Wednesday 20th March 14:00-16:00. Four Piccadilly Place, Manchester M1 3BN
The UK is a founding member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global effort to make governments better by promoting transparency, empowering citizens, fighting corruption, and harnessing new technologies to strengthen governance.
Work has already begun over the past five months on developing the action plan, with the Cabinet Office and a network of (mostly nationally and internationally focused) civil society organisations working together to develop a set of commitments. Together, these commitments will make government and other powerful institutions more transparent (including through opening up data), enable greater citizen participation in policymaking, improve the responsiveness of government, better public service delivery and enhance the accountability systems that, among other things, reveal and prevent corruption in public and private organisations.
The UK Government is working in collaboration with a network of civil society organisations to develop an open government plan with a set of concrete open government commitments.
We need your help to develop it further – telling us what’s missing, what works and what’s needed at a local level, and if/how you’d like to be involved in developing it in the coming months.
The next Open Data Manchester is special event tying in with FutureEverything taking place from the 19th – 24th March.
An Open Data Future is an open debate that aims to look under the hood of the open data movement.
Over the past few years open government data has evolved from a niche concern to one that has been embraced by national government, European Commission and other states and organisations around the globe.
It has been advocated that Open Government Data will expose the inner workings of state institutions and thus enable an environment for greater understanding, accountability and efficiency.
The release of open government data has also been seen as an opportunity to add value to national economies through the creation of new services, new intelligence and a more networked economy through the free flow of data.
But ultimately what are the drivers behind this movement, who are the winners and losers and what should a society based upon open practices look like?
It’s 2013 and hopefully everyone is rested after the Christmas break. 2013 looks like it is going to be an interesting year as far as open data in Manchester is concerned with a number of initiatives including the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention – happening in March.
Topics to be covered will include ‘The Business of Open Data’ workshop happening on the 19th and 20th March and more significantly Routes to the Future – Transport Innovation Challenge for Greater Manchester happening 22nd -24th March. Will there at last be a release of realtime data from TfGM? – All will be revealed at the meeting.
If you have anything that you want to discuss, showcase or point out at the meeting – just let us know.
The next Open Data Manchester should be a good one. Hot off the back of the Manchester Hackathon we will be showcasing some of the things developed from some of the participants and having a bit of a debrief. Overall the feedback has been really positive but it would be good to see what could be improved.
As part of the Hackathon there were a number of datasets released by Salford, Trafford and most impressively by Manchester City Council. Some of the data released is a first for a local authority and some of it is quite contentious so worth a look.
Open Data Manchester will be hosting a delegation from Brazil who are on a technical visit to the UK to find out more about the open data, transparency and accountability, and Freedom of Information.
Finally if you are interested in how applicaitons develop during a hackathon, John Rees took a screenshot every 30 seconds whilst building his multi prize winning SATLAV application
Calling all hackers, coders and creative collaborators – Manchester needs you to shape the future of the digital city.
For the first time ever, the City of Manchester invites you to dig underneath its digital skin. FutureEverything, Open Data Manchester and Manchester City Council are looking for experts and innovators to hack, code, programme and experiment with the city’s sets of open data to build new applications and develop future services.
Utilising the open data sets from DataGM made available by Manchester City Council and public sector partners, participants are welcome to produce anything they wish – develop applications to help people find their way around, stay safe, discover new experiences and everything and anything in between. All data is released under the Open Government Licence.
Taking place at MadLab in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter on Saturday 17th November, the Manchester Hackathon is set to be an intense, productive and exciting collaboration between the brightest minds in software development and data processing. Entries from both teams and individuals are welcome, and there are cash prizes to be won for the best product at the end of the session, including;
Grand Prize – £4,600*
Best Under 21’s Creation – £600
Best Visualisation – £600
Best Locative Application – £600
Developer’s Prize – £600
Best Solution for an Identified Problem – £600
* £1000 prize & £3,600 development funding
The event is completely free to enter and open to all. Register HERE
The prizes will be selected by a panel of independent industry experts, including Dave Carter (MDDA) and Lou Cordwell (magneticNorth).
The Hackathon takes place on Saturday 17th November 9am – 7pm, with a warmup and networking session beforehand at MDDA (Lower Ground Floor, 117-119 Portland St, Manchester, M1 6ED) on Friday 16th November 6.30 – 8.30pm
The Manchester Hackathon is partially funded under the ICT Policy Support Programme (ICT PSP) as part of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme by the European Community.
After a brief summer hiatus Open Data Manchester is back and temporarily at a different venue.
