Open Data in Design & Civic Governance 2012
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Open Data in Design & Civic Governance 2012



Lecture on Open Data and its relationship to Civic Governance and Sustainable Place-based Spatial Planning and Development given as part of Seminar on Design and Civic Governance in School of ...

Lecture on Open Data and its relationship to Civic Governance and Sustainable Place-based Spatial Planning and Development given as part of Seminar on Design and Civic Governance in School of Architecture, University of Limerick on 22nd October, 2012



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  • Today I am going to talk about Data & Visualisation and why it is important; give an overview of how Fingal has used data & visualisation; give an overview of Open Data; share our experience with Fingal Open Data; give an overview of eGovernment and its role in civic governance
  • Some background about Fingal
  • Fingal is located to the north of Dublin City Dublin Airport is located in Fingal Map illustrates population density in the County 273,051 citizens 3 rd largest Local Authority Fastest growing & Youngest county Population is concentrated in the South and East of the County 3 main population centres of Blanchardstown, Swords and Balbriggan North-West is rural farmland
  • To cope with our phenomenal growth we made extensive use of data & visualisation for service planning.
  • The Fingal Data Hub was created by the Fingal Development Board in 2009. It was a collaboration between 9 partner agencies. It was designed for sharing of anonymised data between partner agencies, to enable interagency cooperation and service planning.
  • Gives us the ability to profile a place Population, Age, Social Class, Deprivation, Unemployment, Social Housing, School goers To plan a place you must know a place
  • Last 3 Development Plans produced with GIS Started using in 1997 – 1999, 2006 & 2011 Plans 2006 Plan live in Council Chamber – interactive visualisation (inc. Aerial Photography) eliminated interpretation of data – concentrate on decision-making 2011 Plan – Online Submissions; mapping of submissions & motions A large quantity of spatial data to make up the Development Plan
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative – a bottom-up approach to Urban Planning. What is the lived experience for citizens? How readily can citizens access local services? What is the walkability or permeability of an area? When making decisions to locate services and facilities how can we select the optimum location?
  • We created a digital mobility network. First the road and footpath network from Ordnance Survey maps
  • Then we went out and captured the low difficulty desire lines – The improvised routes that people take The routes through semi-enclosed areas
  • You can see the tracks across this open space that indicate informal routes taken by people
  • We captured them like this
  • We also captured high-difficulty desire lines Improvised routes with a level of difficulty Climbing walls/fences Fitting through railings Crossing ditches/streams
  • Here are examples of what we mapped
  • And this is a photo of one of these high-difficulty desire lines People climb this wall, using a shopping trolley as a form of improvised stile Another indicator is capping missing from the top of walls – dislodged by repeated climbing of the wall
  • These are the combined low and high difficulty desire lines
  • We then added lanes and alleys
  • And finally, sealed Public Right of Way. This gave us a complete route network for the area giving all the possible means by which the public move
  • With our network in place we can now carry out walkability or permeability analysis This map indicates the local and regional services areas in Blanchardstown (locations of shops, doctors, etc.)
  • We use a walkability measure of 700m. When calculated by a straight line method (as the crow flies) this indicated that the majority of the households were within a 700m catchment of services
  • However, people don’t walk as the crow flies – they need to use roads and paths When the calculation is run across the route network, the catchment area shrinks dramatically
  • When we run an analysis of households against the newly calculated catchment area, we find that 52% of households fall outside a 700m permeability catchment – meaning that they are more likely to use a car rather than walk to their service centres
  • This is an example of the kind of interventions that people make to overcome problems they encounter with permeability In this case signs used to advertise housing are put to use to cross a ditch This would have started out as a small gap in the hedgerow which grew larger as more people used this shortcut
  • This is a map indicating an informal route that people were taking (the long straight yellow line) Beside it is a proposed solution to provide a formal alternative
  • This photo shows the desire line The vegetation has been worn away by people walking to this wall and fence which they then climb over Unfortunately, it was not possible to implement the formal alternative
  • When we revisited the area, we discovered that someone had actually cut away the bars in the fence to make it easier to take this shortcut
  • The data collected and the analysis we are now able to carry out, was used in the formulation of proposals for a Cycle Network in the Ongar-Castaheany area of Blanchardstown. The tools were used to design routes with the highest population catchment.
