Open Data Manchester secures funding to develop its work

Open Data Manchester has secured investment from Omidyar Network to develop its programme of advocacy, training and events through 2018.

In November 2017, Open Data Manchester became a Community Interest Company, setting in stone its core mission to promote a fairer and more equitable society through the development of intelligent and responsible data practice in Greater Manchester, nationally and internationally. This has allowed it to develop a more coherent and ambitious programme, and the ability to secure funding for its work. At present it is developing a framework for the consent and sharing of sensor data through its Knowable Building Framework project funded through the Open Data Institute.

Linda Humphries, a member of the Open Data Manchester CIC board said: “Being part of the Open Data Manchester community for over 5 years, I’ve seen the opportunities it has opened up, connecting people who then work together towards a common aim. This funding from the Omidyar Network will ensure that we can go on making these connections, growing skills and sharing insight, so that people in the community can use data or build tools and services that encourage citizens to better understand and influence their villages, towns and cities.”

The investment from Omidyar Network will enable Open Data Manchester to employ staff and develop its programme from its base within The Federation, Manchester.

Omidyar Network has traditionally supported projects citizen engagement and governance projects in Central and Eastern Europe. As well as Open Data Manchester it is supplying grants to:
The Federation, a co-working space and community of digital innovators in Manchester, in collaboration with the Co-op Foundation.
Campaign Bootcamp, a nation-wide initiative to empower early-stage activists by providing them with the skills, confidence and resilience to run effective campaigns.
The Bristol Cable, a citywide media co-operative focused on investigative journalism.

Established in 2010 to promote and support the use of open data for the benefit of everyone, Open Data Manchester has promoted and run regular events and programmes. In 2010 Open Data Manchester became the first organisation to secure the release of public transit schedules as open data in the UK and then went on to develop a number of programmes over the years that looked critically at how data was being used. From sector specific events around transportation and health, to programmes looking at data and democracy.

Building consent

En français

The Knowable Building Framework sets out to create a consent framework for sharing building performance data from a network of sensors installed within a Victorian office building in the centre of Manchester.

The development of low-cost connected sensors coupled with the advent of low power wide area networks (LPWAN) specifically Long Range Wide Area Networks (LoRaWAN) creates the ability to monitor remote and hard to reach assets that would otherwise be too difficult or too expensive to operate and maintain.

Within the domain of building management the opportunity to retrofit passive sensors into older buildings offers the ability to understand how buildings operate over time. Giving building managers the ability to implement control measures and promote behavioural change of the buildings users – saving money and reducing environmental impact. The sensors that the Knowable Building Framework are installing measure temperature, humidity, movement and light with building managers abe to analyse the output from the sensors using an online dashboard.

Although the application of sensors in buildings may not be particularly novel, the sharing of data to allow a better understanding of building usage either within organisations or at a city level offers the potential of creating a more holistic picture of energy usage.

The idea of sharing data even if it is not shared as open data can seem daunting to many organisations and the development of a consent framework seeks to help data owners understand the data that they hold, both technically and contextually. It identifies perceived and real risk and suggests possible mitigations. Through enhancing understanding the framework hopes to make it easier for data owners to consent to data release. With some analysts predicting over 50 billion connected devices by 2020 the prospect of a confusing mess of siloed and conflicting data sources adhering to dubious technical standards is very real.

Building owners and management are only one class of stakeholders when it comes creating consent. On the face of it the temperature, humidity, movement and light may seem innocuous and are part and and parcel of understanding the use of a building, but there is a danger that the data could be used outside its original purpose. Within the first few days of sensors being installed the data revealed patterns of usage that could infer the activity of individuals. During the working day this may not be a problem but for the people who maintain offices out of hours it would not be a leap of the imagination to think that sensors could be used as a method of surveillance. These issues are not unique to office spaces and similar challenges lie within public spaces and the urban built environment.

At this point we are starting to identify three classes of stakeholders within the consent framework:

  • Building owners and management – those that have the ability to use the data for analysis and can make final decisions on data release
  • Building users – individuals and companies who pay for the use of the space
  • Building operatives – individuals employed for maintenance, cleaning and security.

