MediaMill Gazette 6

[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”transparent” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”center” floaterdirection=”up”] The post election edition: Open data, homogeneous maps and pondering on how big the market for open data could be.


** Open data and the conservatives (

After last weeks election (commiserations to Matt btw.), I thought it was worth taking a proper look at the Conservative manifesto to see what they thought about open data. I’ve rounded it up in a blog post. Realistically, we have some time to wait before the real impact kicks in – small business, culture, the BBC charter renewal – all the legislation that’s going to pinch at some point.

** Election coverage round-up

Three posts on the election worth taking a look at.A post from looks at the ‘mainstream’ coverage ( . Paul Bradshaw looks at the rise of what he sees as more civic engagement in the process ( . Finally the institute for Community Media (over in Cardiff) takes a slightly broader view of process ( .

In general I think you need to take innovative as meaning ‘different from how we used to do it’ rather than anything new per se. The mainstream coverage was distinctly homogeneous – I suspect in some part because of the reporting restrictions placed on them in an election. I think there’s a real danger of flooding the market with the same thing badged differently. How many postcode driven maps of the constituencies did we really need.

** ODI get new funding (

The Open Data Institute have been awarded a grant of $4.1m from Omidyar Network ( . It certainly seems to be cementing the focus as an open data services organisation with a mission to engage. All good but some of the US nodes seem to be struggling with the ‘unfranchise’ model ( they have set up.
“Some nodes felt that the ODI was competing with their own nodes in regards to opportunities for working on open data tenders.”

For me that seems to be a misreading of what the nodes are about. But it did give me pause to think again about that idea of saturating the market with limited products.

** Open data on supermarkets. (

Speaking of the ODI, my conservative open data post got the interest of the ODI members group on Linked in. I’d not come across it before but it’s worth a look. This post (from earlier this year) about an update of supermarket locations popped up and looked worth a share.

** Why some local authorities are missing the point of open data – and what to do about it (

Dan Hubert started AppyParking ( to help people navigate the myriad of rules and regs to find a parking space in London. His view on open government data is an interesting perspective on why it might not be the success story we want it to be.

** OFCOM release their Adults media use and attitudes report for 2015. (

In my view, this is one of the best reports around if you want rich, deep information on how the UK uses and views media (even if the infographics won’t win any design awards). You could spend a week going through this stuff but one section that stood out for me was Section 5.9 Accessing public or civic services ( .

Out of the thirty two individual online activities that internet users were asked about six activities that can be grouped under the heading of public or civic services.
Three of the six public or civic activities have ever been undertaken by a majority of internet users: finding information about public services provided by local or national government (78%), looking at websites/ apps for news about or events in the local area/ the local community (69%) and completing government processes online (69%).

But there is loads to go at in here. Well worth a look

** What Killed The Infographic and what would happen if we verbified data? (

This article on a perceived dearth in creative infographics has rustled a few feather online – mainly from those who believe their infographics to be innovative. See what you think.

Unless you’re one of those people that really values grammar, you also may like this piece that encourages us to think about data as a verb ( :

“If we verbified data, rather than having to say that the NSA is collecting data on our every interaction, movement and metabolic function, we could simply say: They data us.”

** Creative agency map ambulance response times (

An interesting exercise by London Creative agency Totally Communications ( . My question is what is the point? Calling card, civic responsibility or something else. If the election highlighted anything, it’s that anyone can pitch in – which, as the examples above show doesn’t always make for a huge variety of resources. The market place is many things but, above all else its increasingly crowded

** The best and worst of election maps (

I was really taken with the election map from ESRI for no other reason than the way they handled the text. Something simple but it felt very fresh. The rest of the blog post is a good round up.

** Local media’s programmatic growing pains, in 5 charts (

It’s the dirty secret of many media sites. Look ‘after the scroll’ and you’ll see the ad inventory they couldn’t sell filled with remaindered space filled with programatic ads. But the principle is more detailed and less bargin basement and, according to this article, more of a reality at local level. There are very few players in this field at hyperlocal level, Rick Waghorn’s Addiply ( is kind of in this space, and it feels like part of the market that could end up being gatekeepered by some big agencies.

** Ride the Nasdaq

One visualization this week as this is so much fun and it works (kind of) with Google Cardboard (as John in the office discovered.