We live in a world awash with data, much of it created for and about the communities in which we live, work and play. It’s a huge public resource that can enable greater understanding and more informed participation, create an environment for better public services and allow the development of new knowledge and innovation.
Open data has evolved and grown over the last ten years, with thousands of projects and services built upon it, and billions of users accessing it.
But what, exactly, is this thing called ‘open data’?
Join us on 25th June and we’ll explore just what open data is, why it’s important and how it can be used for good. We’ll explore:
What open data is.
What data can and can’t do.
How open data is of benefit and some examples of how it is used.
The history of open data, and what its future holds.
What you would like to see Open Data Manchester do about it.
Whether you’ve never heard of open data before, or you’re an open data wizard, we’d love to see you there.
Hera Hussain from Open Contracting Partnership, who will tell us about how open data has saved countries billions all around the world.
Mor Rubinstein from 360 Giving, who will talk about ‘The State of Open Data – Histories and Horizon’, a new book that explores the history of open data.
We are facing massive environmental crises that are intertwined with our current way of consumption and living. The complexity and scale of these problems can be disempowering, making individual positive action seem directionless and futile.
However, we can take appropriate action and measure the difference we make by using data to understand our environment, to help build evidence-based arguments for change and to hold people to account – whether it’s through seeing the impact of switching electrical devices off (and not leaving them on standby), understanding the air pollution around us so that we can make more environmentally sound choices, or by making sure our waste is recycled appropriately.
This month we’re showcasing initiatives that are using data to help the environment through tracking waste, energy monitoring and pollution, with presentations from:
Join us for an day of exploring, mapping and wandering in Central Manchester and Salford. Starting with maps of Manchester and Salford from 150 years ago, we’ll propose expeditions to uncharted territories or revisiting previously explored places, strange meanderings and any other diversions that people fancy.
Often viewed as a functional place of work, retail and leisure, our city centre bounded by Trinity Way, Great Ancoats Street and the Mancunian Way is imbued with history, iniquity, celebration and endeavour. Let us go out and find what’s out there, discover the forgotten spaces, create stories and map our city.
Adventurers will be split into parties and encouraged to map, photograph, document and bring back their findings to share with everyone.
See a round up of the last Joy Diversion, which took place at ODCamp 6 in Aberdeen here.
The event is open to all, although minors need to be accompanied.
If you would like to help out on the day, let us know.
Saturday 2nd February, 11.00 – 17.00
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
“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.
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.
A data expedition is the best way to learn data skills by working through datasets. We’re looking for people with a deep interest in a particular topic or who have particular skills in coding, analysis, scouting out data, design or data-storytelling who will work with a team to guide them through a data-based investigation. We will focus on 360Giving grants data, but feel free to explore other topics too!
This data expedition will be in ‘train the trainer’ format, and will teach you how to facilitate your own data expeditions in the future, and will explain how to incorporate data expedition in your work.
Please bring a laptop if you can although spares will be available.
Refreshments and lunch will be provided.
This is a limited capacity event. If you are unable to attend please notify us so we can make your place available to others.