Media Mill Gazette 26

Maltby moves to GDS data role, data coops, short films on open data and maps on tyres

** Paul Maltby to head up data at the GDS (

The Government data service has been having a bit of a restructure after some hight profile departures. Their focus is on a strategy that puts “digital, technology and data” on equal footings. So it’s positive news to hear that Paul Matlby, formally Director of Open Data and Government Innovation in the Cabinet Office, will be taking up the lead for data. There’s lots that the Cabinet office have done right in terms of supporting open data, especially at a local level, as Paul says; ( “I have seen first hand the way in which data is starting to transform our approach to public services, through work open data ( and data science ( .” But we need to start taking it more seriously.

It’ll be interesting to see what flavour of ‘open’ infuses the GDS strategy going forward.

** NHS-approved health apps leaking private data (

I noted in last weeks email that health data was an area that would be where we saw many of the issues of privacy played out and it turns out that none of the apps that the NHS lists encrypt private data!

** Can Open Data Drive Innovative Healthcare? (

Given the link above the answer to this headline might be ‘yes. but…’

** English Indices of Deprivation 2015 (

Not sure if the data itself is ‘good news’ but the release of the latest set of data is all grist to the mill

** Open Government Data Review of Poland (

This OECD review of Open Data in Poland makes for interesting reading, especially Chapter3 which looks at fostering a can-do attitude in making open data work

** Coops cooperate on data store (

A new initiative to build a data store from data shared by cooperative organisations around the UK has just launched. Called Principlesixdata ( ; named for the principle of “Co-operation among Co-operatives” in the cooperative movements seven guiding principles. Operating data stores on cooperative principles is an intriguing idea and one that many see as possible solution to the trust issues that plague the boundaries between public and private data. But this is also an other example of the way communities of interest are banding together to get more collective power from their data like Detail:data ( or even Open Data wines (

** The Open Data Platform rebrands as ODPi under the Linux Foundation (

It seems like open data and open methodologies are as disruptive to big data as they are an integral part. I’m still getting my head round exactly what the ‘beef’ is here but it’s an interesting squabble about infrastructure that highlights the challenges of ideology and market in working with data platforms

** The Smart Map Using Open Data to Prevent Fire Tragedies (

A nice example of the way open data and community engagement work as a service. This (US) map of smoke alarm ownership ( and the risk of fire is one that, on the surface, shows all that’s good about open data. There is also a good deal of nudge here. How, for example, do you stop insurers using this data to hike your premium? Well you upload your data.

** Codecademy teams with Periscope to create a course that’ll teach you SQL (

If you’ve been looking to finally knuckle down and get your head around querying your data then this course might be useful – you can’t avoid R for ever though 🙂 And no, it’s not THAT persicope so don’t expect SQL queries covered in hearts.

** Doors opening for open source data visualization tools (

“Commercial tools currently dominate the data visualization software market, but, as in other realms of data management and analytics, open source technologies are starting to catch on”

** The Unseen Network (

A nice visulsation (and piece of work) from Nesta showing the network of creative individuals who work in off-screen roles the BBC supports. Nesta say “It is a form of infrastructure that needs to be recognised when considering the role of the BBC within the creative sector”

** From Release to Infrastructure Enhancing the use of Data in the Public (

Giuseppe Sollazzo’s Special Keynote at the DataGovLeaders conference earlier this month is worth a look. There’s a slide deck as well ( ) . You might also want to check out

** New York Times editor: Data journalism starts with people (

“The challenge is to document what’s supposed to happen,” Cohen said. “Figuring out what’s supposed to happen really isn’t easy, and measuring what really does happen can be even harder.” An interview withSarah Cohen, editor of The New York Times’ computer-assisted reporting team, which is getting a lot of traction online (as the big ticket Data journalism players often do)


Demand-Driven Open Data (DDOD) guides Open Data initiatives by giving external users a way to ask for the data they need (

An interesting initiative from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which is developing a structured way to define and respond to the idea of ‘demand driven’ in open government data.

** When a country gets an API… (

Singapore’s open data portal is getting a lot of attention at the moment. It’s very swish

Because you were wondering when someone would make a short film about Open Government, Open Data, and Open Source! (

A lovely series of visualisation from geo-analytics company Emu Analytics who are tweeting a collection of ‘open data’ overlays. These include an umbrella with sea levels on it and a paddle with rivers mapped. Really nice. It’s also worth checking out their excellent map of level crossings around the uk. (