MediaMill Gazette 49

Open data portals, Local government of the future and more.

When Publishing Open Data, Cities and States Have Variety of Platform Choices

An interesting read on the choices US local government is making around open data platforms. It’s something I’ve been keeping an eye on for the MediaMill project. The landscape over there is not dissimilar to here in that a few developers have the majority of the market. Of the local government “portals” (rather than transparency pages on websites) we’ve been looking at (see chart below), custom portals and Redbridge Council’s solution dominate. Like the US Socrata has a presence as do CKAN. I suspect that CKAN is behind some of the custom sites. Geospatial specialists ESRI also have a presence not just in the proliferation of ‘observatory’ sites but also through the Geowise platform which seems to have become a data portal for many .

Connected Councils: A digital vision of local government in 2025

A cracking report from Nesta on the future of local government. Lots of smart city thinking and (what is becoming a consistent message from Nesta) the need for city regions to have an Office of Data Analytics (ODA) in the same vein as New York’s MODA. Well worth a read. 

WORKSHOP: Telecommunications and Digital Infrastructure Discovery Workshop
The ODI and the DCMS are running workshops in Leeds, Bristol and London to explore uses for open data that feed into the UK’s public sector telecommunications and digital infrastructure as part of a report to the DCMS. A good opportunity. Dates are tight as are spaces (20 in each). Eventbrite for London (17th March), Bristol (18thMarch) and Leeds (24thMarch)

Code the city: History Jam – #CTC6
An interesting idea from the code the city event in Aberdeen. A two day event to  create a 3D virtual reality map of a square mile of Aberdeen’s city centre using “data from a variety of historical sources, transcribing that and creating new open data”. The event is 19-20 March 2016 at Aberdeen University. You can get one of the remaining tickets here.

The Opportunity Project
Beyond the current bluster that is the presidential race, the US giov have been thinking open government data with their Opportunity Project. It’s an interesting project on a number of levels. Scale yes, but the aggregation of data and the scenarios are worth a look

And now, the news. Or maybe not.
A US tail of small town ‘news deserts’ – no media coverage at all –  which could be anytown UK.

Mapping Your Community’s Information Ecosystem
Avoiding a news desert may be a simple as asking these eight questions about “the health of local news and information in your area”

Does the local community see journalism the way journalists do?
Research Klaxon: An interesting bit of research that uses a novel approach (for academics anyway) to look at attitudes towards news. The general upshot is that the whole fourth estate thing that journalism loves is not highly valued (or at least considered) by users. Most see a  “utilitarian service of journalism for staying informed about events in places one might travel to—“‘a need to know what’s going on in order to arrange your life”—of maintaining an “on-going narrative” about the wider world, of myth-busting, or as sating a human interest for information “

London Collision Map
As part of their “ongoing commitment to providing open data”TFL have released a new map showing “collisions”; in other words crashes, accidents, deaths and damage. They’ve also updated their cycle route map and it makes you wonder to what extent one set of data feeds the other – would a council route cyclists based on possible ‘probability of a collision’

Data journalism meets UK hyperlocal media: What’s hindering the potential? 

“Despite the evident correlation between the two, data journalism is still a nascent concept in the UK’s emerging hyperlocal media ecology.”

FUNDING:MYGEOSS Third Call For Innovative Apps in the environmental and social domains.
The European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) has contracts of up to 13,500 euros available to take an innovative app to market. The focus is on apps that will “provide users with quantitative or qualitative information on the changing environment, e.g. change detection in climate, biodiversity, water bodies, coastal areas, built environment, green areas, forestry, agricultural land and crops, and atmospheric composition.” Closing date is  8 April 2016