Watercooler Chats

If like us at Open Data Mancheser you’re working from home or in self-isolation, join us for a twice-weekly online ‘watercooler chat’ – a friendly and informal place to take a break and have a chinwag with us and the ODM community.

More of a casual social than a business meet. If you want to talk to us about something specific, we run monthly Open:Data:Surgeries. Head over to our events page for more info.

  • What: a friendly, informal chat for those in need of a break from WFH.
  • When: Every Monday and Thursday.
  • Time: 3-4pm. Feel free to drop in/out at any point during that time.
  • Where: Zoom, link to join below.

If you plan in joining us, please take a moment to read our code of conduct, and we look forward to chatting with you!

Julian, Sam and the ODM community.

> Click to join water cooler chat via Zoom <

Joy Diversion 6

Saturday 15th June, 11.00 – 16.00
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF.

Register here.

Join us for another day of exploring, mapping and meandering in Central Manchester and Salford. Starting with maps of Manchester and Salford from 150 years ago, we’ll propose expeditions to uncharted territories or revisiting previously explored places, strange meanderings and any other diversions that people fancy.

Often viewed as a functional place of work, retail and leisure, our city centre bounded by Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and the Mancunian Way is imbued with history, iniquity, celebration and endeavour. Whether you’re new to the city or you’re a life-long local, let us go out and find what’s out there, discover the forgotten spaces, create stories and map our city.

Adventurers will be split into parties and encouraged to map, photograph, document and bring back their findings to share with everyone.

You will need:

  • Yourself
  • Comfortable walking shoes or what ever you need to get around
  • Weather appropriate clothing (it’s Spring – bring your waterproofs just in case!)
  • A phone: with a camera would be advantageous
  • We recommend bringing some lunch, but there’s plenty of places around the city to grab something.

The event is open to all, although minors need to be accompanied.

If you would like to help out on the day, let us know.

Register here.

Data For Communities – Manchester

Tuesday 18th June, 18.00 – 20.00
Manchester Central Library,
Saint Peter’s Square,
Manchester M2 5PD.

Register here.

There is a wealth of data that is created for and about the communities in which we live. Although much of this data is available publically as open data it is often hard to locate with the tools and understanding needed to interpret it unduly difficult.

How can we find this data and use it for community benefit?

Consisting of a mixture of presentation and practical exercises, this workshop will try to demystify the world of data, highlight what data is and isn’t available, what it can be used for and some easy tools that can help.

Whether you are a councillor, community worker, activist or interested in how data can be used for good, this is for you. No previous experience is neccessary.

By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • Understand the basics of what data is

  • Be aware of what data can and cannot do

  • Have some hands-on experience of accessing online data portals and tools.

You don’t need a laptop or tablet to participate, but we recommend bringing it along if you have one. This workshop doesn’t use Excel, and there’s no need to download or install any software – everything we’ll be looking at is freely available on the internet.

Register here.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Data!

Tuesday 26th March, 18.30 – 20.30
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Do you have a tale of bad stats, strange correlations, malicious intent or plain, downright stupidity?

Toy Story 2’s production famously hit a snag after losing a couple of months worth of work due to an accidental and erroneous command being executed.

In 1999 the Mars Orbiter Climate spacecraft crashed because engineers used computer software which produced output in non-SI units of pound-force seconds (lbf·s) instead of the SI units of newton-seconds

And in 2003, Manchester City Council received a £7,500,000 budget cut due to an error with the census data, which essentially lost 25,000 people.

I Can’t Believe It’s Not Data is a night for sharing YOUR data horror stories.

Similar to Open:Data:Night we’ll have a couple of speakers but we also want to hear from YOU. If you have a story or cautionary tale that you’d like to share, drop an email to sam[at]opendatamanchester[.]org[.]uk. There’ll also be some quick-fire slots on the night.

Register here.

Tuesday 26th March, 18.30-20.30

Things Manchester 2019 – We Are Open

Tuesday 21st January, 18.30 – 21.00
Tech Incubator
Oxford Road
Manchester M1 7ED.

