Open Data in Participatory Design & Governance


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Lecture on Open Data and its potential for Participatory Design & Governance given as part of Seminar on Adaptive Governance in School of Architecture, University of Limerick on 25th February, 2013

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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
  • Map illustrates population density in the County 239,813 citizens 4 th largest Local Authority 22.2% population growth 2002-2006 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
  • 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 …
  • Open Formats Available in non-proprietary formats e.g. CSV, XML, KML, RDF, open APIs
  • 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
  • This video is available on
  • 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 The site now contains 4,717 datasets
  • In the United Kingdom, Tim Berners-Lee persuaded Prime Minister Gordon Brown that the UK should pursue an Open Data policy. This website, was created in 2010 to share UK Government data. David Cameron’s Government has continued this policy The site now contains 8,751 datasets
  • 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 two 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
  • 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 over 120 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.
  • Datastore 200 datasets (557 files) 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
  • Membership Section
  • Past Events Planning Technology Future Events Spatial Water Visualisation Transport Innovation & Commercialisation
  • Dublinked is first and foremost an Innovation Network Dublinked organises regular themed events to facilitate networking and re-use of data
  • The Public Service Reform Plan was published in November 2011
  • The eGovernment Action plan contains 3 specific actions relating to Open Data All public bodies will publish Open Data Data published in reports should also be published in parallel in open formats Public bodies will identify data holdings and release by default
  • In the 2012 Budget the Irish Government announced it’s intention to apply to join the Open Government Partnership
  • 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
  • This video is available on
  • 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
  • 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 I am going to give a quick run-through of the winning Apps
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Hit The Road is a startup using Public Transport data as the basis for its journey planner app
  • Parkya is a startup which has created an app to help people with parking
  • While the apps4fingal concentrated on Fingal services, many of the Apps incorporate data from other services and across the whole of the Dublin region. In addition, most could scale up to National or International services. 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.
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • 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 Dublin City Libraries share video via YouTube
  • Dialogue Government can engage in two-way conversations with citizens Here is an example of South Dublin County Council responding to a citizen’s enquiry on Facebook about their water supply
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • 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
  • 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.
  • CSO collect large volumes of Census data Previously difficult to access Small Area Population website makes it easier to access Demographics for each of 3,409 Electoral Divisions
  • Census 2011 data is also available at the new Small Area level of geoography 18,488 Small Areas Hugely valuable and mineable dataset if released en bloc Usage restrictions at present (non-commercial)
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • 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 comsume the data behind the site – location, details and resolution of Reported issues
  • These programs could be Apps, Visualisations, alternative interfaces, 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 servcies 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
  • 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 captured them like this
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • The Irish Open Data Community has existed online since October 2010 In October 2012 it organised its first real-world meetup 3 meetups to date Hackathon planned for International Open Data Day
  • This is the Google Group for the Irish Open Data community – sign up to keep up to date
  • Contact details for Fingal Open Data and Dublinked
  • 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, 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 Participatory Design & Governance

