Starting Small: Open Data in Chile


– The era of information has changed everything. There is something going on and you can tell and it’s not like something, ah yeah, somewhere in the world that is happening. It’s important to understand what data is and how we can use it. Knowing is protecting. If I understand what is going on, I want to participate. How can we make people understand that this data that they collect is much more than they think? – I think the biggest challenge for open data is increasing the use and functionality. Open source, open data, has much to do with keeping systems efficient and fostering collaboration among people. I help you, you help me, together we’re going to arrive at a better solution. More than me working by myself and I’m trying to find the best solution alone. I believe open data, sharing developments, and open source is, ultimately, knowing to listen to the real needs of the people who create real, tangible solutions for their daily situations. – I think now responsibility comes more to ourselves. Us, as educators, we need to change mentalities. We need to show the new generations the approach, the strategies. How do you make this work with communities? how do you make this large, how do you make this big? Pomaire is a rural town, around 10,000 inhabitants around 60 kilometers southwest of Santiago. – Pomaire is a colony of potters. Here we don’t have an industry at all— just family pottery workshops. And this has been the case for generation upon generation. All week long, we produce our pottery and on the weekends, Saturday and Sunday, we sell it. There are a lot of ovens, too. I guess, really, we must be 200 or 300 ovens in the village. Imagine how much pollution is created during the week. We leave off firing on the weekends because of the tourism. – We know that particulate material can create not just environmental issues but also health issues. And inefficient combustion of wood burning creates that these particulates stay in the environment and we breathe them. – As a potter in Pomaire, I met Don Camilo about five years ago. And at the same time, we devised some environmental projects and in one of those, we came up with the Chancho sensor, which is made from clay. With these Chanchos, we tried out several designs and came up with a final model that we’re placing in various parts of the village of Pomaire. We’ve equipped the Chanchos with sensors to capture environmental data in all these places. – They can measure things like the temperature of the ovens, particulate material, the entry and exit of people to Pomaire. No one has ever measured any of these things here. So why don’t we do it? – Then, once we were all informed and everyone caught on to the idea, they realized we have a problem with air quality in Pomaire, and we could not remain blind to the situation and had to do something about it. -I wanted to see if maybe there’s a way to quickly access the bottom because what we have here is the source of energy, the battery. -Yeah, sure. But how much does it have to be to be considered too high? -More than…more than 40, that is more or less acceptable. More than 80— -Dangerous? -Critical. When we put it in the oven, when we’re doing the measurements, put four distinct sensors at a distance. We created this philosophy of working out with open source hardware and software. We have our philosophy of opening up the data, but we also realize that opening up data is not enough. We need to really focus on more education on what to do with data and how we transform this data into information and action. And I think we are just at the beginning of that process. This data can actually build up a way to understand a dynamic of a system. Based on that, they have started a process of changing ovens. They say, well, this oven not just produces less particulate material but, at the same time, reduces the use of wood so it makes more efficient for our economic purposes, so we can change decision. And for us, that makes sense to create sensors and to create data. If we don’t have that, then we’re just creating interesting gadgets but that don’t really make sense. For them it changes life, and for us, and for me, it was very important that our team and my students also see this, that they can actually make a change that is real. – We’re here in Patagonia. This is like the south of south. Here science is like in a human scale. Scientists are not like those gods that you cannot see or you cannot ask anything. Here people know that we need to take care of this place. This place is a touristic place, so their wages are involved in tourism. So if we destroy the landscape, we will destroy the economic system of the place. -Who doesn’t have a phone in their pocket right now? Who raised their hand? Everyone has one. I was investigating online and researching the hashtag ‘Torres del Paine’ and found there was at first 10 thousand photos a month with the hashtag and now there’s 50 thousands photos a month in high season with it. So then I said, “Ok, we’re all now monitors.” Elun is one of my highlight projects. It’s image recognition software that wants to collect data to know how the environment is kind of looking, how the landscape looks. The system Elun includes an