The Things Network and LoRaWAN is the breakout technology in the IoT space. Increasingly adopted by industry, civic and commercial bodies – but still supporting experimental and small-scale usage – The Things Network has seen rapid evolution over the last few years.

Join us for our first meeting of 2019. After a few months away, we’ll have a recap introduction to LoRaWAN and TheThingsNetwork, with slots for show-and-tell and open discussions. Bring your plans for devices and deployments, questions, ideas or just plain old networking hats, and join the biggest – and original – Award-Winning open IoT community in the UK!

Started in 2015 the Things Network has become an global IoT phenomenon. Manchester was one of the first communities to develop outside Amsterdam and since September 2018 the Things Manchester network has been under the custodianship of Open Data Manchester CIC.


Tuesday 29th January, 18.30 – 20.30
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Kicking off our 2019 programme of public events, Open:Data:Night is an open session for anyone with an idea, project or interest related to open data and data practice.

As in previous sessions, we’ll have a couple of speakers talking about the work they’re currently doing in open data in the Greater Manchester area, but we’ll also have a number of quick-fire slots available on the night.

If you want to present what you’re doing, find a collaborator, co-conspirator or get feedback on a project, come along.

If you’ve never been to an Open:Data:Night before, you can read a summary of the previous event here.

Find out what the Open Data Manchester community is doing, what it’s all about and the benefits!

Register here

Joy Diversion 4

Saturday 20th October, 11.00 – 17.00
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4B

Join us for our fourth Joy Diversion – and the final one of 2018!

As before, we’ll be starting with maps of Manchester and Salford from 150 years ago, proposing expeditions to uncharted territories or revisiting previously explored places, strange meanderings and any other diversions that people fancy.

Adventurers will be split into parties and encouraged to map, photograph, document and bring back their findings to share with everyone.

We’ve put together a summary of September’s Joy Diversion which you can view here.

Register to attend.

Things Manchester – Uploaded

Tuesday 11th September, 18.30 – 20.30
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF.

Things Manchester has developed one of the largest ‘commons-based’ Internet of Things networks in the UK. It allows the connections of all sorts of digital devices and sensors.

From the beginning of August Open Data Manchester has taken on the running and maintenance of Things Manchester’s constellation of roof and tower mounted gateways covering Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Stockport and Bury.

Join us to see what people are doing with the network, how you can get involved and become part of this great public initiative.

Things Manchester is part of the global Things Network started in Amsterdam in 2015 and one of the first cities to get connected.

Register to attend.

Connected and open!

From the beginning of August, Open Data Manchester took over running and maintenance of the Things Manchester constellation of Things Network gateways. The gateways are part of a global Internet of Things infrastructure initiative that seeks to create open and accessible data infrastructure for the benefit of communities and the institutions and businesses within them.

The network allows the connection of low cost equipment such as pollution monitoring, flood level, sound and temperature sensors. Using a technology called LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) that allows devices to have an extremely long battery life coupled with long transmission range.

Things Manchester was one of the first communities to develop public infrastructure outside of Amsterdam, where the Things Network originated in 2015. The network now has 46,000 members across six continents.

From its inception the relationship between Things Manchester and Open Data Manchester has been very close. Julian Tait, CEO of Open Data Manchester was along with Dave Mee the co-instigator of Things Manchester and the development of ‘commons-based’ shared infrastructure for public benefit chimes with the ethos of Open Data Manchester.

The Things Manchester constellation is mounted on towers and rooftops around Greater Manchester and allows devices to be connected in most of Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Stockport and Bury. Through Open Data Manchester taking over the running of the Things Manchester network the infrastructure will be further developed and asset-locked for community benefit.

Open Data Manchester will be re-introducing regular meetups for users and those interested in using and building the network with the next one on Tuesday 11th September at Federation, Manchester. More information and registration here.

For more information contact Julian Tait. julian@opendatamanchester.org.uk