Afsnit I – Got a good idea using data?

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Afsniti is a yearly Innovation Competition that takes place at the end of November in Hørsholm Hospital. If you are a creative entrepreneur, artist or innovator or have a really good idea they would like to hear from you. There is a top prize of 100,000 DKR and if you are one of the 20-24 projects chosen you will be invited over to Denmark to take part in the Afsnit I Camp and Festival. Accommodation and food is provided with the possibility of support for travel too.

Open Data Manchester – September Edition

Open Environmental Data Special.

Tuesday 24th September 2013

Madlab 36-40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Sign up here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/8260221545

There has been a lot of emphasis in the open data movement on access to data that shines a light on the workings of government or allows the creation of mobility applications. Data that gives us insight into the environment in which we live, work and play tends to be little used yet offers huge potential in enabling people to understand and act on local environmental issues.

The Freedom of Information Act giving people the right to data that public bodies hold is well known but there is little understanding of legislation that gives people the right to access environmental data. The Environmental Information Regulations give people the power to ask for data on a host of environmental issues, yet unlike their FOIA cousins are under-utilised. Is it that EIR is too complex and little understood or is it that the data that is held is incomplete or difficult to use?

In mitigation of this there is a growing army of people who are taking matters into their own hands be exploring, mapping and creating environmental data that is more relevant to their communities. Low cost ‘easy to use’ sensors can be deployed , networked, fitted to smart phones and the data aggregated to provide a more comprehensive picture of our environment.

This months Open Data Manchester is a chance to look at some of the initiatives that have been taking place recently. It will be an opportunity to discuss why we need access to environmental data and how people can come together to map their own communities.

Growing Data

**The following guest post is by Farida Vis from the Everyday Growing Cultures research project. The project looks at the potentially transformative effect of bringing together the food growing and open data communities.**

This post also originally appeared on the OKFN Blog http://blog.okfn.org/2013/07/18/the-transformative-potential-of-gardening-with-data/

EGC picture_OKFN blog post

Those supporting the government’s open data agenda highlight the business case for open data, an economic argument about its moneysaving potential, along with the suggestion that it will lead to better-informed citizens. All of these claims require close and critical examination. If money is saved, who benefits and makes money from these innovations? How exactly do citizens know about and become better informed through open data? Why should they care? Some within the wide and heterogeneous open data ‘movement’ subsequently point to the importance of ‘really useful’ data, suggesting citizens might care and become better informed if open data was seen as useful in their daily lives.

Our project, (http://everydaygrowingcultures.org/), addresses these issues by focusing on two distinct yet connected communities: allotment, growing communities (plot holders; allotment societies; those waiting for plots; allotment governing bodies) and the open data community (open data activists; developers; local government; data journalists). Allotment and open data communities may initially seem unconnected, but they share many concerns: around ideas of knowledge sharing, exchange, collaboration, ‘the commons’, and access to shared resources (digital and land).

We believe there is a potentially transformative value in connecting these two currently disparate communities. Bringing them together could build stronger, more active communities, benefit local economies and improve environmental sustainability and food security. We focus on the current allotment waiting list crisis and huge interest in growing your own, to investigate the value that could be brought into people’s lives through opening up local government data on allotments. Moreover, we are interested in facilitating citizen-led solutions to this crisis by identifying and mapping vacant land for the purpose of growing food.

Our research is based on the UK cities of Sheffield and Manchester, which both have thriving open data and food growing communities. Keeping in mind the different aspects of the open data agenda – the economic dimension, its claimed contribution to a better informed citizenry – along with the methods through which open data is practiced, we are using the allotment case and increased interest in food growing to ask:

* What does digital engagement and transformation look like within these communities?

* How can these communities further the national open data agenda so that it benefits citizens?

* How can a more widely adopted and enacted open data strategy benefit local economies?

* If unsuccessful in these aspects, what might open data’s unintended consequences look like?

* How can we think of forms of resistance, mobilisation of local histories and heritage identities?

* How can we rethink received ideas of participation and enacting citizenship in light of these?

Since mid-February 2013, in partnership with Open Data Manchester, The Kindling Trust and Grow Sheffield, we have run a number of events with growing communities in Manchester and Sheffield, to identify potential food growing spaces. We have talked to local councils about taking some of our ideas forward and how this might take place. We have requested allotment data through the Freedom of Information Act and looked at how council websites provide information to potential allotment plot holders. We are in the process of surveying people on waiting lists and have made a documentary film highlighting these important issues.

Join the Everyday Growing Cultures team in Sheffield on 23 July to discuss and explore these issues with key partners and stakeholders, including leading UK allotment expert Professor David Crouch. As part of the event, the award winning feature documentary, Grown in Detroit, will be screened. Before that our own project documentary film will be shown and the filmmakers (Erinma Ochu and Caroline Ward) will be there to answer your questions!

The event is free to attend, but registration is required. Please register here: (http://everydaygrowingculturespublicevent.eventbrite.co.uk/). Please check the website for further details.

We will also present work from the project at these upcoming events: (http://smarttowns.co.uk/) event in Halifax in September.

(http://www.digthecity.co.uk/) film screening at Dig the City festival in Manchester (3-11 August).

Open Data Manchester – By Jove it’s June.

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 25th June 2013
MadLab – 36 – 40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Manchester’s premiere open data meetup will be taking place once more this month.