app and the app is to be used here in protected areas so we can make mappings of the biodiversity of the places through pictures that people is already collaborating with. The idea is that people that go inside the park download an app, press start, and then walk around, take normal pictures. If they want to participate in our project, my app do a geofencing through the areas that we’re working on. They will share this information with us. All the pictures pass through a system that make them tags. It’s just data in a hotmap like, okay, in this area we can see that there is a micro-community of whatever plant. And that’s what I see is a point in a map. It’s not that I’m gonna see your picture actually. But your pictures have this information. – Elun is an open source platform that recognizes images and turns that into useful information. In our environmental studies, we’re doing a baseline which takes a lot of man hours if you were to keep teams up in those vast areas. Elun enables users to actually contribute to the information. And the baseline is very useful to see how we can develop without impacting delicate ecosystems, how climate change is affecting different species, different habitats. Maybe people or a trail is going through the wrong place. Maybe we’re cutting a biological corridor, but we don’t know. So Elun’s gonna help us know. – I want to gather data to be useful to everybody. Collecting my data, understanding what is going on, that’s humanizing a problem that is huge but is in my scale, so that’s what open source for me is: it is a tool for empowering people. – Communities like Pomaire can be found anywhere. Around your corner, your neighborhood, your rural community around you. So my suggestion is find your Pomaire, find your Orlandos, your partners. – There are many ways you could help and make people understand how important it is to not take care of this place in particular, to take care of places, here, every picture that you take is beautiful. Everywhere that you go like, oh, this is so amazing, so people fell in love with this place and here’s how you teach like, yeah, you love this place? Everything could be like this if we really were aware what is going on and how to protect and how to take care. – These are not technological projects. These are societal projects. We need to better understand our communities, to better relate ourselves with communities, and suddenly small changes like in a very small community, rural community, can actually bring you ideas of a larger change. So let’s start small and make it big. – The era of information has changed everything. There is something going on and you can tell and it’s not like something, ah yeah, somewhere in the world that is happening. It’s important to understand what data is and how we can use it. Knowing is protecting. If I understand what is going on, I want to participate. How can we make people understand that this data that they collect is much more than they think? -Creo que el mayor desafió de los datos abiertos está en crear cultura en el uso y la funcionalidad de ellos. Open source, open data, tiene mucho que ver con crear sistemas más eficientes y colaborativos entre las personas. Si, yo te ayudo a ti, tu me ayudas a mi, vamos a introducir una mejor solución más que si yo me siento solo y me entierro intentando buscar una solución que quiero que puede ser óptima. Creo que el data abierto y compartir desarrollos y el open source es, al final, saber escuchar cuales son las necesidades reales de las personas que dan soluciones reales, tangibles, y antingentes a la situación de venir. – I think now responsibility comes more to ourselves. Us, as educators, we need to change mentalities. We need to show the new generations the approach, the strategies. How do you make this work with communities? how do you make this large, how do you make this big? – Pomaire is a rural town, around 10,000 inhabitants around 60 kilometers southwest of Santiago. -Pomaire se caracteriza por tener talleres familias. Aca no hay industria, nada—nada—nada de eso. Solamente hay talleres familiares. Y que esto es de generación y generación. Nuestro movimiento diario es la semana producir artesanía y los fines de semana venderlos, sábado y domingo. Hay muchos hornos, también. Que realmente deben de a ver unos 200, 300 hornos en el pueblo. Imaginense de sábado a domingo, de lunes a viernes, cocimos y el sábado y domingo lo dejamos para el turismo. – We know that particulate material can create not just environmental issues but also health issues. And inefficient combustion of wood burning creates that these particulates stay in the environment and we breathe them. Yo como artesano de ferrero en Pomaire, conocí a Don Camilo hace como cinco años. Y a la vez ideamos proyectos osea medioambiente y en una de esas ideamos el chancho sensor que se trabaja solamente de greda. Ese Chancho lo fabricamanos. Hicieron varios diseños de que llegamos el diseños final se logró el objetivo porque lo colocamos en varias partes del pueblo que incluso acá en Pomaire se poco— siempre con los chanchos alcancías y todo de los pero lo miraron que llevaba el sensor y era el captador que teníamos. – They can measure things like the temperature of the ovens, particulate