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We visualize smart cities with open data



In 1993, the cities of Barcelona and Kobe (Japan) signed a twinning agreement that establishes a program of cultural, educational, sporting, economic and technological exchanges with the purpose of intensifying the understanding and knowledge of common interests. In 1995, after an earthquake affected the Japanese city, Barcelona collaborated with the delivery of humanitarian aid.

This year, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the twinning agreement the Catalan capital will also host a delegation of personalities from the Japanese city.

What is the World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe?

It is a challenge for citizens to contribute to improving aspects of the city with data visualizations within the frame of this exchange program. The city council of Kobe has launched the same challenge in the city.

Since 2011, Barcelona City Council publishes data of its management in open and reusable formats, through its Open Data BCN, a pioneer in Spain

Since then, the portal has not stopped growing. It currently has more than 440 datasets classified into five major themes (city and services, territory, population, administration and economy and business). All these sections reflect the main aspects of the city and coexistence with citizens.

Giving access to data is one of the requirements of an open city and an act of transparency. Opening data from the public sector also allows the reuse for the common good. To visualize the data published in open, standard and interoperable formats helps to take decisions that have a real impact on the citizens, to understand and implement better public policies.

The Open Data BCN portal is a service that is a part of the Barcelona Digital City Plan, which promotes digital sovereignty from the Commissioner of Technology and Digital Innovation, with Francesca Bria as main head of the Department.

Main objectives

The World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe is an open process for the creation of data visualizations. The 10 best dataviz or infographics will be selected among all the participants. The finalists will present and exhibit their work at the Smart City Expo World Congress 2018 (Barcelona, from November 13th-15th), within the collaboration frame of the city councils and the Japanese city of Kobe.

Since 2011, the Smart City Expo is the international event that explains how smart cities will be like. Therefore, the challenge World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe is aimed to everyone who has the skills and capabilities to understand, analyze and visualize open data of Barcelona, with an interest in to project how smart cities will be in the future, based on the present time information.

The city council of Kobe has launched a similar challenge in the japanese city. The finalist visualizations will be presented together with those of the finalists of Barcelona during the Smart City Expo World Congress 2018.

What are the goals?

The main goal of the World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe is to make visible through data visualizations the challenges of a smart city like Barcelona to be useful in the development of better public policies.

At the same time, we want:

  • Encourage the citizen’s use of open data from smart cities and tools and techniques for analyzing data and visualizations.
  • Promote the elaboration of proposals based on data analysis.
  • Develop a critical thinking towards the use of data in the digital environment.
  • Increase the exercise of data sovereignty by citizens.

How can you participate?

  • Pre-enrollment period: from 1/10 to 26/10 through this form.
  • Visualizations presentations: from 2/10 to 2/11 through this form.

The organization will contact the selected finalists by email.


The World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe will take place under the schedule that is detailed below. Deadlines for participation, reception and selection of the works are indicated, as well as the events that have been scheduled both in the Town Hall and in The Smart City Expo:

  • From 1/10/2018 to 26/10/2018: Pre-enrollment period.
  • From 2/10/2018 to 2/11/2018: Term and deadline to receive the participation forms with the visualizations or infographics that are presented.
  • From 3/11/2018 to 7/11/2018: Selection of the 10 finalists by the expert jury.
  • 8/11/2018: Publication of the list of the finalist works and communication to the authors.
  • From 10/11/2018 to 11/11/2018: Exhibiton of the visualizations in the auditorium of Ca l’Alier during the CityThon to be held as part of the Smart City Week.
  • 12/11/2018: Official reception of the City Council of Barcelona, which will also be attended by the Barcelona and Kobe finalists..
  • 14/11/2018: Public event at the Smart City Expo where the finalists from Barcelona and Kobe will show their work. There will also attend students from 3rd and 4th ESO-Secondary Education from the schools that participated in the Barcelona Open Data First edition 2018 Challenge.

Conditions to participate

See “Terms of participation

Who will be the jury?

The dataviz will be assessed by this team of data experts.

What will you win?

It is a great opportunity to promote your work in an exclusive environment such as the Smart City Expo. In addition to obtaining public recognition and make contact with international professionals interested in the creation of smart cities, you will enjoy:

  • An entry "DELEGATE CONGRESS & TRADE FAIR PASS" for the three days of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2018 with access to all commercial stands and conferences.
  • Attendance to the institutional act of the consistory of Barcelona with the special guests from the Kobe City Council.
  • Presenting your work before the public at the stand of the Barcelona City Council, on November 14th, within the Smart City Expo.
  • Networking with the finalists of the Japanese city, with the jury and with professionals at the event.
  • The publication of the visualization in the Open Data BCN portal of the Barcelona City Council.


The World Data Viz Challenge 2018 Barcelona-Kobe is organized together by the Barcelona City Council and the Kobe City Council. The selection of Barcelona finalists is organized by the Barcelona Open Data Initiative association with the support of the Barcelona City Council.


Closed contest. Petitions will not be adressed.