Any consent framework needs to understand the concerns of these stakeholders and propose approaches to address them.

To attend our next workshop in Manchester on the 25th January click here

The Knowable Building Framework is being developed by Open Data Manchester along with its partners Sensorstream, Things Manchester and Rennes Metropole funded by the Open Data Institute.

Construire le consentement

«The Knowable Building Framework» vise à créer un modèle de consentement pour le partage des données de performance des bâtiments à partir d’un réseau de capteurs installés dans un immeuble contenant des espaces de travail dans le centre de Manchester.

Le développement des capteurs connectés à bas coûts,  couplés avec l’avènement du LPWAN ( Low Power Wide Area Networks), notamment du LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Networks) offre la possibilité de surveiller des actifs distants et difficiles à atteindre qui autrement, seraient trop difficiles à exploiter ou trop cher à entretenir.

Dans le domaine du management des bâtiments, l’opportunité de moderniser les capteurs passifs dans des bâtiments anciens offre la possibilité de comprendre comment les bâtiments fonctionnent dans le temps. Donner aussi la possibilité aux gestionnaires de bâtiments d’implémenter des mesures de contrôle et de promouvoir un changement comportemental des utilisateurs du bâtiment – Faire une économie de coûts et réduire l’impact environnemental-

Les capteurs installés mesurent la température, l’humidité, la lumière et les mouvements pour ensuite analyser les performances du bâtiment à l’aide d’un tableau de bord en ligne.

Bien que l’utilisation de capteurs dans le bâtiment ne soit pas particulièrement nouveau, le partage de données provenant de ces capteurs  permet une meilleure compréhension de l’utilisation des bâtiments au sein des organisations ou au niveau des villes et offre la possibilité de créer une image plus holistique de l’utilisation de l’énergie.

L’idée de partager de données même si elles ne sont pas en mode “open data” peut sembler inquiétant pour plusieurs organisations, et le développement d’un modèle de consentement vise à aider les propriétaires de données à comprendre les données qu’ils détiennent aussi bien d’un point de vue technique que contextuel.

Il identifie les risques perçus et réels et suggère de possibles atténuations. En améliorant la compréhension, le modèle espère faciliter le consentement des propriétaires de données à la diffusion de leurs données.

Certains analystes prédisent  près de 50 Milliards d’appareils connectés d’ici 2020 et la perspective de voir un désordre des sources de données qui seraient cloisonnées et conflictuelles respectant peu les normes techniques est très sérieuse.

Les propriétaires des bâtiments et les gestionnaires représentent une partie des parties prenantes quant il est question de créer le consentement.

A première vue, la température, l’humidité, les mouvements et la lumière peuvent sembler banal mais sont parties intégrantes de la compréhension de l’utilisation d’un bâtiment. Cependant, il y a le risque que l’utilisation de la donnée soit dévoyée.

Dans les premiers jours où les capteurs furent installés, les données ont révélé des schémas d’utilisation susceptibles de comprendre l’activité des individus.

Pendant la journée de travail, cela peut ne pas poser de problème mais pour les personnes qui travaillent en dehors des heures d’ouverture (personnel de sécurité et de nettoyage), ce n’est pas difficile d’imaginer que les capteurs pourraient être utilisés comme une méthode de surveillance. Ces problèmes ne sont pas spécifiques aux espaces de bureaux et des défis similaires apparaissent aussi dans les espaces publics et dans l’environnement urbain.

A ce stade, nous commençons à identifier trois classes de parties prenantes dans le cadre du consentement:

  • Les propriétaires de bâtiment et les gestionnaires, ceux qui ont la possibilité d’utiliser les données afin de les analyser et qui sont en mesure de décider ou pas de la publication des données récoltées
  • Les utilisateurs du bâtiment, les personnes ou les entreprises qui payent pour utiliser les espaces.
  • Le personnel employé pour la maintenance, le nettoyage et la sécurité du bâtiment.

Tout cadre de consentement doit comprendre les préoccupations des parties prenantes et apporter des réponses pour y remédier.

«The Knowable Building Framework» est développé par Open Data Manchester, financé par Open Data Institute, avec ses partenaires Sensorstream, Things Manchester et la Métropole de Rennes.