material, the entry and exit of people to Pomaire, No one has ever measured any of these things here. So why don’t we do it? -Entonces, para nosotros y para todos se informó y todo captaron la idea, captaron que eran problema en Pomaire, no podían estar ciegos, de que tenían que buscar la solución. Tal vez lo quería que ver es una manera de acceder rápido al abajo, porque lo que tenemos acá es la fuente de la energía, de la batería. -Yeah, ah, claro. Pero cuanto tiene que estar ya alto? ¿Cuánto? -Más de…más de 40, ya está más o menos. Más de 80— -Peligroso? -Crítico. Cuando lo ponemos en el horno, cuando estamos haciendo las medidas, puso cuatro distintos sensores a una distancia. We created this philosophy of working out with open source hardware and software. We have our philosophy of opening up the data, but we also realize that opening up data is not enough. We need to really focus on more education on what to do with data and how we transform this data into information and action. And I think we are just at the beginning of that process. This data can actually build up a way to understand a dynamic of a system. Based on that, they have started a process of changing ovens. They say, well, this oven not just produces less particulate material but, at the same time, reduces the use of wood so it makes more efficient for our economic purposes, so we can change decision. And for us, that makes sense to create sensors and to create data. If we don’t have that, then we’re just creating interesting gadgets but that don’t really make sense. For them it changes life, and for us, and for me, it was very important that our team and my students also see this, that they can actually make a change that is real. – We’re here in Patagonia. This is like the south of south. Here science is like in a human scale. Scientists are not like those gods that you cannot see or you cannot ask anything. Here people know that we have to take care of this place. This place is a touristic place, so their wages are involved in tourism. So if we destroy the landscape, we will destroy the economic system of the place. -Quien no tiene un phone en bolsillo ahora? Quiene levantó la mano? Todo lo tinen. Ah, investigando en el internet y el hashtag ‘Torres del Paine’ se subían a principio como diez mil photos por mes con el hashtag y actualmente como 50 mil photos por mes en temporada con hashtag. Entonces dije, “Ok, somos todos ya monitores.” Elun is one of my highlight projects. It’s image recognition software that wants to collect data to know how the environment is kind of looking, how the landscape looks. The system Elun includes an app and the app is to be used here in protected areas so we can make mappings of the biodiversity of the places through pictures that people is already collaborating with. The idea is that people that go inside the park download an app, press start, and then walk around, take normal pictures. If they want to participate in our project, my app do a geofencing through the areas that we’re working on. They will share this information with us. All the pictures pass through a system that make them tags. It’s just data in a hotmap like, okay, in this area we can see that there is a micro-community of whatever plant. And that’s what I see is a point in a map. It’s not that I’m gonna see your picture actually. But your pictures have this information. – Elun is an open source platform that recognizes images and turns that into useful information. In our environmental studies, we’re doing a baseline which takes a lot man hours if you were to keep teams up in those vast areas. Elun enables users to actually contribute to the information. And the baseline is very useful to see how we can develop without impacting delicate ecosystems, how climate change is affecting different species, different habitats. Maybe people or a trail is going through the wrong place. Maybe we’re cutting a biological corridor, but we don’t know. So Elun’s gonna help us know. – I want to gather data to be useful to everybody. Collecting my data, understanding what is going on, that’s humanizing a problem that is huge but is in my scale, so that’s what open source for me is: it is a tool for empowering people. – Communities like Pomaire can be found anywhere. Around your corner, your neighborhood, your rural community around you. So my suggestion is find your Pomaire, find your Orlandos, your partners. – There are many ways you could help and make people understand how important it is to not take care of this place in particular, to take care of places, here, every picture that you take is beautiful. Everywhere that you go like, oh, this is so amazing, so people fell in love with this place and here’s how you teach like, yeah, you love this place? Everything could be like this if we really were aware what is going on and how to protect and how to take care. – These are not technological projects. These are societal projects. We need to better understand our communities, to better relate ourselves with communities, and suddenly small changes like in a very small community, rural community, can actually bring you ideas of a larger change. So let’s start small and make it big.

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