Open Knowledge Estonia to manage koroonakaart website ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

A map of active cases of on the Koroonakaart.ee website on October 23, 2020.
A map of active cases of on the Koroonakaart.ee website on October 23, 2020. Source: koroonakaart.ee

The non-profit organization MTÜ Open Knowledge Estonia (OKEE) said on Friday it will manage koroonakaart.ee for as long as there is a "social need" after its co-developer stepped back from the website in protest over the coalition's LGBTQ policy.

In a Facebook message on Friday, OKEE's coordinators thanked co-developer and project manager Keegan McBride for voluntarily creating and running the website, which displays the latest coronavirus testing, hospitalization and death open data in three languages: Estonian, Russian and English.

"The Koroonakaart has been one of the most important open data applications of the year and is a great example of the benefits that open data can bring to society," OKEE wrote. "As we consider it important to make information available to society in a human-friendly form, OKEE will continue to manage the Koroonakaart on a voluntary basis - as long as there is a societal need for it."

The organization said it is also open to cooperation with state institutions, interested parties and volunteers.

Koroonakaart.ee was created in the spring during the "Hack the Crisis" hackathon organized by Garage48 and has been run on a voluntary basis ever since. 

McBride said he on Thursday night he would stop updating the website in protest to the coalition's treatment of LGBTQ people.

On Thursday, following four days of crisis talks caused by Minister of the Interior Mart Helme's (EKRE) comments in the international media where he stated gay people in Estonia should relocate to Sweden, the coalition agreed to move forward the date of the referendum on the definition of marriage from November 2021 to spring, drawing a line under the crisis. The three parties also issued a joint statement about protecting human rights.

On Thursday evening the website displayed only a message about its closure in Estonian and English. The Koroonakaart logo was rainbow-striped and linked to a page titled "LGBT situation in Estonia" on the Estonian Human Rights Council's website when clicked on.

As of Friday evening, the website is back online although some delays may be experienced in the coming days, OKEE said. The rainbow-striped Koroonakaart logo and link have remained.

A message on the website currently reads: "Data on koroonakaart.ee are presented as of October 23, 2020. Open Knowledge Estonia is looking for a technical support provider to replace the current site administrator Keegan McBride. We will continue to manage and update the site as soon as possible."

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Editor: Helen Wright

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