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.

Knowable Building Framework

Helping building owners save energy, money and the environment through data

En français

The Knowable Building Framework is a UK – France collaboration project funded by the Open Data Institute that seeks to strengthen commercial opportunities and tackle societal challenges through data. It is a collaboration between Open Data Manchester, Rennes Metropole, Sensorstream and Things Manchester.

The Knowable Building Framework will develop an 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 project will utilise the Things Network that covers a large proportion of Greater Manchester and communities across the North with free and open Internet of Things connectivity and will allow the project team to design and connect sensors and analytics platforms seamlessly to the internet. The power of the project will come from the ability to share an appropriate amount of data across portfolios of buildings and also to the wider community as open data. Enabling insight to be gathered across the city.

The sensors

Designed and provided by Sensorstream, the sensors will have the capability to measure temperature, light, humidity and occupancy as well as a variety of other relevant conditions. The sensors are discrete measuring approximately 90mm x 130mm, lightweight and powered by a 3V AA batteries that can, depending on setup, operate over many years.

The network

The sensors connect to Manchester’s public Long Range Wide Area Network managed by Things Manchester. This commons-based network provides the capability for communities throughout Greater Manchester to connect internet of things enabled devices for free.

The analysis

Data from the sensors is aggregated into a dashboard interface that shows the operating characteristics over time, enabling the planning of control measures or behavioural change initiatives.

The Framework

The main focus of the project is the development of a framework that will help building owners and operators understand the data that buildings can produce and create a consent mechanism so that data can be shared and released as open data. There are many reasons why the release of this data may be contentious and the Knowable Building Framework seeks to work with building owners to identify and understand these reasons, the risks and the mitigations.

The How

Over the next two months the pilot sensor environment will be installed in Federation and will be used as the basis of the framework. Open Data Manchester will also be running a series of workshops in Rennes and Manchester with building owners, technologists and city officials to try and understand the challenges and utility of sharing building performance data.

The framework will be designed as an open source tool that can then be used to develop similar consent mechanisms for sensor data in other scenarios.

For more information contact Julian Tait julian[at]opendatamanchester[.]org[.]uk

Knowable Building Framework

Aider les Propriétaires de bâtiments à faire des économies d’argent, d’énergie et à préserver l’environnement.

The Knowable Building Framework est un projet de collaboration entre la France et UK financé par l’Open Data Institute qui vise à renforcer les opportunités commerciales et à relever les défis sociétaux à travers l’utilisation des données. C’est une collaboration entre Open Data Manchester, La métropole de Rennes, Sensorstream et Things Manchester.

The Knowable Building Framework développera un modèle de consentement pour l’internet des objets afin de surveiller la performance des bâtiments commerciaux anciens dans une logique non-intrusive, en utilisant des capteurs discrets de faible puissance et dans la mesure du possible, en diffusant les données de ces capteurs comme données publiques.

Contrairement aux bâtiments modernes, les bâtiments anciens sont souvent en retard dans l’utilisation des nouvelles technologies. De nombreux propriétaires procèdent à certaines rénovations notamment sur les zones de chauffage ou les systèmes de détection par mouvement, mais ceux-ci ont tendance à rester ponctuels et non connectés, sans la possibilité de contrôler l’efficacité de ces systèmes seuls ou ensemble.

L’internet des Objets et l’analyse des données issues des capteurs peuvent donner aux propriétaires, aux exploitants et aux locataires un aperçu des performances des bâtiments permettant ainsi de faire des ajustements qui seront bénéfiques tant d’un point de vue économique qu ‘écologique, tout en créant des opportunités de changement de comportement dans ces bâtiments.

Le projet utilisera Things Network qui couvrira une grande partie du Grand Manchester et des communautés du Nord, avec une connectivité internet gratuite et ouverte qui permettra à l’équipe projet, de concevoir et de connecter les capteurs et les plateformes analytiques à internet.