The last event saw James Cattell from Digital Birmingham, Andrew MacKenzie from the UK Governments Open Data User Group and Jag Goraya from GIST Foundation in Sheffield talking about how open data initiatives were developing in Birmingham and Sheffield and Birmingham City Council’s adoption of a corporate open data strategy.
Since the last meeting there has been quite a bit of activity mostly around some forthcoming hackdays and support for open data initiatives in Manchester. Last Tuesday we had the launch of Tech Hub Manchester in Carver’s Warehouse on Dale Street, Manchester. This is going to be a new co-working space networked into Tech Hub London and a wider international digital start-up community and we will be having the Tech Hub people coming to talk about the initiative and Start-up Weekend a two day hack event utilising open data.
The City of Manchester is also looking at developing open data as far as part of a new Technology Strategy Board – Future Cities Demonstrator project. This is a large £24 million fund that will help the creation of digital services within the city. Anne Dornan who is working on the project will explain how open data fits into this.
If you are interested in public transport, and a lot of people are, Move*Manchester is an Innovation Challenge that will be running in March 2013. The planning is being finalised, but it will entail a weekend event based around a hackathon that will lead to product development and support. The prize fund and support package to develop products and services will be approximately £35,000 and is part of the CitySDK programme run by FutureEverything and Manchester City Council with the support of Open Data Manchester. More details to follow.
Also we will be looking at the latest data releases on DataGM, TfGM, cool developments and anything else people want to show
We learnt that the Co-operative movement is vast and diverse – ranging from banking to funeral care, from software to snake catchers! Equally, there is not *one* type of co-op. Variations such as worker, consumer, retail and volunteer co-operatives are just some – although all share the same ethos and relation to the guiding principles of mutal benefit for members and wider society.
Chris took us through some of the philosophical and practical issues around open data, summized in the classic line:
“Open data is the new democracy”
.. which certainly got people thinking.
I’ve picked up on two main themes that stood out from the workshop. The Co-operative News have ably started to document and publish materials from the workshop – well worth a look.
1 – Open Data on Co-operatives
This was our starting point. If co-ops were to openly publish data about their activities, what would represent their “added value” and “point of difference”. Would this be data on membership, community activities and other measures? How would this be achieved? What could be the “quick-win” datasets that co-ops could push out to engage people?
We discussed how an data standard for co-operatives could be one way to facilitate this – but this event was only two hours…
2 – Open Data by Co-operatives
This theme was something that struck to the heart if many it seemed. One of the key values of the co-operative movement was knowing how to run successful businesses and organsations in a collaborative manner. How could this be applied to open data? Could open data projects be governed in a co-operative way? There was some discussion around the notion of “prosumer co-operatives” in terms of data producers and consumers working in joint. Certainly, there was an appetite for exploring this further…
Open Data Manchester were proud to be a part of kicking off this discussion, and many thanks to all those that attended, and our collaborators at Co-operatives UK and The Co-operative News. This October/November, the co-op world will arrive in Manchester to celebrate the end of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives.
The SOPA and PIPA legislation currently going through the American congress has impact and ramifications far beyond the shores of the US and piracy, and is a threat to the Free and Open internet that we have today. It iS a blunt, badly constructed piece of legislation that seeks to prop up an industry based on old business models by clamping down on new and innovative ways of producing and disseminating content. As with most bad pieces of legislation it will be open to creep and opportunism, where arbitrary take down and closure of sites pointing to or serving content would prevail. It offers a world where the winners will be the established players with large legal teams and vested interests and the losers will be everyone else. It is an outcome which we, as part of the Open movement, are fighting against.
What could it do?
Would it effect Open Data? We don’t know, as open data is made available by data owners under open licensing. It might constrain the publishing of data that has been scraped, but the legal arguments as to whether data is protected by copyright and IP law are complex.
It could constrain search, if you fall foul of its broad and ill-defined terms. You may have a site but it might as well not exist if it doesn’t show up in search results.
It can effect free expression – just imagine the internet awash with copyright bots who can automatically close down or de link sites with out any recourse to the law. You can get a flavour of this on on some sites that have content sniffing technology.
Who decides what is or isn’t copyrighted or IP protected material? In the SOPA world you will be found guilty and then have to fight to prove your innocence. How will this effect the ability to expose wrongdoing if the evidence is subject to SOPA and PIPA?
Many people have written about why these laws are a bad thing and some links are below. From the UK we can only watch and hope.
Last night several members of congress, who originally supported the SOPA/PIPA bill withdrew their support due to the massive international campaign that saw many thousands of websites, including Open Data Manchester’s, go dark and people ‘block the switchboards’ of the American congress. It was a victory in the battle to protect our free and open internet but there is too much money at stake and we are sure we will see a revised, more subtle form of SOPA/PIPA in the not too distant future.