  • So, we have seen the importance of demographic and administrative data in the Fingal Data Hub; spatial data in the Development Plan; physical infrastructure and services data in the Greater Blanchardstown Initiative In the summer of 2010, Fingal County Council became aware of the Open Data movement Open Data is …
  • Public data Which is not subject to data protection or other limitations Open Formats Available in non-proprietary formats e.g. CSV, XML, KML, RDF, open APIs Machine Readable In a format that computers can process Accessible Available to the widest range of people for the widest range of uses
  • Why would we publish Open Data? Transparency To Open up Government and enable the Public to see the underlying information. What is the actual evidence-based reality as opposed to the perceived reality Participation To increase citizen engagement with Government. If Government and Citizens are to cooperate, then Government can’t be the only ones with the information Collaboration In addition to Citizen-Government collaboration outlined earlier, also - To enable the combination of data from different public sector agencies To enable other sectors to collaborate with Government. Economic Opportunities Public sector data can be used as the basis for online services, mobile applications, analytics, etc.
  • Where did Open Data originate?
  • In the United States, Barak Obama promised Open Government during his election campaign. This website, was created in 2009 to share US Government data. This is the seen as the main catalyst that has driven the Open Data movement
  • In fact, the EU were ahead of the game The 2003 EU Reuse of Public Sector Information Directive was designed to allow European companies to exploit the potential of Public Sector Data and to contribute to economic growth and job creation. In a 2009 report, the EU cited the value of EU Public sector data at an estimated €27B. However, the PSI directive was primarily about requesting or ‘pulling’ data from Government rather than the publishing or ‘push’ model of Open Data
  • In the three and a half years since the launch of, Open Data sites have sprung up around the world, mainly in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand 2010 – UK Government, London, United Nations, World Bank
  • This video is available on
  • What about Ireland? Up to November 2010 there were no Open Data websites in this country.
  • Fingal County Council launched the first Open Data website in the country in November 2010 Fingal Open Data evolved from the principles of the Fingal Data Hub and the Open Data movement. In Summer 2010 we were preparing a report with data about all Local Authorities which was difficult to find and only available in PDF We discovered the Open Data movement and felt that this was a better way We decided to take the initiative with the backing of the County Manager and Fingal Open Data was born It is available at The website, which you can see on screen, provides public access to source data from Council systems.
  • There are currently 170 datasets organised into 12 categories Detailed information is provided about each dataset, including description, date published and available formats.
  • We have added a new facility to request data We will check if we have the data and whether it can be released If we can, we will publish it to the site
  • The site has a Featured Apps section to showcase uses that Fingal Open Data has been put to
  • There is a blog where we post updates on Fingal Open Data and Open Data in Ireland
  • The About section gives general information about Fingal Open Data and a link to the licence governing the use of the data
  • The data is subject to the Irish PSI Licence, drawn up by the Department of Finance, which allows for fair use of the data.
  • The Dublinked initiative was announced on 27 th June 2011 and launched on 18 th October 2011 A collaboration between Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, Fingal & South Dublin County Councils and NUI Maynooth Platform provided by IBM A Network for Sharing Data to facilitate innovation in the urban environment through collaboration between private, public and research partners with the Dublin city region as a proving ground The aim is to enable innovators to collaborate on tackling challenges facing the Dublin city region using public sector data as the basis.
  • Datastore 256 datasets Data from 4 Dublin Councils and OSI data in research zone (thanks to OSI for being the first) National datasets (Hazardous & Transfrontier Waste Shipments; National Public Transport Nodes; NIAH) Regional Datasets Themes focussed for first release of data were Land Use, Transport & Environmental Zones – Open and Research (Members) – O & M Data criteria for Members zone – Legal issues, Technical (e.g. streaming/live data (samples); binary (Traffic)), Commercial (high-value) Formats – open & non-proprietary where possible; can be onerous to convert – working towards this goal; go ugly early; respond to feedback Metadata for each dataset – Dublinked ‘lite’ standard developed in partnership with Dept. Environment, NUI Galway, Dept. Marine & Natural Resources; compliant with international standards
  • Apps Showcase
  • Past Events Planning Technology Spatial Data Visualisation Open Innovation Future Events Public Sector Transport
  • There have been a number of recent developments in Open Data in Ireland
  • The eGovernment Plan was published in April 2012 The Plan includes Requirement for Public Sector agencies to publish Open Data Data contained in Published Reports must also be published in Open data formats Agencies must carry out audits of data holdings Inter-Agency Data Sharing Integration of Administrative Data Data Sharing Clearing House Review of Data Sharing Legislation The Public Service Reform Plan also includes Centralised Open Data Portal
  • In December 2011, EC Vice-President Neelie Kroes launched an Open Data Strategy for Europe The Strategy includes communication on Open Data outlining a vision and policy proposal to revise the 2003 Directive on Re-use of Public Sector Information creation of a portal for the publishing of European Commission data creation of a pan-European data portal for data from member states provision of €100 million in research funding in respect of data-handling technologies In conjunction with the launch the EC published 5 studies relating to Open Data
  • For Open Data to be of value, it must be put to some use The most common use is through web or mobile Apps To encourage the creation of Apps we organised a competition
  • In order to encourage the reuse of data published on Fingal Open Data and Dublinked, Fingal County Council organised the Apps4Fingal competition The competition ran from 9 th November 2011 to 9 th January 2012 There was a prize fund of €11,500 thanks to the generosity of our sponsors
  • 23 Apps were submitted 36 Ideas were entered
  • The Apps4Fingal section of Fingal Open Data contains all the information about the competition including details of and links to the competition entries, rules, judging criteria and the shortlisted entries The following are the winners of each Category -
  • Winner of the Ideas Category was Fingal Deals The Fingal Deals App idea is intended to encourage people to shop locally in Fingal and give local businesses a boost. The app would showcase current special offers and discounts offered by a wide variety of businesses, and could be refined into business type categories to facilitate searches.
