Media Mill Gazette 21

A bit later than usual (we were celebrating being 21)

** MET Office lose BBC weather contract (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34031785)

Lots of interest in the news that BBC are not going to use the Met Office for their weather.A measured if bad tempered reaction from the Met office (http://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2015/08/23/met-office-in-the-news-bbc-weather-contract/) and lots of speculation,including a bizarre idea that the BBC don’t like the Met office app (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/met-office-lost-bbc-contract-due-to-arguments-over-dumbing-down-and-their-bad-weather-app-10469783.html) and that requests for more detail in the forecast were refused (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/bbc/11819164/Met-Office-lost-BBC-contract-over-dumbing-down-rows-and-weather-app.html) . ! But from an open data perspective, it’ll be interesting to see what impact this has on the ‘commercial’ demands on the met office and where open data might fit into any replacement.

** Public data providers feel chill of competition (http://www.ukauthority.com/news/5579/public-data-providers-feel-chill-of-competition)

Putting that into context, this article underlines why expertise and reputation might not be enough in the public data sphere.

** New app for public notices launched (http://birminghamnewsroom.com/new-app-for-public-notices-launched/)

Birmingham city council have teamed up with publisher Trinity Mirror to develop a new planning application notices app called Birmingham Notiz The local council rep says: “The development of new technologies such as apps could make the way in which public notices are managed much simpler from a council and resident perspective.”. But many in the OD world where not impressed with the implementation or the basic idea (not least because it’s not all planning notices). The relationship between local government and local media has not been good in recent years (council newspapers etc) so this feels positive. But, thinking about the link above, it also highlights a reality (and a fragility) in the ‘open data’ ecosystem – its open to all, big and small.

** 10 potential candidates to become government chief data officer after Bracken leaves (http://www.computerworlduk.com/galleries/data/10-top-candidates-become-government-chief-data-officer-3623586/)

“Who should get the job when the current CDO Mike Bracken leaves in September?” Asks computerworld uk. An interesting mix and it’s particularity nice to see Jeni Tennison: technical director at the ODI in there. An open data advocate would do wonders for publishing standards

** Unlocking Data, part one (http://www.ukauthority.com/local-digital-news-blog/entry/5576/guest-blog-unlocking-data-part-one)

The departmant for Communities and Local Government has the first “in a new series that we will republish from the Public Service Transformation Network website on how the public sector can unlock the full potential of data. Topics will include how the public sector needs to build data science capability to make available data work for them, standards, open data and personal data.” Looks interesting.

** Data and Information in the city. (http://blog.ldodds.com/2015/08/24/data-and-information-in-the-city/)

I’m really interested in the physicality of data (data that doesn’t just live on a screen. So I enjoyed this really nice blog post from Leigh Dodds that reflects on the places and ways we find data in cities.

** London’s worst commutes: Hellish roads with average rush-hour speeds of 3.8mph revealed (http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/londons-worst-commutes-hellish-roads-9871275)

An interesting bit of hyperlocal data journalism. Interesting to see how this kind of reporting could be developed to be more dynamic or offer context to a performance indicator on a dashboard for example

** Councils explore options for online mapping tools (http://www.computerweekly.com/feature/Councils-explore-options-for-online-mapping-tools)

Computer weekly asks: “Councils are drawing on Ordnance Survey, Google Maps and OpenStreet Map for online mapping. What’s the optimal mix?” A nice round up of different councils and what they use.

** Data in Whitehall: which UK departments are the least and most open? (http://www.computerworlduk.com/data/government-data-which-departments-are-least-open-3623821/)

“It is the Cabinet Office (http://www.computerworlduk.com/it-leadership/what-does-brackens-departure-mean-for-whitehall-platform-plans-3623248/) , ironically the department responsible (http://www.computerworlduk.com/news/data/government-must-go-much-further-on-open-data-minister-says-3619480/) for open data policy, that is cited by all respondents as having the worst record in central government when it comes to publishing its own data.” : As you’d expect, a fair bit of interest in this article in the open data community

** All the data you need to power your business is free online (http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2015/aug/26/open-data-guide-tips-business)

A useful set of links and resources from the guardian but the argument is, of course, when they say free do they mean Free as in beer or free as in speech?

** Open data matters most when the stakes are high (http://www.hampshirehub.net/initiatives/using-data-to-encourage-independent-living)

This is actually the subheading to a post about how open data is playing a key role in the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina, almost 10 years on. Some great examples of open tracking tools. But that main headline made me really reflect on how much we are putting on open data to solve problems and what the impact might be if it doesn’t deliver.

** Smart cities need open data (http://www.ukauthority.com/news/5580/smart-cities-need-open-data)

“Ben Cave of the Open Data Institute argues that openness has to be the core principle in the evolution of urban services” Well he would! But a good article none the less.

** Mission-driven data visualization (http://gcn.com/Articles/2015/08/19/Mission-data-visualization.aspx?Page=1)

An interesting piece here that shows a number of examples of how dashboards are not the only way to delivering data on hitting a target. US biased but some interesting examples.

** Facebook has taken over from Google as a traffic source for news (http://fortune.com/2015/08/18/facebook-google/)

Talk to anyone in the news industry about whats important right now and they’ll say mobile and social. We know that people prefer apps to search on their phones so I’m not too surprised by this. This is going to be no less important at hyperlocal level. Mobile friendly, social shareable data content is where it’s at.

** Findyr: On-demand micro data and content service (https://www.findyr.com/)

Here’s an interesting proposition. An app that allows you to “Request a survey, data point, photo or video at any location. Offer the amount that you’d like to pay”. It’s peer-to-peer data gathering. Interesting enough to attract $2.5m in funding to date