As you read this, Leeds Gov Jam (https://leedsgovjam.wordpress.com/) will be well into its second day. It’s part of the global GovJam event where people get together to hack public services. If you’e not there it’s worth keeping an eye on the #LeedsGovJam and #GGovJam hashtags.
** Open data on council spending is largely unread by voters (http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2015/jun/10/council-finance-open-data-unread-by-voters)
According to this mornings Guardian “Council finance data is viewed around 200 times each month”. Not the level of engagement that would fulfill the big claims made for transparency and accountability. On one level the arguments here are nothing new – we know there is a gap between the promise and reality of open government data (and the space in between can best be marked with ‘here be dragons’). But it’s nice to see that content and context are seen as the answer.”few people have the time and, most importantly, the motivation to scroll through complicated pdf documents of raw council spending data. Data needs a narrative, and pdf documents and spreadsheets don’t yet tell a good enough story.”
** OPEN DATA USER GROUP CLOSES (https://medium.com/@puntofisso/not-an-obituary-odug-three-years-at-the-heart-of-open-data-9ddc4ba23904)
The ODUG (http://odug.org.uk/) , the group advising government on open data has closed after three years. It’s aim was to to “help government understand the requirements of people who are using, or could use, the datasets it collects.” and a number of people, including members of the group, are wondering what comes next.
Giuseppe Sollazzo has two goes. before the election, he took to Data.gov.uk to outline four challenges for open data (http://data.gov.uk/blog/four-challenges-future-open-data) in the future. Now, with the ODUG mandate finished, his piece on Medium is more personal (https://medium.com/@puntofisso/not-an-obituary-odug-three-years-at-the-heart-of-open-data-9ddc4ba23904) and has a broader context. Noting that in terms of open data “we have gone from four to zero advisory panels in the space of two years”, he considers if, as he suspects, the ODI take on some of the advisory roles they might be fully representative of the Open Data community.
** OPEN DATA MAP (https://simonbriscoeblog.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/open-data-map-of-uk/)
Another of the ODUG members, Simon Briscoe,asks similar questions about open data and government (https://simonbriscoeblog.wordpress.com/2015/06/02/uk-statistics-will-it-be-an-open-data-failure/) , but he’s also been thinking about the wide range of stakeholders the Open Data Community represents and has tried his hand at mapping them. Safe to say, there are lots.
** THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OPEN, BIG AND GOVERNMENT DATA
It never gets easier to understand the differences between different types of data. It seems the rhetoric likes to mix them up – I’m guilty of that sometimes. So this diagram from Open Data expert Joel Gurin (http://www.opendatanow.com/)
** THE PROBLEM WITH OPEN DATA IS OPEN DATA PEOPLE (http://www.comms2point0.co.uk/comms2point0/2015/6/8/the-problem-with-open-data-is-open-data-people.html)
If,as the Guardian article suggests, the level of engagement with open data is low, Comms pro Dan Slee’s suggests that the problem may be with those fighting for the cause. It’s not as contentious as the headline would suggests (althoughit’s fair to say that Dan is, at best ,agnostic to the rhetoric (http://crookedtimber.org/2012/06/25/seeing-like-a-geek/) ). The idea that
open data should start with a problem to solve rather than being a solution to a problem yet to be found, isn’t new but it seems that many feel it’s a message that needs repeating.
** INCOME FROM LAND REGISTRY DATA (https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/revenue_and_usage_data_for_the_c)
In last weeks mail I mentioned Transport API “already turning over almost £500,000 a year”. So it was interesting to come across this FOI request about money raised from the sale of Commercial and corporate ownership data (https://www.gov.uk/commercial-and-corporate-ownership-data) packages. For 11 paying customers (across the three tiers of license) the Land Registry netted £96,500 (full year 2014-15)
** LOCAL GOVERNMENT TRANSPARECNY GUIDENCE (http://www.local.gov.uk/practitioners-guides-to-publishing-data)
The Local Government Association has updated its guidance on the data transparency requirements for local authorities – in other words, what you have to publish to meet the updated The Local Government Transparency Code 2015 (http://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-government-transparency-code-2015) which came into force on the 1st April this year. The biggest change is the requirement to publish social housing assets which, given the right-to-buy thing that the Conservative gov are pushing, is interesting. (although the changes were made during coalition)
** GARTNER’S TOP 10 GOVERNMENT TECH TRENDS (http://www.information-age.com/it-management/strategy-and-innovation/123459595/gartners-top-10-government-tech-trends-2015)
Analysts Gartner have identified 10 areas where tech and government intersect for better, well, government. Nothing too unexpected here. Usual suspects like IOT and Open data feature. The prediction that “by 2018, more than 30% of digital government projects will treat any data as open data” struck me as deeply unimpressive. The one that caught my eye though as Edge Analytics – in a very (very) broad sense that’s collecting and analysing data at source rather than centrally. More mobile and sensor based technology coupled with data collection means this is more a reality and the real time data (perhaps served to a dashboard!) make it a scalable (if a little jargon heavy) idea.
Joel Gurin is also President of the Centre for Open Data Enterprise (http://opendataenterprise.org/about.html) , who have come up with an open data impact map. It’s an example of an increasing number of attempts to ‘map’ or collect case studies around open data. It’s got a way to go but maybe worth getting Data Mill on the map (http://opendataenterprise.org/map/survey/0weHITNhyY/form) ….
New York Times senior graphics editor Hannah Fairfield gave a presentation entitled The Power of the Reveal at OpenVis Conference 2015. During her talk she discussed using data visualizations to tell stories.
** LOCAL HEALTH PROFILES RELEASED (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/2015-local-health-profiles)
Public health England released their local health profiles for local areas last week. Lot’s of interesting data but, as usual not that easy to get at in ‘data’ form – far too many PDF’s. Anyway,the website (http://www.apho.org.uk/default.aspx?RID=49802) gives you a few clicks to get you to their Fingertips interactive implementation of the data (http://fingertips.phe.org.uk/profile/health-profiles/data#gid/3007000/pat/6/ati/101/page/0/par/E12000003/are/E08000035) where you can download the data tables at regional level.
** TWEETING POTHOLES (http://www.cnet.com/news/frustrated-potholes-in-panama-tweet-complaints-straight-to-authorities/)
A really nice IOT idea. Panama City have planted devices in potholes that tweet the city to complain. A really nice idea.
** DATA IN A SMALL NEWSROOM (http://publicsource.org/from-the-source/working-with-data-small-newsroom?utm_content=buffer10ee5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#.VXao6lxVikp)
A nice look at how data journalism works in the small news team at Pennsylvania site NewsSource. The lines about never processing data you don’t understand and documenting to death are particually good.
** ICONS FOR OPEN DATA (http://blog.thenounproject.com/post/87006147042/iconlocal-paris-open-data)
Here’s an interesting project. Designing icons to describe different types of open data projects and people. The designs came from an Iconothon workshop. These are like icon hack events and the entire output of these events is available online (https://thenounproject.com/Iconathon1/uploads/) . I’m not sure about the underlying model but the icons are nice.
** Tangible Data Visualizations (http://cargocollective.com/Pulse)
** Visualisation and data driven….
Visualising open data in minecraft had to be done. Tree protection orders + Elevation + Open Street Map = pic.twitter.com/WvS5FtC9Ro
— Chriﬆopher Gu〹eridge (@cgutteridge) June 7, 2015