  • Winner of the Student Apps Category was Fingal Day Tripper Fingal Day Tripper is a Web App that allows day trippers to select the type of activities they prefer, as well as if they would like to stop for a coffee. They can also specify whether they are travelling with children or disabled passengers. The app will then suggest a day trip in the local area, showing locations of interest on the map. It also provides the option of getting the route and driving directions for the trip and details of each attraction.
  • Winner of the Community Apps Category was Fingal Traffic View Fingal Traffic View is an Android Mobile App which provides information about traffic cameras, parking zones, disabled parking, train stations and Garda safety zones. These are displayed on a map and users can also view images from the traffic cameras. The App also incorporates a live feed of twitter accounts related to Dublin Traffic.
  • Winner of the Enterprise Apps Category was is a Web App which uses Planning Application data from all 4 Dublin local authorities. These are displayed on a map allowing users to easily check planning applications in an area. Features include a notification service, a 3D interactive house showing what works need planning permission, a professional directory and planning-related news feed. Planning applications are colour coded by status and more info can be displayed. now caters for 12 out of the 34 Local Authority areas
  • Winner of the Overall & Tourism Apps Categories was Discover Fingal Discover Fingal is a Mobile Web App in which users are encouraged to discover historical and cultural sites in Fingal through a Find and Reward Facebook App and Mobile Website. Detailed information is provided about each site. If a user checks into three cultural sites they are rewarded with a voucher for a free cup of tea or coffee which can be redeemed at Skerries Mills.
  • All winners and runners up of the Apps4Fingal competition
  • A number of other notable Apps have been created with data from Fingal Open Data, Dublinked & other sources
  • One App that has been developed since the competition and which makes use of Open Data is KidsMaps. This takes the playground data from the Fingal Open Data site, but also includes playground data sourced from most of the Local Authorities in Ireland. This is a great example of how Apps based on Open Data can be scalable.
  • The National Transport Authority released a dataset of all Public Transport nodes in the country These were then mapped by a member of the public
  • The Property Services Regulatory Authority has started publishing the Address, Price and date of Sale of all residential properties sold in Ireland since 1 st January 2010
  • A member of the public downloaded this data and used Google Fusion Tables to map the properties
  • has taken the data and incorporated it into a prototype system which shows mapped properties for sale alongside sold properties
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • Social Media is not a passing trend It’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate
  • In the past we communicated using a broadcast model We will tell you what we want you to know
  • Social Media is a dialogue Everyone is equal – you and your audience They can make their voice heard in an equal manner
  • Whether we like it or not, people are talking about our organisations using Social Media. We should be part of that conversation.
  • Young people growing up today don’t know any other way – Social Media is part and parcel of how they communicate.
  • The full movie is 1 hour long and free to view online.
