Belarus IGF-2017 May Launch Infrastructure of Open Data in Belarus

The Belarus Internet Governance Forum is to take place on May 16 in Minsk. One of the most discussed topics on the IGF agenda is forming of the infrastructure of open data in Belarus. One of the workshop discussions at the Belarus IGF-2017 will be devoted to the questions why the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe in fact lacks open data, and what is necessary to create a full-fledged infrastructure. Everyone is free to attend the Forum, registration required at the website of the event.

In developed countries, open data is the “fertile soil” that is the basis of fast growth for popular applications, online services, research of all aspects of living (from demography to environment), projects for improving cityscapes and much more. Governments, research institutes and simply enthusiasts gather and publish for open access terabytes of information to be used by everyone.

How does it function? Have you come across route planners synchronized with transport schedule, or calories calculators? Or, for instance, services of selecting real estate based on the information about crime level and ecology of a district? There is almost none of it in Belarus. However, such services function all over the world supported by open databases of information which is:

  • part of public interest;
  • open for access in machine readable format (a scanned archive of pdf-format do not fall under this title);
  • not restricted by copyright;
  • free of charge.

There are absolute leaders in open data. For example, the USA count around 100 000 datasets. New applications based on the datasets appear almost every day. Our neighbors – Russia and Ukraine – also launched state portals for open data where you already can find thousands of up-to-date databases. Whereas, in Belarus data are gathered by volunteers, and the number of such datasets counts less than 200.

“This is quite a normal situation when data collections is started by enthusiasts. It started nearly the same way in Great Britain, for instance: within time, an initiative of separate people have found a response from government. Not the country has a lavish state portal with thousands of datasets,” says Alina Radachynskaya, a representative of the community Open Data Belarus. “A tender for a state portal has already been announced in Belarus. So now it is good time to build up a multilateral dialogue to make a quality product from the start, based on legislation, for fear not to go into formal stacking of information doubtful in terms of significance and timeliness.”

Belarusian open data have already become the ground for some convenient services. For example, reports of the traffic police, civil monitoring of state finances and the service of contractors check Kartoteka.by, which is actively used by enterprises of the real sector of economy.

But just to compare, have a look at Berlin, how interactive services of Morgenpost function: for example, the map of noise pollution or the results of the latest elections to the Chamber of Representatives. Let alone NASA, who give access to their data and even gather feedback. For example, a 17-year old British pupil have recently found a mistake in data registration of indicators of radiation level at the International Space Station.

“The level of Belarusian developers is known far away even to those who imagine it hard where Belarus is. IT is something like a national idea and an objective reason for pride,” says Sergey Povalishev, the director of the company hoster.by who is co-organizer of the Forum. “It is breathtaking to imagine what a good stimulus could be a good infrastructure of open data for business, especially for start-ups, and even to regular online users. The country has great need for open data, resources for their provision, and, what is also important, the willingness of both state and businesses to develop the sphere. Belarus IGF will put all efforts to open a new page in history of open data in our country.”

The discussion will take place with the participation of representatives of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Belarus and Belstat. Also, participation was confirmed by:

  • Vyacheslav Shkadarevich, head of the service of search, complex check and monitoring of contractors Kartoteka.by;
  • Alina Radachynskaya, representative of the community Open Data Belarus, will moderate the section;
  • Sergey Kadomskiy, creator of the community Data Talks and expert in the sphere of data analysis
  • Vadim Radzivil, founder of the start-up R-NOX;
  • Maria Loitsker, researcher in the sphere of open data.

Besides the topic of open data, workshops at the Belarus IGF-2017 will be dedicated to the issues of Internet security, protection of personal data, E-Governance, the Internet of Things and legal aspects of regional development of the web.

Organizers invite everyone to attend the Internet Governance Forum; participation free of charge, with preliminary registration to the event. You can get acquainted with full program of the Belarus IGF-2017 following the link.

Organizer

hoster.by is the largest registrar and technical administrator of .BY and .БЕЛ ccTLDs, as well as the only accredited registrar of international domains in the country. Hosting and cloud solutions provider, empowered by the Operative and Analytical Center under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus to render services to state bodies and organizations. The company hoster.by is the organizer of charitable auctions of domain names and numerous local and regional events, dedicated to the development of the Internet sphere.

Partner of the round table discussion

Kartoteka.by is the first Belarusian online search service for complex check and monitoring of contractors. Currently, Kartoteka.by provides information on corporate sectors of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and 26 EU countries.