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.

ODM Footer 600px

The Manchester Hackathon not bad for No.1

For those of you who missed it, the first Manchester Hackathon occurred last weekend. Manchester City Council, FutureEverything and ourselves came together to create 24 hours of coding deliciousness.

The hackathon was part of Manchester City Council’s commitment to open data and was the motivation for the release of datasets, APIs and documentation for the event. Data can be found here on the MDDA website The variety of data available ranges from trees which is all the more pertinent as Ash Dieback spreads through the country, Contact Centre data and Contaminated Land which is a hugely contentious dataset. A lot of the data released was in consultation with the Open Data Manchester community.

The format of the Hackathon created an intense atmosphere in MadLab as 45 coders and designers strove to create something demonstrable by the 5pm deadline. In the end 16 teams presented their creations in two minute quick fire presentations.

The winners were:

Best Under 21’s Creation – £600 – Bus Tracker by 19 year old MMU student Bilawal Hameed, the Bus Tracker app will let you find the nearest bus stop to you, direct you to it and give you the times and destinations of the next bus due.

Best Visualisation and Developers Prize (voted for by everyone taking part in the Hackathon)- £600 for each prize, was won John Rees for his app called Sat Lav. If you are caught short in the City, you just open the app and it will direct to nearest public toilet including those in shops and bars which allow the public to use.

Best Locative Application, the £600 prize was won by Matt Schofield for his Taxi Rank Finder app. Matt’s app shows the nearest taxi rank to you and directs you to it. It also shows if it is a marshalled rank and its opening times.

Best Solution for an Identified Problem (£600 prize) was won by Slawomir Wdowka and Imran Younis for their Manchester Voice which would allow the public to submit ideas to the council, then checks records to see if other people have made the same suggestion. When an idea is developed it would allow the public to vote on it.

The grand prize of £1,000 + £3,600 in development funding was won by Data Crossfader, created by James Rutherford and Ashley Herriott, a visualisation tool that plots information on a map of Manchester to allow people to compare important sets of data. For example, using postcode details it shows the locations of road traffic incidents on a map, and then adds where speed cameras are, so if they is a particular area where accidents happen which are not covered by a camera, it easily shows that on a map.

By the end of the event a number of developers had been approached to develop their ideas further and we’ll try and keep track of where that gets to.

For a much more in depth post by James Rutherford click here

ODM – September 2012 Edition

6.30pm – 8.30pm, Tuesday 25th September
Venue: MDDA, 117-119 Portland Street, Manchester M1 6ED

Sign up on Eventbrite

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