La puissance du projet viendra de la capacité à partager la quantité appropriée de données, à travers les portefeuilles de bâtiment, à une communauté plus large en tant que données ouvertes. Permettre que des idées puissent être recueillies à travers la ville.

Les capteurs

Désigné et fourni par Sensorstream, les capteurs auront la possibilité de mesurer la température, la lumière, l’humidité et l’occupation de l’espace ainsi que divers autres éléments pertinents. Les capteurs sont discrets, mesurant à peu près 90mm x 130mm, légers et alimentés par une pile AA 1,5 V qui, selon la configuration, peut fonctionner plusieurs années.

Le Réseau

Les capteurs se connectent au réseau public étendu de Manchester géré par Things Manchester. Ce réseau commun permet aux communautés à travers le Grand Machester de connecter gratuitement des appareils compatibles à internet.

L’Analyse

Les données des capteurs sont agrégés dans l’interface d’un tableau de bord qui montre les caractéristiques de fonctionnement dans le temps, permettant la planification de mesures de contrôle ou des initiatives de changement de comportement.

Le Modèle

Le but principal du projet est de développer un modèle qui aidera les propriétaires de bâtiment et les exploitants à comprendre les données que les bâtiments peuvent produire et de créer un mécanisme de consentement afin que les données puissent être diffusées et partagées en tant que données ouvertes.

Il y a plusieurs raisons pour lesquelles la diffusion de données est controversée et le Knowable Building Framework cherche à travailler avec les propriétaires de bâtiments pour identifier et comprendre ces raisons, les risques et les assouplissements qui pourraient exister.

Comment ?

Au cours des deux prochains mois, l’environnement du pilote capteur sera installé dans le bâtiment “Fédération”  et sera utilisé comme un modèle de base. Open Data Manchester réalisera une série d’ateliers à Rennes et à Manchester avec les propriétaires de bâtiments, des techniciens et des responsables de la Métropole pour tenter de comprendre les défis et l’utilité de partager les données de performance des bâtiments.

Le modèle sera désigné comme un outil open source qui, par la suite, puisse être utilisé pour développer des mécanismes similaires de consentement pour les données issues de capteurs dans d’autres scénarios.

Open Data Manchester launch

 

The Open Data Manchester story began a new chapter on Thursday 28th November with our launch at our new home of Federation in Manchester. It has been our mantra over the last eight years that we are guided by and seek to represent the interests of the data community in Greater Manchester, and the community is wide and diverse from people who use data in their day to day to data activists who seek information to further a cause. From public to private sector, from Diggle to Orrell and anywhere in between.

This new chapter starts with us being a Community Interest Company with a mission “To promote a fairer and more equitable society through the development of responsible and intelligent data practice”. Being a company will allow us to develop a more sustainable programme and be ambitious in what we do. We have a board of directors, Michelle Brook, Linda Humphries, Julian Tait, Farida Vis and Jamie Whyte with Julian also being the CEO.

After the introductions and talks from Linda, Julian and Jamie the attendees were invited to help guide what Open Data Manchester does by writing down suggestions as to what they wanted to do and what they wanted to see.

These suggestions have been broken down into three categories – activities, data and projects. These are listed at the end of this post. Over the coming months we shall endeavour to answer some of these requests and if you are interested in helping with them, let us know.

To get the ball rolling Open Data Manchester is using a Medium channel https://medium.com/@opendatamcr which we invite submissions. Subjects can be broad, but need to be relevant to our community of practice. They can be critical but not defamatory. If you need any help let us know and we will usually sub-edit before posting anyway.

