Open Knowledge Belgium

Towards Equal Street Names with Open Data

Dries Van Ransbeeck

We are using Open Data to build a map visualizing the streets names of Brussels by gender. We need your help!

The names of public spaces (streets, avenues, squares and others) define the identity of a city and how citizens interact with it. Brussels suffers from a major inequality between male and female street names and we want to help fix this!

Event info & registration:

There are several ways to approach the inequality of street names and leverage a positive change in our society. Ours is with the use of Open Data. We want to use technologies to create a world where knowledge creates power for the many, not the few.

How do we plan to do this?

Several not-for-profits Open Knowledge Belgium, OpenStreetMap Belgium and Wikimedia Belgium are partnering up to build a map vizualizing the street names of Brussels by gender. To make this happen, we will use open data – data which can be freely used, modified, and shared by anyone for any purpose – from OpenStreetMap and Wikipedia.

And to do so, we need your help!

Although the data exist, we still need to link both data sources. During this event, we will add Wikidata tags (a tag containing all the information from a Wikipedia page) to the streets on OpenStreetMap. Linking this data will allow many possibilities such as using existing Wikipedia profiles as suggestions for cities or analysing what types of profiles are used for street names.

To be very clear: you don’t need to have a technical profile to join but rather the ambition to make a change. We’ll start the evening with a brief introduction about what needs to be done. By participating, you will contribute to OpenStreetMap, Wikipedia and to a project that could easily be replicated in many cities across the world.

We aim to gather 100 people

Many streets in Brussels – more precisely, several hundreds – are missing the adequate Wikidata tags. Therefore, please do bring along a friend! We want to fill the whole room with 100 people and do our very best to get it all done in one night.

Why is there still so much manual work to do for a technological project?

To do this project, we could have used an expensive data mining software, which would make the project difficult to replicate in other cities. By using open data, we want to make it more sustainable and contribute to the web we want.

When is it?

Join us on Monday 17 February at 18:00 in the offices of Doctors Without Borders (Rue de l’Arbre Bénit 46, 1050 Ixelles)

I need food in order to be productive. Will there be food?

Croque-Madame & Croque-Monsieur are offered (whatever your preference is!). Please just don’t forget to register so that we know how many people we should expect.

What do I need to bring?

You need to come with your own computer.

Do I need a technical profile to come?

Absolutely not! Just your ambition to change the street names ! 😉

Organised by whom?

This project is the result of a collaboration between not-for-profit organisations Open Knowledge Belgium, OpenStreetMap Belgium, Wikimedia Belgium and the feminist collective Noms Peut-Être. The event is made possible with the support of Equal.Brussels.


Open knowledge Belgium VZW / asbl
Witte Patersstraat / Rue des Pères Blancs 4
1040 Etterbeek (Brussels)
BE 0845 419 930

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