In the next two blog posts I am going to analyze the relation between Open Data and the trending new form of learning, Gamification.
I am going to show some examples where Open Data has proved to be useful to Gamification, and I will explain how. Furthermore, I will show my example and explain how I have done it.
Lets start from the basis:
- Open Data is information released by an entity letting everyone work with them. The variety of this data is enormous and its applications are lots, and are even growing nowadays.
- Gamification is a form of learning focused in the usage of games and trials to facilitate learning, especially with children. This method has been proved as very efficient, because learning with games becomes easier and funnier. It makes students more interested in the class, and this interest makes their grades to become better, also lowers the school-leaving percentage. The recommended form of it includes badges or digital trophies similar to the ones used in social gamming.
A good example of the Open Data usage can be the application of the public transport in Gijón, that informs where the coaches are at any time, and when they are going to pass through a bus stop. Another relevant example is the reuse of geo-information (cartography, databases of POIs, etc.) present in most of the applications nowadays.
I the case of Gamification there are many examples. I will only mention to a few:
- Duolingo. It makes learning other languages much easier and funnier, since they give you and amount of lives and you have various games related to this goal. A prove of its efficiency is that has been recommended by Google Play and Apple as a fun way of learning.
- ClassDojo. Focusing in a reward system based in the behavior of the students, it makes the student more interested in lessons, as well as making them more focused on the content. Has been proved to be useful, as parents and teachers said.
- Plague Inc. It is based on statistical data of countries in the World (poverty, weather and geology). The most part of this data has been taken from different UN agencies. So, this Open Data-based game is considered as useful to make people aware of the potential diseases and natural disasters. As the author said, children are more prepared for a zombie apocalypse than for a hurricane. Read more about Plague Inc. in this Bloomberg article and find the application in the official web page.
Open Data and Minecraft
I would also like to mention how Minecraft (a trendy block-buiding game) can be linked to Open Data. It had taken our interest, due to being so detailed and its innovation.
Ordnance Survey has created a 1:50 scale map of the United Kingdom for Minecraft, exaggerating the tourist points. Using their own programs to process the Open Data of the geology and country roads, they have converted all these features to a Minecraft map. This is the example of the Open Data power and its applications.
You can find more information about how it has been don and where to download it in the official page of Ordnance Survey.
After UK, the Denmark Government has also developed an Open Data-based map for Minecraft recreating Denmark. The amazing thing is that they have done it at a real scale including buildings, rivers and the geology.
The purpose of this could be giving teachers a tool to make students more interested in farms and ecology, as well as letting live at their own home in this parallel Denmark.
A problem of letting everyone to connect to the official servers is the behaviour of the users. Some cyber-vandals bombed away part of this world as well as plague it with flags of USA.
In the next blog post, I will explain how we have implemented an example in Minecraft.