Neon sign saying 'Open Data Night'

Open:Data:Night January 2019— a summary

On Tuesday 29th January, we hosted our first public meetup of 2019 — ‘Open:Data:Night’, an evening of presentation and project sharing from Manchester’s open data community.

Tom Passmore from Dsposal kicked off proceedings talking about the work they’ve been doing with Open Data Manchester about the creation of an open data standard for the commercial waste management pathway. The waste recycling and processing regime in the UK is complex and corruption alone costs over £700 million per year. The development of a waste standard and tools that can sit on top of it offers the chance to make information flow more freely, reducing corruption and increasing recycle rates.

Next up was artist Bill Posters of Brandalism, who presented his upcoming project SPECTRE, which aims to shine a light on how big data and advertising companies uses our personal information for advertising and other nefarious things. It’ll be a ‘black box installation’, an interactive journey that will be personalised based upon what information you choose to share with it. Bill is looking for people who may be able to help out during the develop phase. If interested you could get in touch here.

Hera Hussain of Open Contracting Partnership explained the importance of opening up and being able to monitor public procurement using the Open Contracting Data Standard. She talked about the work she’s been doing with Manchester City Council in opening up contracts for the Town Hall renovation project worth over £300 million

Hera Hussain from Open Contracting Partnership in action

Sam Langton from MMU presented a piece of research he developed with Dr Reka Solymosi from UoM, which looked at how best to fairly and accurately present geographic information. Although certain methods may look aesthetically pleasing, they may not be entirely accurate. Conversely, those that are more accurate may actually appear misleading. You can read their full publication here.

Finally, ODM’s own Sam Milsom gave an update on how the Mapping Mobility Stockport has been going. Three workshops in, and a vast amount of data has been crowdsourced about obstructions and strategies that dsiabled and aged community use to get around the town centre. Read more on the project here.

We’ll be running other Open:Data:Nights through the year. We’re going to be hosting ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Not Data!’ night on the 26th March — if you have a tale of bad stats, strange correlations, malicious intent or just downright stupidity, we’d love to hear from you!

If you want to stay in the loop as to the work we do, and any future events, you can sign up to our newsletter here.