  • Government 2.0 or Open Government is the use of Social Media by Government to enable innovation in the way Government engages with citizens and delivers services
  • Communicate Government can use Social Media as another broadcast communication channel Here Fingal County Council’s is using Twitter to inform citizens of events and service outages
  • Share We can share information such as images, data and video Fingal Libraries Local Studies share video via YouTube
  • Dialogue Government can engage in two-way conversations with citizens This is Fingal County Council’s Facebook page
  • Participate Social Media can be used to facilitate participation Kilkenny County Council use Blogs to enable citizens to provide feedback on proposed Plans for their area
  • Collaborate Ultimately, Government 2.0 is about enabling a new approach to citizens and Government working together in a collaborative manner on matters of mutual concern Ideally, collaboration should be capable of being initiated by either Government or Citizen This is an example from North Sydney Council, Australia in which citizens can participate in determining budget priorities The citizen can choose to increase, decrease or not alter spending under the budget headings Their selections are totalled interactively so that they can see whether they are over or under budget and if over budget what the implications are for rates Citizens inputs are compiled into a report which feeds into the Councils decision-making process
  • Collaborate This example is from Melbourne, Australia Here the draft City Development Plan is published as a Wiki and the public can directly edit the Plan There is also a discussion page relating to each section of the plan where suggestions can be outlined or changes justified All versions are retained to enable comparison between versions of the Plan Once the public consultation phase is complete, the Council deliberates on the contributions to organise, refine and incorporate ideas in the most practical way
  • Fingal County Council provided an online submissions facility as part of the consultation process for our last Development Plan
  • The Parterre Project which includes participants from Northern Ireland, is working on a similar tool for participatory spatial planning It has also developed a toolset for Electronic Town Meetings
  • The SOWIT project involving researchers from UCC, TCD, Kilkenny County Council in partnership with Fingal County Council will provide an online environment for citizen discussions and citizen participation in consultations
  • How does Open Data play a role in Design and Civic Governance?
  • FixYourStreet is an open transparent tool for reporting problems to Local Government It also has an Open Data dimension, as the data is exposed for developers to write programs that consume the data behind the site – location, details and resolution of Reported issues
  • FixMyArea is a commercial website which utilises the FixYourStreet interface to submit reports to those Local Authorities using the system
  • FixMyStreet is a voluntary website which utilises the FixYourStreet interface to submit reports to those Local Authorities using the system
  • Other ways of reusing the data are also possible including Apps, Visualisations, etc HeyGov! is an example of the type of development that could be done with FixYourStreet data
  • The FixYourStreet approach has been taken a step further As well as allowing people to let ue know where there are problems, why not let them suggest where services should be located Bike Racks website evolved from New York City looking at how it could maximise the value of its CRM investment The website enables citizens to identify a location where they believe bike racks should be provided, to include a photo of the location and to outline their reasons for the suggested location Other citizens can vote on the suggestions Citizens can also check whether their suggested location meets Bike Rack Location Guidelines to see racks provided sooner
  • Open Data is nothing new in the G.I.S. world One of the best examples of Open Data is OpenStreetMap This is collaborative spatial data made openly available
  • U.K. Department of Transport made NAPTAN bus stop dataset available to OpenStreetMap OpenStreetMap volunteers check, edit and verify the data via the NOVAM viewer Improved data quality of public dataset Potential for the same approach to be used here with Government datasets
  • Walkonomics website Rates the walkability of streets based on data for each street relating to street width, crime, gradients and traffic levels
  • In addition, members of the public can rate the streets to improve the accuracy of the rating
  • Copenhagen Wheel Rear bicycle wheel which attaches to normal bikes Captures energy when cycling and provides power when needed Includes environmental sensors Use smartphone to lock and unlock bike and change gears
  • Map of pollution levels captured from Copenhagen Wheel bikes
  • Engaging Cities tracks how Social Media technologies (Web 2.0) will impact our cities, especially the urban planning process What will “Planning 2.0” look like, and how will it be used to create more livable places?
  • Using technology to change the way that cities and citizens interact 19 projects showcased
  • Change people’s behaviour through fun Environment, Driving, etc.
  • To conclude Data is a fundamental requirement for evidence-based decision making - in this case in the planning and design processes Visualisation and mapping allows us and the public to engage with and understand complex data; and to understand places Open Data is a platform for opening up the decision-making processes It enables Open Government which allows for increased citizen participation Open Data and technology developments including Social Media and the proliferation of location aware mobile devices enable new approaches to design and civic governance – in particular co-design In particular, I would strongly urge that any design mapping produced is captured digitally in a manner that facilitates reuse by others – in GIS systems, Google Maps, Bing Maps, Apps, etc. – and published as Open Data where possible As I mentioned earlier, Fingal Open Data is available at And you can also follow us on Twitter at fingalopendata
  • In line with the theme, this presentation is licenced for sharing under a Creative Commons licence It is available for viewing and downloading on slideshare Thank you.

