MediaMill Gazette 46

Open data camp, open data day, mapping the world and Die Hard with a vengeance!

ePSI: The Best of 2015
The European Public Sector Information portal (ePSI) has released a review of the highlights from the past year in the world of Open Data and PSI which includes a mention for the York Open Data platform.

Open data camp ticket releases
The next open data camp is on May14th and 15th in Bristol at the Watershed (cool venue). Tickets are available via Lanyard and Eventbrite. The tickets are coming out in batches  with ticket releases scheduled 7pm Thursday 3 March – 2pm Saturday 19 March

How to get involved in Open Data Day 2016
March 5th is Open Data Day.This post from the Sunlight foundation outlines some of the ways you can get involved.

A data expert tested whether a pivotal scene in Die Hard was actually possible
Finally a practical application for big data! In Die Hard with a vengeance, Brice Willis is compelled to take a taxi down the length of Manhattan in 30 minutes to prevent a bomb from blowing up Wall Street! Software engineer Todd Schneider wanted to find out if that was true to life. Its open data rather than big per se but no less fun.

Interconnecting the worlds open data portals
OpenDataSoft made a bit of a splash last year with its map of open data portals. Now they want to “take the project even further and create a system to index the Open Data portals worldwide.” They are having a webinar to discuss the idea on March 8th 5pm (UK time)

9 tips to ensure high-quality ArcGIS Open Data downloads
“Sharing data with open data is easy. However, it’s important to spend time preparing your data to make sure that you’re offering high-quality data downloads to your users”

To Prevent Another Flint, Make All Open Data Machine Readable
The story of lead poisoning in a US town is likely to become one of the canonical examples of successful investigative and data journalism. This article, using flint to advocate for the transparency and accountability of open data makes some big assumptions (its clear that half the data wasn’t going to make it to the public – open or not) but its an interesting idea.

Britain's diet in data by the ODI and Kiln.

Buy ready meals!! Sell  Livers!!
A nice visualisation by the ODI and data/journalism company Kiln (whose work is well worth more of a look btw) of the  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) release of almost 30 years of food diaries filled out by British families between the 1970s and 2000 which is now open data.  The downside – expect to wade through a lot and, when I checked it’s mislabeled. Not the highest quality data release I’ve seen.

Out to Tinder: Beth Simone Noveck on using citizen expertise in government
Worth including for the headline alone. A report on a speech at the Institute for Government by Beth Simone Noveck author of, Smart Citizens, Smarter State: The Technologies of Expertise and the Future of Governing. She says “Government needs to be better at ‘dating’ its citizens and match demand to supply like Tinder,” (H/T the always entertaining Warning Graphic Content)

Local Digital’s ‘Really Useful Days’ live up to their name
Talking about engagement, its worth flagging up the DCLG Really useful Days which are part of their Local Digital strategy. There are some good resources for running them and some success stories.

Why Facebook is making a map of every building in the world
According to Vox (and others) “Facebook is making a map of every human-occupied building on Earth so that one day, people in the most remote areas of the world can also worry about what to do when their mom friends them on Facebook.” It’s an interesting project with commendable aims but the heady mix of drones, satellites, AI and Facebook has raised the coverage to a higher than normal pitch.  The kicker – Facebook plan to release this data to the public later in the year!

Ensuring value down the open data road
There are some good points in this piece by Professor Michael Luck from King’s College London. The first half reads a little oddly – you’d be forgiven for thinking that the UK Gov has been doing nothing with open data compared to US, Canada and Ireland. The second half, highlighting projects done at Kings, makes for more interesting reading.

Open Government: People can re-engage with politics. And politicians may be able to break the deadlock.
Talking of Ireland – or rather Northern Ireland. This is an interesting piece on the emerging policy (and the unique political backdrop) but the comments caught my eye – one noted “A few years back the NI Open Data Forum talked about producing a dashboard of indicators trying to performance management the actions of government.”

Play NewYork like a piano
In my trips around the web looking at various dashboard services I came across http://www.civicdashboards.com/. An interesting model but I spent most time on their site playing with their roof piano – a playful visualization of the NYC map.

Academic paper alert
A couple of academic papers to flag up and interesting. First is Open data quality measurement framework: Definition and application to Open Government Data which offers, amongst other things, a nice over view of data quality assessment methods – for those that know their TDQM from their DaQuinCIS. The second is Open Government Data: Right to Information 2.0 or its Rollback Version? which takes a rounded look at where open government data and the right to information meet. Interesting background for anyone interested in the Open Data/Freedom of information act.

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Interactive building heights based on LIDAR data

Building Heights in London with what3words
Emu analytics have created a nice map of building heights in London based on Lidar data. I’ve featured them before, picking up their open data visualizations using real objects  But what drew my eye back to this was the use of the what3words system to map the objects. It uses  “a unique combination of just 3 words” to identify a 3mx3m square, anywhere on the planet. So the shard (and the surrounding area becomes organs.movie.snake.