Suggestions

Projects
Improve very local, community level data access
Understanding pregnancy and birth rates across the region
A ‘civic data authority’ not-for-profit partnership for Manchester
Understand how many children with learning difficulties are in the school system without support

Data
Pothole data for Manchester
Underused spaces in buildings that could be used by the community
Local government data: performance, spending, democracy
Budgets for mental health and wellbeing in schools
Ambulance times to destination across the region

Activity
An open ODM blog that all can submit posts too – Done
Expand the potential labour market and jobs available in GM
Helping with data literacy
Help with accountability for devolved power in GM
Work professionally and voluntarily with ODM Manchester
Make it easier to access tools, data and platforms for non-specialists
Hackathon
Open Data Hackathon (Defined objectives could be a ++)
Support and Open Data Manchester Data Dive

Knowable Building Framework

Open Data Manchester working with Sensorstream Ltd and Things Manchester is developing a platform for gathering, analysing and sharing insight from sensors within buildings.

The Knowable Building Framework is an Internet of Things framework for monitoring the performance of older commercial buildings in a non-invasive way using discrete low power sensors, and if appropriate publishing this data 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 initiative will harness the connectivity of the public Things Network, that covers a large proportion of Greater Manchester and across the North, and will allow the project team to design and connect sensors and analytics platforms seamlessly to the internet. The power of the project will come from the ability to share an appropriate amount of  data across portfolios of buildings and also to the wider community as open data, enabling insight to be gathered across the city. This will have the further benefit of not only measuring building performance but connecting other sensor data as as well.

It is a collaboration with the City of Rennes in Brittany, seen as a centre of excellence regarding the development of Low Power Wide Area Networks and open data, and is funded through the Open Data Institute.

We will be running a workshops in Rennes and Manchester with building owners and technologists in January and February, to understand how better to design and implement the framework. If you would like to be involved, email us at hello [a] opendatamanchester.org.uk

Open Data Manchester Launch – 28th November 2017

As of the beginning of November, Open Data Manchester is a Community Interest Company (CIC). This means that our mission to promote a fairer and more equitable society through the development of intelligent and responsible data practice is now baked in to our constitution. Being a CIC allows us to develop and promote our community-focussed programme whilst also allowing us to work commercially to help support its delivery.

The board of directors are Michelle Brook, Linda Humphries, Julian Tait, Farida Vis and Jamie Whyte. Who will all be at Federation for the launch of Open Data Manchester on the 28th November so please do come and talk to us.

Register on Meetup here, it would be great to see you

Fare’s Fair – Why we need open fares data for public transport

Being able to understand how much your journey is going to cost is essential for encouraging mobility by public transport in our modern age. Not knowing how much a journey is going to cost before you make it, hinders forward planning and creates a barrier to use. How many people have stepped on to a bus only to find that the journey was more expensive than they first thought? Or that the fare charged yesterday was different than the fare you got charged today?

To this end transport campaigners have been vocal in their efforts to get public transport agencies and operators of public bus services to release fares data, so that people can make intelligent choices about the way that they get around. Transport Hack organised by the fantastic people at ODILeeds is one such example of this happening. Open Data Manchester was itself involved with opening up the bus fares data for all of Greater Manchester in 2010, only for TfGM to discontinue.

Yesterday we learn’t that TfGM had knocked back an FOI request for Manchester Metrolink fares data, citing issues of Commercial Interest.

We think this is wrong on a number of points.

  • Manchester Metrolink is the only tram operator in Greater Manchester – not counting the fantastic tramway at Heaton Park, which we don’t think is a competitor
  • The data is already in the public domain – therefore it wouldn’t take that much effort to aggregate it or get a picture of the fares structure
  • It is in the public interest to get as many people to understand the cost of mobility in Greater Manchester
  • Closed systems hinder the development of seamless ticketing and multi-modal travel by putting opaque commercial interests in front of public service delivery

To this end Open Data Manchester set about compiling the fares data for the Metrolink network. It did’t take that long – about a day – and we used programmatic as well as manual methods. The data is in tabular Excel form as well as a parsed text document. It is provided as is and we can’t be liable for any mistakes or inconsistencies – although we have checked it as much as we can.  Please let us know if you find any errors or create something interesting.

The data can be found here

Minor edits – addition of a link and additional bullet point were made at 14.00, 20.10.17

An edit was made regarding licensing 18.11.17