Open Data in Design & Civic Governance 2012 Open Data in Design & Civic Governance 2012 Presentation Transcript

  • Open Data in Design and Civic Governance School of Architecture, University of Limerick 22nd October, 2012 @fingalopendata
  • Fingal
  • 3 largest rd Youngest Fast GrowingFingal
  • Rapid Population Growth
  • Shared Anonymised Data
  • Profile of a Place
  • Development Plan GIS
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Walkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Walkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Blanchardstown Urban Structure PermeabilityWalkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Blanchardstown Urban Structure Permeability Housecount Within Permeability: 17,051 (48%) Housecount Outside Permeability: 18,220 (52%)Walkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
  • Urban Hacking
  • Desire Line & Proposed Solution
  • Desire Line
  • Urban Hacking!
  • Cycle Network Proposal
  • Open Data
  • What is Open Data? • Public Data • Open Formats • Machine Readable • Accessible
  • Why Open Data? • Transparency • Participation • Collaboration • Economic Opportunities
  • Open Data to date
  • U.S. :
  • E.U. : Reuse of Public Sector Information
  • Open Data Initiatives Worlwide
  • Raw Data Now A year of open data
  • Ireland
  • Fingal Open Data website
  • 170 datasets in 12 categories
  • Request Data
  • Apps
  • Blog
  • About
  • Irish PSI Licence
  • Dublin Region Innovation Network
  • 256 datasets in Datastore
  • Apps
  • Events
  • Policy
  • eGovernment Plan • Public Sector to publish Open Data • Inter Agency Data Sharing • Integration of Administrative Data • Data Sharing Clearing House • Review Data Sharing Legislation • Implementation Plans • Centralised Portal (Public Service Reform Plan)
  • EC Open Data Strategy• Open Data vision and policy• Revise PSI Directive• Portal for EC data• Portal for member states’ data• €100 million research funding• 5 studies relating to Open Data
  • Apps4Fingal
  • apps4fingal COMPETITION 9th November, 2011 – 9th January, 2012 €11,500 in prizesCommunity, Enterprise, Tourism, Student & Ideas Categories
  • apps4fingal 23 Apps created 36 Ideas entered
  • Apps4Fingal
  • Ideas - Fingal Deals
  • Student - Fingal Day Tripper
  • Community - Fingal Traffic View
  • Enterprise -
  • Overall & Tourism - Discover Fingal
  • Apps4Fingal Awards
  • Other Apps
  • KidsMaps
  • National Public Transport Nodes©
  • National Property Price Register
  • Map of Property Price Register
  • Properties For Sale & Sold
  • Open Government
  • Broadcast
  • Dialogue
  • Social Media is where people talk … … are we part of the conversation?
  • Generation Z … … are ‘digital natives’
  • Government 2.0
  • Communicate
  • Share
  • Dialogue
  • Participate
  • Collaborate
  • Collaborate
  • Development Plan Submissions
  • Electronic Town Meeting http://www.parterre-
  • eParticipation
  • Design & Civic Governance
  • FixYourStreet
  • FixMyArea
  • FixMyStreet
  • Miami 311
  • OpenStreetMap
  • Data Quality Improvement
  • Walkability Crowdsourced
  • Walkability Crowdsourced
  • Copenhagen Wheel
  • Copenhagen Wheel
  • Planning 2.0
  • Changing Behaviour with Technology
  • Changing Behaviour through Fun
  • Open Data in Design and Civic Governance http://data.fingal.ie
  • ReadingLathrop, Daniel and Ruma, Laurel. 2010. Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency andParticipation in Practice. Sebastopol: O’Reilly.Noveck, Beth Simone. 2009. Wiki Government: How Technology can make Government better,Democracy stronger, and Citizens more powerful. Washington, D.C.: Brookings.Thomas, Christopher and Humenick-Sappington, Nancy. 2009. GIS for Decision Support andPublic Policy Making. Redlands: ESRI Press.Tufte, Edward. 2001. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Connecticut: GraphicsPress LLC.Yau, Nathan. 2011. Visualise This: The FlowingData Guide to Design, Visualization andStatistics. Indiananpolis: Wiley.McCandless, David. 2009. Information is Beautiful. London: Collins.Poikola, Antti, Kola, Petri and Hintikka, Kari A. 2010. Public Data: an introduction to openinginformation resources. Helsinki: Ministry of Transport and Communications. Data Handbook http://www.opendatahandbook.orgOpen Data Cookbook http://www.opendatacookbook.netOpen Data Impacts: Exploring the impact of opening up Government Data American, September 2011. Vol. 305. No. 3. A Brighter Future with Cities.
  • Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License Use of any Fingal County Council or Fingal Development Board logos and brands are not covered by this license. Pictures as marked used under Creative Commons license.If you believe any content is infringing copyright, please contact us via