Open Data Manchester has been meeting regularly since the beginning of 2010 and is a free and open forum for discussion and practice around open data.

It is a chance to catch up on all stuff ‘open data’ that is taking place both locally and beyond. There are a number of initiatives around and it would be good to catch hold of them.

If you have any projects or ideas you want to discuss or have an open data itch that you need to scratch, feel free to bring them along.

 

Open Data Manchester – May Edition

Tuesday 28th May

6.30 -8.30pm

MadLab, 36 – 40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN

Sign up on Eventbrite here

As well as the usual opportunity to show people what we’ve all been up to, this month is a chance to catch up with other open data developments within Greater Manchester.

DataGM is due to be relaunched after a long development hiatus. When launched it will be an instance of the latest CKAN. One of the Trafford open data team will be here to talk it through and how you can get involved in the new fresh DataGM. For those that want a sneak preview you can find it here. NB this only has a few test datasets on it: http://datagm2.ckanhosted.com/

For the classic DataGM experience you can find it here: http://www.datagm.org.uk

We will get an update from Farida Vis and Steven Flower as to the first outings of the mapping for food growing walks that aim to uncover unused green space that could be used for growing food. This month saw two expeditions in Trafford. Further information can be found on the  Everyday Growing Cultures project website http://everydaygrowingcultures.org/

The Shakespeare Review was released last week https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/198752/13-744-shakespeare-review-of-public-sector-information.pdf
The review explores the growth opportunities of, and how to widen access to, the wealth of information held by the public sector. We will look at the recommendations that it makes to Government

For those that were around for the Innovation Challenge in March you will be aware of the development of CitySDK API. The logic behind it’s development is that it uses Open Street Map as a base layer in which other data is mapped over it. As it is being implemented by a number of European Cities it should theoretically make it easier to port applications across them thus increasing market. We should have the final specification.

There will also be an update on funding out there for your projects open data and otherwise.

If you have anything that you want to add just let us know, ODM is open and for everyone.

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Open Data Manchester April Edition

Tuesday 30th April 2012, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Madlab – 36-40 Edge Street, Manchester M4 1HN

Sign up on Eventbrite HERE

It seems a long while since our last Open Data Manchester although March was packed with open data related stuff in Manchester.

This month we revert to a more traditional format. There will be the usual show and tell with updates about what initiatives are going on in the Greater Manchester open data world and further afield.

TaxHack is a new project based in Manchester, where the techniques and tools of open data will be used to support the tax justice movement. By using the technology and ethos of open data for tax related journalism, we plan to utilise online spaces and hackdays to tackle questions on corruption, tax avoidance and corporate secrecy, and make it accessible to the wider public.

For example, one of the current projects for TaxHack is to identify which companies are receiving large public contracts while at the same time using tax havens, and then correlating the physical location of the companies’ operations to areas affected by public sector cuts.

In the process we hope to pressure centres of power to release more data in the interests of transparency.
http://taxhack.wordpress.com/

Farida Vis will talk about the next iteration of her Allotment Data project http://allotmentdata.org/

Also we will catch up with what happened at the Routes to the Future Innovation Challenge that took place in March.

A report on the Open Data Manchester Special – An Open Data Future will be out soon.

Developing the UK’s Open Government Action Plan

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.

To sign up and for more information click here

Open Data Manchester Special – An Open Data Future

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?

Panelists
Jo Bates – Academic at University of Sheffield
http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/is/staff/bates
Tim Davies – Researcher and Activist http://www.timdavies.org.uk/about/
Javier Ruiz – Campaigner for the Open Rights Group
http://www.openrightsgroup.org/people/staff
Tom Slee – Canadian writer and commentator, author http://www.tomslee.net/

Chaired by Yuwei Lin.

This event is free but likely to reach capacity very quickly so registering here is essential

Routes to the Future: An Innovation Challenge

FutureEverything and Transport for Greater Manchester present the Routes to the future: An innovation challenge, an intensive 48 hour competition aimed at coders and creative software developers to build new, useful applications from TfGM’s data that will improve the public transport experience for people of Greater Manchester. There are cash and development prizes available for the best ideas.

Being held as part of the FutureEverything Summit of Ideas and Digital Invention, the weekend will be held at Four Piccadilly Place and will begin straight after the main FutureEverything conference ends with a launch event from 6pm – 7.30pm on Friday 22 March. The innovation challenge itself will begin at 8am on Saturday 23 March.
Routes to the future 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. The cash prize and development fund available is over £16,000.

Challenge Categories are:
Best use of real-time data
Best use of multiple datasets
Best application created on the CitySDK API
Most Innovative use of data
Best U21 application
Developers Prize

Amongst the datasets TfGM will make available will be GTFS schedules and realtime Centreline positional information as well as the data already available through the DataGM – The Greater Manchester Datastore.

Click here to sign up

Routes to the Future: An Innovation Challenge is a partnership between TfGM and FutureEverything supported by Open Data Institute, Tech Hub Manchester and Manchester University

Open Data Manchester – January 2013 edition

6.30pm – 8.30pm Tuesday 29th January 2013
MadLab – 36 – 40 Edge Street Manchester M4 1HN

Open Data Manchester is a meetup for all people who are interested in making data open for the benefit of citizens, businesses and public bodies alike.

The meetings are mix of presentation, conversation and sharing of tips, hacks and data. The event is an open forum and free.

Sign up on Eventbrite

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.