Using Public Data Feeds in Hacks


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Lightning Talk given to Science Hack day Dublin 2012 in Dublin City University on 3rd March, 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
  • 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. 80 of these datasets are spatial – either by nature or aggregated to a spatial area (electoral division)
  • 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
  • What about Ireland? Up to November 2010 there were no Open Data websites in this country.
  • 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 is a prize fund of €11,000 thanks to the generosity of our sponsors
  • 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 shortlisted Apps
  • In the Student Category, Castle Master is a mobile app game based on Heritage properties By moving the device you guide your spaceship to the venues, whilst avoiding aliens When you reach a venue you are asked a question about the venue
  • Fingal Day Tripper is a web App Family Day Out Planner Select your themes of interest, specify whether you have children or people with disabilities and whether you’d like to stop for tea The App will then suggest an itinerary for the day with route
  • Fingal GeoWand is a mobile app that lets you search for facilities nearby You find the nearest facility by pointing your device in front of you and moving aroudn until the device vibrates to indicate that there is a facility in that direction
  • In the Community category, Fingal Access Database is a mobile App that provides a facility to search for support services for people with disabilities
  • Fingal Traffic View is a mobile app that provides details of traffic cameras with images, parking, disabled parking and garda speedcheck areas
  • Walk on the Bright Side is a web App that lets you select a walking route and it will indicate how well lit the route is It also allows you to view all street light in an area and report any faults
  • There were 36 Ideas entries submitted which could be used as the basis for creating new Apps or Services
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Open Data plays an important role in Open Government
  • 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, 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.
  • Using Public Data Feeds in Hacks

    1. 1. Science Hack Day Dublin 2012 3 rd March, 2012 Open Data using Public Data feeds in Hacks @ fingalopendata
    2. 2. Open Data
    3. 3. Fingal Open Data -
    4. 4. Over 120 datasets in 12 categories
    5. 5. Dublinked –
    6. 6. Datastore
    7. 7.
    8. 8. Apps
    9. 9. U.S. Quality of Life Indicators
    10. 10. Dutch Elm Disease Monitoring
    11. 11.
    12. 12. San Francisco Apps
    13. 13. Apps4Ottawa
    14. 14. Apps4Fingal
    15. 15. apps 4 fingal C O M P E T I T I O N 9 th November, 2011 – 9 th January, 2012 @fingalopendata #Apps4Fingal
    16. 16. Apps4Fingal
    17. 17. Student Shortlist - Castle Master
    18. 18. Student Shortlist - Fingal Day Tripper
    19. 19. Student Shortlist - Fingal GeoWand
    20. 20. Community Shortlist – Fingal Access Database
    21. 21. Community Shortlist – Fingal Traffic View
    22. 22. Community Shortlist – Walk on the Bright Side
    23. 23. 36 Ideas
    24. 24. Visualisation
    25. 25. New York City ‘311’ Calls Visualisation
    26. 26. German Federal Budget
    27. 27. Europe’s Energy
    28. 28. Mercé Run
    29. 29. In The Air
    30. 30. Crowdsourcing
    31. 31. OpenStreetMap
    32. 32. Data Quality Improvement
    33. 33. Service Locations
    34. 34. Walkability Crowdsourced
    35. 35. Walkability Crowdsourced
    36. 36. Sensor Web
    37. 37. Copenhagen Wheel
    38. 38. Sensor Web
    39. 39. Urban Environment
    40. 40. Planning 2.0
    41. 41. Changing Citizen-City Interaction with Technology
    42. 42. Changing Behaviour through Fun
    43. 43. Open Data using Public Data feeds in Hacks
    44. 44. 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