MediaMill Gazette 54

Media Mill in Helsinki. Value from open data and hops visualised.

MEDIA Mill at #NODA16

Sorry for the delayed gazette this week. The MediaMill has been abroad to Helsinki to present the media mill project at the NODA16 conference for data journalists from all over the world. If you’re into your data journalism then its worth keeping an eye on the hashtag #noda16 The project’s Solomon dashboard got a lot of interest (I saw a few people tinkering with it during other presentations!). Part of the presentation was also raising the idea that the kind of thing the MediaMill project is doing represents an emerging form of Hyperlocal Data Journalism:

a community driven, civically informed process of creating, developing and exploiting social and economic value at a local level through the use of open government data and the enabling processes of data journalism.

A bit academic (I’ve written a paper on it) but there was some good conversation about local data and local journalism. There was also a nice chance to hear from Timo Canntell from Helsinki’s Mayors office who talked about Helsinki’s open data strategy, the most successful city in the world for it apparently! It was interesting to here they have made a conscious decision to focus on quality not quantity noting that departments used to compete on the numbers of data sets they could release.

You can hear more about Helsinki’s approach to open data from TImo here,

Open data barometer 3rd Edition
The third edition of the open data barometer was released on Thursday. It’s always worth a read.The UK gets a number one spot but the report warns a new generation of open data adopters. The report also warns that despite an increasing awareness of open data there’s “been little to no progress on the number of truly open datasets around the world”. Its not really the point of the report but its interesting that local (four mentions) gets very little mention other than to note that “Open data has not yet become priority for governments at the subnational level.”  I think many would agree with the lack of priority but there does need to be some effort to try and understand the interest at a local level in the same way as we do nationally. A local government open data barometer maybe?  The link takes you to the exec summary(and an online version) but you can also get the whole report as a pdf. There is also a nice interactive map to play with 

Leeds City Council nominated for Digital Council of the year
MediaMill project partners Leeds City Council have been nominated in the Digital council of the year section of the Digital Leaders 100 awards. Voting open till the 27th May so, you know, you might want to take a look…

Data Visualization Drives the Era of Information Activism
An interesting read about the power of visualization and analytics not least for the idea of Information activism where Millennialls in the workplace are behaving less as data consumers and much more as information activists, able to use data actively to express their views and individuality. Not quite what I’d see as activism but an interesting concept none the less. 

The economic value of open versus paid data
More economic value research data from ODI. This time claiming that Open Data “will provide 0.5% of GDP more economic value every year than data that users have to pay for”

New research exposes risks in privatising the UK Land Registry and restricting its data
Taking that as a starting point, Peter Wells takes makes the case against the sale of UK Land Registry data.

What’s the best time of year to sell your house on Teesside?
The range of uses for land registry data are endless but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Simple, locally targeted stuff can work. The last week in June apparently.

Supporting public sector open data leadership
Also from the ODI is a report on their project supporting open data leadership. It looks at “different methods of delivering capacity building and advice to leaders through peer networks, training and strategic assessments.” An interesting read and one recommendation that caught my eye was  that “Strategic assessments should be reframed in participatory terms to promote ownership of results and follow-up actions”
Making data make sense
In similar vein, there is a a long but well-worth while post by Lucy Knight about making open data useful/make sense which covers a lot of ground from how to do open data better and why doing it for the community is as (if not more ) important as transparency and accountability. Well worth a read


26th April : Open data manchester :Open Policy Making – data, ethics and practice
The evening seeks to explore the relationship between open data and policy making, what are the drivers and the challenges.

27th April: ODILeeds and Friends showcase
As part of Leeds Digital festival,  ODILeeds is holding an event to talk about what they do and the work of others like “Leeds Data Mill, Leeds City Council, Bradford City Council, Calderdale Council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, KPMG, Bloom , BJSS, Arup, Leeds University and Highways England.”

11th/12th June : Hack the Local
One for the diaries. The Centre for Community Journalism and Computational and Data Journalism MSc folks at Cardiff are staging a Hack the Local even which aims to bring together journalists, software developers and public sector representatives to create data-driven solutions to local news challenges.

Finally, and in keeping with last weeks mention of beer is this lovely visualization of the flavor and aromas of Beer hops which I spotted on the wall in Bryggeri in Helsinki.Kippis!