MediaMill Gazette 59

Land Registry, the open data delusion, smart cities and immigration – it’s Media Mill.

Land Registry: moving operations to the private sector

It’s fast approaching the deadline for contributions to the consultation on the Governments plans to move the Land Registry to the private sector. Perhaps its the circles I lurk in, but file this one under universally a bad idea – think about how much more difficult (and its not easy now) it would be to get the data needed for reporting like the Guardian’s piece on The London skyscraper that is a stark symbol of the housing crisis. Responses to the consultation come from a range stakeholders, but people like the UK Open Government Network and even the Competition and Markets Authority are telling you its a bad idea…

Deadline for responses is Thursday 26th May but worth doing to add volume to the sensible voices saying this is a bad idea all round. 

Shifting the open data landscape

A couple of things caught my eye this week that resonated with conversations I’ve been having and some of the things I’ve seen as part of the media mill project. First was Giuseppe Sollazzo’s meditation on The Open Data Delusion. Then Tom Smith’s reflections from ODCamp3,  What’s changing in the open data ecosystem? Both of these articles chew over where the open data movement is heading and both make for interesting and thoughtful reads. For Giuseppe and Tom, the open data is changing and these are as much about getting a sense in the direction of movement. My reflection would be that we are perhaps seeing a ‘conscious uncoupling’ of the open government data movement from the open data movement.
Open Data Impact Map
The centre for open data enterprise has released an updated version of its open data impact map. There is also a report which emphasises the value to big business using of open data.Mobile Age project: making senior citizens benefit from open government data.
Bit of a week for stuff online popping up online after I’d been chatting about it in the real world. After hearing about projects around data and “grey economy” this week, I thought this project might be of interest to some subscribers.

Digital technology and open data feature strongly in five projects to win support of Urban Living Partnership programme
…and on that note it’s nice to see York and Leeds (partner cities in the MediaMill project) involved in projects to use “tools for environmental monitoring, urban modelling, data analysis and crowdsourcing, and technologies including wireless sensing networks, wearable devices and virtual reality systems.”

Top 10 smart cities in the UK
Leeds also comes in as seventh smartest city in the UK thanks to a “coherent and ambitious framework for its smart city projects, in particular its open data strategy”

Political arithmetic: Data ethics and government
Nesta’s Geoff Mulgan talks about the challenge and value of data and the ethical challenges it brings and we introduce technology into the process of better understanding and solving social issues.

Digital Exclusion Heatmap
Now here’s an interesting mapping tool .DotEveryone updated their heatmap of digital exclusion last month and having a play reveals city areas in the north as little oasis of digital inclusion.

First Impressions of Copenhagen’s City Data Exchange
Leigh Dodds takes a look and its fair to say, he’s not impressed. Not least because it’s not really clear how its going to achieve what it wants to achieve.

You Can Add a Robot Data Scientist Right Into Your Spreadsheet – And Try It For Free
Automated Insights have announced that their data to content software wordsmith now plugs into Google sheets and excel. The product includes a free version of ExplainIt, a tool that essentially writes text descriptions of charts.

Advice from Politico Europe for using audience data to build new products
A good deal of the “data journalism” world is still a bit obsessed with the whole Nate Silver/Trump thing (tall poppy syndrome is pretty much a given in the media). So it was nice to see this story on the way audience data is just as important a driver in a data driven newsroom.

Delivering Defra’s First Data Unconference: what happened, what we learned, and what we’re planning next
The subject matter may not float your boat but some interesting insights that may help inform a shift into a problem solving mindset within a government organisation.

Six teams in the running for Open Science Prize
Interesting to see real-time air quality platform OpenAQ in the running here.

Circular Plots for Directional Bilateral Migration Data

A nice piece by Guy Abel on the way he plotted migration data for a working paper on Migration flows. The data got quite a bit of interest from the media and although this post is a bit more ‘how to’ technical, one comment caught my eye. It basically said that it was great to see rigorous research and visualization being picked up by the media – hear hear.