    1. 1. Open Data in Participatory Design and Governance School of Architecture, University of Limerick 25th February, 2013 @fingalopendata
    2. 2. Fingal
    3. 3. 3 largest rd Youngest Fast GrowingFingal
    4. 4. Rapid Population Growth
    5. 5. Shared Anonymised Data
    6. 6. Profile of a Place
    7. 7. Open Data
    8. 8. What is Open Data? • Public Data • Open Formats • Machine Readable • Accessible
    9. 9. Why Open Data? • Transparency • Participation • Collaboration • Economic Opportunities
    10. 10. Raw Data Now A year of open data
    11. 11. US Government - 4,717 datasets
    12. 12. UK Government - 8,751 datasets
    13. 13. Reuse of Public Sector Information
    14. 14. Open Data Initiatives Worlwide
    15. 15. Ireland
    16. 16. Fingal Open Data website
    17. 17. 170 datasets in 12 categories
    18. 18. Request Data
    19. 19. Apps
    20. 20. Blog
    21. 21. About
    22. 22. Irish PSI Licence
    23. 23. Dublin Region Innovation Network
    24. 24. Over 250 datasets in Datastore
    25. 25. Apps
    26. 26. Events
    27. 27. Innovation NetworkEvents Planned… • Planning • Tourism • Technical Workshop • Health • Spatial Data • Community • Visualisation • … & more • Open Innovation • Public Data • Public Transport 60-120 attending – high % entrepreneurs
    28. 28. 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)
    29. 29. eGovernment 2012-2015
    30. 30. Expression of Intent
    31. 31. Apps4Fingal
    32. 32. Fingal Open Data
    33. 33. apps4fingalCOMPETITION 9th November, 2011 – 9th January, 2012 €11,500 in prizesCommunity, Enterprise, Tourism, Student & Ideas Categories
    34. 34. apps4fingal 22 Apps created 36 Ideas entered
    35. 35. Apps4Fingal
    36. 36. Ideas - Fingal Deals
    37. 37. Student - Fingal Day Tripper
    38. 38. Community - Fingal Traffic View
    39. 39. Enterprise -
    40. 40. Overall & Tourism - Discover Fingal
    41. 41. Apps4Fingal Awards
    42. 42. More Apps
    43. 43. Hit The Road
    44. 44. ParkYa
    45. 45. KidsMaps
    46. 46. National Public Transport Nodes©
    47. 47. Map of Property Price Register
    48. 48. Properties For Sale & Sold
    49. 49. Who is my TD?
    50. 50. Open Government
    51. 51. Government 2.0
    52. 52. Communicate
    53. 53. Share
    54. 54. Dialogue
    55. 55. Participate
    56. 56. Collaborate
    57. 57. Collaborate
    58. 58. Fingal Development Plan GIS
    59. 59. Development Plan Submissions
    60. 60. Electronic Town Meeting http://www.parterre-
    61. 61. eParticipation
    62. 62. Digital Cities
    63. 63.
    64. 64.
    65. 65.
    66. 66. HyperLocal
    67. 67.
    68. 68. CityCamp
    69. 69. Local Data
    70. 70. Fingal Open Data
    71. 71. Dublinked
    72. 72. Census Demographics (3,409 EDs)
    73. 73. Census Demographics (18,488 SAs)
    74. 74. Participatory Design
    75. 75. FixYourStreet
    76. 76. Miami 311
    77. 77.
    78. 78. OpenStreetMap
    79. 79. Data Quality Improvement
    80. 80. Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    81. 81. Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    82. 82. Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    83. 83. Greater Blanchardstown Initiative© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    84. 84. Walkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    85. 85. Walkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    86. 86. Blanchardstown Urban Structure PermeabilityWalkability Analysis© OSI – Licence 2009/24/CCMA Fingal County Council
    87. 87. 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
    88. 88. Urban Hacking
    89. 89. Desire Line & Proposed Solution
    90. 90. Desire Line
    91. 91. Urban Hacking!
    92. 92. Cycle Network Proposal
    93. 93. Walkability Crowdsourced
    94. 94. Walkability Crowdsourced
    95. 95. Copenhagen Wheel
    96. 96. Copenhagen Wheel
    97. 97. Planning 2.0
    98. 98. Changing Behaviour with Technology
    99. 99. Changing Behaviour through Fun
    100. 100. Open Data & Social Challenges
    101. 101. Get Involved
    102. 102. Irish Open Data Community#OpenDataIRL
    103. 103. Open Data Ireland Online!forum/open-data-ireland
    104. 104. Open Data Day 2013 HackathonProjects• Visualise university performance • How thick are your kids?• Do I need this health insurance? • Open Data Finder• Pedestrianise this street? • Hospital Dashboard• Where should business locate? • Crystal (Swing States)• Crowdsourcing local history • Distance from open space
    105. 105. Fingal Open Data @fingalopendata Dublinked @dublinked dublinked@nuim.ie
    106. 106. Open Datain Participatory Design and Governance @fingalopendata
    107. 107. ReadingDavies, Tim. Open Data Cookbook http://www.opendatacookbook.netDavies, Tim. Open Data Impacts: Exploring the impact of opening up Government Data, 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.Open Knowledge Foundation, 2010-2012. Open Data Handbookhttp://www.opendatahandbook.orgPoikola, Antti, Kola, Petri and Hintikka, Kari A. 2010. Public Data: an introduction to openinginformation resources. Helsinki: Ministry of Transport and Communications. Danish Government / Local Government Denmark, October, 2012. Good Basic Data forEveryone American, September 2011. Vol. 305. No. 3. A Brighter Future with Cities. Open Data Field Guide
    108. 108. 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