Open Data project by our students

Investigating potentials and application examples for Open Data in the Brandenburg state administration - the task of one of our implemented student practice projects in the summer semester of 2020

(f.l.t.r. Cornelius Everding - E-Govermment Chief Process Innovation Officer (CPIO) Ministry of the Interior and Local Government; Johanna Weidel - Ministry of the Interior and Local Government; Tim Müller - student project staff member; Martin Koll - LSWI staff member; Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Norbert Gronau - Chairholder LSWI)

Project seminar at LSWI

Practical experience with credit points and first insights into the working world - as a strongly networked scientific institution, the Chair of Business Informatics, Processes and Systems offers excellent opportunities for teachers and students to cooperate with external partners from practice.

Project partners in the summer semester 2020: The LSWI and the Ministry of Internal and Municipal Affairs

In the past summer semester of 2020 a group of students investigated potentials and application examples for Open Data in the Brandenburg state administration. In cooperation with the Ministry of Internal and Municipal Affairs, employees of various authorities and state enterprises were interviewed by students. Project partners included the Geobasisdienst, the State Office for roads, the State Office for Social Affairs and Welfare, and the State Forestry Office.

Open Governmental Data

Open Data - this is the free, restriction-free and clearly licensed publication of administrative data that does not contain personal data.

Making use of the potential of Open Governmental Data

Many places already do a good job regarding Open Govermental Data. In some cases, public authorities already publish information, for example via their own portals or the Brandenburg data portal with the resonant name "Datenadler" (data eagle). In other places, improvements in information provision could be achieved rapidly by using standardized and internationally recognized open data licenses.

The need for a data strategy that is comprehensive

There is an overall need for a comprehensive data strategy for the state and its institutions and to establish the regulations by law in the long term in order for them to align with internationally negotiated standards. Currently, the working level often has its hands tied - mostly by contradictory guidelines or internal instructions. At the same time, there is a lack of general awareness among employees that Open Data can have a positive impact on internal and external communication of work results and provide additional incentives for business (recommended reading: The most important facts about Open Data). Companies, in particular, could benefit from Open Data and, if used under the right license, use the data provided to develop new business models.

Three theses of the student seminar

1. Open administrative data can facilitate interaction with the general public and the economy and enable informed discussions about administrative decisions.

2. Open administrative data can lead to innovation and new insights.

3. Open administrative data can improve internal administrative workflows.

The project's approach

In order to underline the three theses for public and internal administrative discussions, the students participating in the seminar developed application examples in practice.

Administrative decision-making with Open Data: B96 and the city of Fürstenberg

Fürstenberg is one of the largest bottlenecks between Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and Berlin. The feud over a planned bypass has been smoldering for years. While the state of Brandenburg is currently examining different variants of the local bypass, our students used open administrative data to make concrete statements about the traffic. As an application example, freely accessible data (Open Data) from OpenStreetMap was linked with administrative data from the State Road Administration using the free open source program A/B Street. The program allows the simulation of the traffic of entire cities and the possibility to test changes such as the introduction of speed limit zones, road closures or the installation of bike lanes and to "experience" their effects. As a result, our students simulated the traffic count of the city of Fürstenberg and the B96 federal road.

Innovation with the help of Open Data: A Prototype for a Forest Fire App

With its extensive pine forests, low rainfall and light sandy soils, Brandenburg is at high risk of forest fires. Brandenburg is where one third of all forest fires in Germany occur. On average, forest fires occur several hundred times a year. Open administrative data was used in this context tofoster innovation and new insights: In a prototype for a forest fire app for the Brandenburg fire departments students demonstrated the potential of open data. In the context of forest firefighting, this can provide information on water tapping points or the accessibility of paths (offline
and local accuracy) - information that the State Forestry Commission already collects a lot of and is happy to make available. At this point, we would like to thank the State Fire Brigage School in Eisenhüttenstadt for the technical input.

Open Data and internal administrative workflows: aerial pest control

The larvae or caterpillars of the oak processionary moth can harm and significantly affect the health of oak trees, humans and animals.Drones are often used for aerial pest control.
are often used. However, when spraying oak processionary moth nests, care should be taken to avoid that social facilities such as schools or retirement homes are in the area of application.
Our students used the example of Open Data to demonstrate how information from school authorities and social welfare offices can be use to optimize internal administrative workflows and to minimize dangers for the population.

Cooperate with us!

At the Chair of Business Informatics, Processes and Systems we investigate tools like Open Data and analyze the effects on work processes. We are constantly striving for an exchange between research and practice. Contact us for cooperations and partnerships and help us shape the progress of data management.