Mapping Your World – a beginner’s guide to using Open Street Map

Tuesday 26th February, 18.30-20.30
Tech Incubator
Oxford Road
Manchester M1 7ED.

OpenStreetMap is a free and editable map of the world, created and maintained by a huge international community. It’s used in numerous projects by local communities, governments, software developers and more, with nearly 5 million registered users and 1 million contributors from all over the world.

It includes data about roads, buildings, addresses, shops and businesses, points of interest, railways, trails, transit, land use and natural features, and much more.

We’ll explore the fundamentals of mapping with OpenStreetMap, some tools and apps, best practice, and some re-use by 3rd part projects.

Whether you’re completely new to OpenStreetMap, or whether you’ve used it before and wish to dive a bit deeper, then this is for you.

Register here

An Introduction to Open Street Map

Saturday 2nd February, 11.00 – 17.00
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Join us for a day’s introduction to Open Street Map, the free and editable map of the world, created and maintained by a huge international community.

This workshop will act as a ‘beginners guide’ to OSM, but with a slant towards looking at how we might map accessibility and mobility features, as informed by our Mapping Mobility Stockport project.

Whether you’re completely new to OSM and want to know more, you’ve used it before and wish to dive a bit deeper, or you’re an OSM pro but wish to explore accessibility and mobility features in more detail, then this is for you.

We’ll be joined by OSM pro Andy Mabbett, who will take us through the fundamentals of mapping with OpenStreetMap. We’ll explore some tools and apps, best practice, and how the map has been re-used by 3rd party projects. Some of the things that we will be covering include:

  • What is Open Street Map?
  • Policies and rule
  • OSM editing tools, including ID and JOSM
  • Basic OSM mapping concepts, tagging & accessibility-related tagging
  • Hands-on editing
  • Apps
  • Where to find help
  • Data imports, explorts and 3rd party re-use.

Register here


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

Why we need better data on towns and rural communities

Tuesday 27th November, 18.30 – 20.30
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Register to attend.

“We need better data” is a constant in our work at Open Data Manchester. Nowhere is this more true than with geographical data. We have national and regional data, and relatively good data at the local authority level, but there is a gaping hole in the availability of data at the town level. We still haven’t decided what a town is! This is particularly important given that the last two decades have seen the dominance of cities and city-regions as engines of economic growth. If we are to construct better place-based policy, it makes sense to have much better place-based data.

Which is why we’re bringing together Ian Warren – Centre for Towns, Professor Cathy Parker – Institute of Place Management (MMU) and Tom Forth – Iamactivate and ODI Leeds to hear about why these issues are critically important for everyone and what we need to do about it. During this session we want to look at the state of publicly-available data on local transport, high street retail and arts & culture to understand why better data would equal better policy, and what we can do about it.

Register to attend.

So you think you know your country – revealing the hidden patterns in local democracy

For six weeks over the summer we had Pamilla Kang, a placement student the University of Manchester, work to update the data around political representation in local documentation.

She’s written a blog post about her experiences which can be found here.

The updated dataset can be found on our github here.

Linked Data in Digestible Form

Tuesday 30th October, 18.30 – 20.30
Federation House
Federation Street
Manchester M4 4BF

Register here.

Join us at Federation as we invite Swirrl to present a whistle-stop tour of linked open data.

Open Data Manchester’s very own Jamie Whyte will be joined by Swirrl’s Julija Hansen and new Swirrler (and experienced open data enthusiast) Jen Williams.

They’ll discuss:

  • what linked data is
  • why it’s useful
  • where can you find it
  • some tools and recipes to help access it.

The evening will feature some practical sessions, so we recommend bringing along a laptop to work with.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Register here.

Image: Alex Warren

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.