in the city, such as the amount of time cyclists on average wait at traffic lights.
  • Data and software companies can dive into the data to gain smart cycling insights and build tools such as advanced cycling route planners and recommendation engines to improve cycling infrastructure. The data can also be very useful for other bicycle-related products and services.

After the data collection campaign in Brussels, the platform will remain available online and will be maintained by Open Knowledge Belgium. Cycling communities in other cities will also be encouraged to launch a campaign and make use of the platform.

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This project is made possible thanks to the support of Brussels Mobility and is mainly built by a team during Open Summer of Code, an initiative of Open Knowledge Belgium.

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