Buildings, internet of things and open data – Can we create consent?

Thursday 25th January 15.00 – 17.00
Federation
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Register here

Sensors and the Internet of Things have the ability to transform the way we manage infrastructure. Open Data Manchester in partnership with Sensorstream Ltd and Things Manchester in collaboration with Rennes Metropole is exploring how data from sensors can be collected, analysed and released as open data.

This workshop should interest building owners and managers, city officials, IoT technologists, open data activists, data governance and privacy specialists and anyone interested in how data derived from sensors can be shared.

Areas of discussion:

  • Overview of technologies being used for monitoring buildings – using as an example a pilot LoRaWAN sensor network being implemented in Manchester and programmes taking place in Rennes.
  • Can the sharing of sensor data help save money and make our cities more efficient and environmentally sustainable?
  • What are the risks of sharing and how can they be mitigated against?
  • How can data be licensed as open data?
  • Can we create a consent framework to allow data to be released?

The project

The Knowable Building Framework is developing an open source internet of things consent framework for monitoring the performance of older commercial buildings in a non-invasive way using discrete low power sensors, and if appropriate publishing the data from these sensors as open data. Unlike modern stock, older buildings often fall behind as far as the utilisation of new technology is concerned. Many landlords undertake a certain amount of retrofitting such as zonal heating or movement detection systems but these tend to be ad hoc and unconnected, with no ability to monitor how effectively these systems are working either singly or together. The internet of things and the analysis of data derived from sensors can give landlords, building management and tenants insight into the performance of buildings, enabling adaptations that can be economically and environmentally beneficial, whilst also creating opportunities for behaviour change within those buildings. The sharing of performance data as open data can also have benefits for mapping energy usage and demand within cities as well as creating a debate about responsible energy consumption.

 

Work with us

Call for freelance staff (paid)
Open Data Manchester has an ambitious programme for 2018 that includes events, workshops, training and data projects. To help us deliver these projects successfully we would like to call on the Open Data Manchester community to help.

At present we are creating a register of people we can call on to help deliver forthcoming projects and the skills we will be looking for will be as diverse as the programme that we seek to deliver.

So if you are if data is your thing, you can wrangle code or manage events and help keep Open Data Manchester going please send your CV and availability to hello[@]opendatamanchester[.]org[.]uk. We can’t promise anything but we may contact you soon. See below for the rates we pay.

The rates are averaged from a number of sources and worked out as:
Half day rate is day rate / 8 * 4.5 and rounded to the nearest £10
Weekly (contiguous days) daily rate * 4.5 rounded to the nearest £10
Fortnightly (contiguous days) daily rate * 9 rounded to the nearest £10

For longer periods of work we will be offering fixed-term and fixed fee contracts.

Fancy volunteering
Over the next couple of months we will start to develop a volunteer programme to do more more outreach work. If you are interested in joining us drop an email to hello[a]opendatamanchester[.]org[.]uk outlining your interests and availability. Open Data Manchester has a policy of reimbursing reasonable expenses for travel and food when volunteering.

Open Data Manchester is committed to making opportunities available to all regardless of sex, race, marital status, disability, age, part-time or fixed term contract status, sexual orientation or religion. Our Equal Opportunities Policy is a living document and can be found here.

So you think you know your country? Data, democracy and demographics

Tuesday 30th January
18.30 – 20.30
Federation
Federation Street
Manchester
M4 4BF

Sign up here
So you think you know your country? is a series of events challenging some of the assumptions that we hold about the UK, the communities in which we live and how data can help create better awareness, understanding and change.

The first event – Data, democracy and demographics – takes a look at emerging trends and patterns within the UK from metropolitan centres to towns and rural communities, how people perceive economic differences and how these shifts are affecting the political landscape of our country.

To help explore this changing landscape we’ll be joined by Jane Green – Professor of Political Science at Manchester University and Ian Warren founder of Election Data and the Centre for Towns.

There will be presentations followed by an opportunity for lots of discussion.

Following events in the series will be – Who owns the land? and A question of money. Join our mailing list at http://www.opendatamanchester.org.uk to get advance notification of these and other events and training we’ll be running in the new year.