MediaMill Gazette 50

Budget, FAIR Data and wooden records.

The FAIR Principles herald more open, transparent, and reusable scientific data
The academic world has been wrestling with the idea of open for a long time. The Journal system and the money paid to publish and access information is a big issue. So its not surprise that open data is proving as disruptive in academia as elsewhere. This paper in Nature is the starting gun on a set of principles that would look pretty familiar to anyone in the open data world but there are some excellent resources around it. 

Budget 2016: The UK must take every opportunity to strengthen data infrastructure
A good round-up (and response) from the ODI of some of the implications for data and open data in the recent budget.

Budget 2016: Government to spend £5 million rebuilding postcode data it sold off in 2013
A slightly different take on budget with a focus on the plan to spend to build an open address register to replace the postcode database it sold as part of Royal Mail – “We’re now spending £5 million to get it back”. More importantly the article notes that plans to ‘privatise’ the Land Registry might risk a similar ‘mistake’

How to expand your open data business into new markets
A piece that looks at two ODINE sponsored companies – CommoPrices and Sickly. Some interesting insights into their models. Open data aggregation and insight is the dominant model here.

JOB ALERT: Innovation Consultant, ODI Advisory
The ODI is looking for someone to be our voice for open innovation. Interesting work with the promise of international travel. Closing date 21st April

DEFRA release first block of point cloud data
Defra have begun a staged release of “the raw point cloud data that underpins our elevation models.” In other words the stuff that they use to make the LIDAR data. Lots to play with and the plan is to have all the data out by July this year.  In their newsletter, DEFRA are also promising a big dump of data on April 1st. They say this will ” mainly centred around our flood and water data”. Floodhack second rounds ahoy! 

RDF Toolkit DataCube released
If you like RDF/linked data and you don’t mind Java then this new toolkit that focusses on “processing of RDF data cubes: multi-dimensional data represented as RDF and structured according to the RDF Data Cube ontology” may be for you.

A really nice way to visualize city open data - like data set sparklines

A really nice way to visualize city open data – like data set sparklines

How to Build a Memorable Data Snapshot
This piece is subtitled And why traditional infographics won’t work on the social web” but the underpinning message is a bit more fundamental and one the journalism/media industry knows it needs to learn – you need multidisciplinary teams to make this stuff work.

The Future is What Happens When People Embrace Open Data
I do love the idea that open data is a ‘super hero phrase’; “supernatural forces that seemingly defy definition and can’t be seen”

Beyond Spotlight: 6 more data journalism projects that influenced policy
Like open data, data journalism talks a good game in terms of impact on policy. The evidence is often harder to pin down. So this post from Paul Bradshaw is a welcome round-up that looks beyond the ‘journalism still matters’ rhetoric that the headline alludes to.

Worlds, not stories
You could say that the MediaMill has developed a bit of a data crush on Moritz Stefaner and Truth & Beauty but this post on Medium about confusing data and storytelling is worth a read. And lest you think its all starry-eyed, I don’t agree with all the points made as he gets to his conclusion.

New innovators: Derilinx
A new player in the open government data business. This time its Irish company Derilinx. They are a spin out from the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at NUI Galway. Its not a crowded market but its also not a big one. That said the push to open data in Ireland and Northern Ireland suggests that they may have a burgeoning local market to explore.

RESEARCH: Planning and designing open government data programs: An ecosystem approach 
An interesting paper that attempts to describe an ecosystem approach to designing and building open government data projects. Project partners in Leeds and York, as well as readers who’ve put open data portals together will recognise a lot of this.

Turn your data into sound using our new MIDITime library
An older piece but might be worth a look if you want to try something a bit different in terms of data ‘visulisation’.

Thinking about the MIDI library above reminded me of this video. It’s an old project but it reminded me that you can get data from almost anywhere…you just need to be able to read it.