DIY data store for your town


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Overview of opendata politics in the UK and how to build your own data store for no money with no coding in no time. final slide details steps to DIY data store

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  • Drug dealer living in caravan. Police would occasionally raid it but he kept drugs up tree in the park. Led to interesting behaviour by tree squirrels. Incident ended after many months when local criminals nearly killed him with baseball bat and left him for dead in the street. I faces a choice – move to the suburbs or get stuck in to solving local problems.
  • Scenes from in front of my flat 2002 , 400 metres from kings cross station – taken by my upstairs neighbour
  • DIY data store for your town

    1. 1. DIY Data Store<br />WMRO #wmod10 event<br />15July 2010<br />William Perrin -<br />Talk About Local (West Midlands) Ltd<br /><br />William Perrin TAL<br />
    2. 2. 1984 - Freedom of Information Campaign starts up<br />
    3. 3. Gordon Brown<br />Tim Berners-Lee<br />2009<br />
    4. 4. Maintain momentum<br />
    5. 5.
    6. 6. "Getting council business out in the open will revolutionise local government. Local people should be able to hold politicians and public bodies to account over how their hard earned cash is being spent and decisions made on their behalf. They can only do that effectively if they have the information they need at their fingertips. <br />Organisations that might have been effectively locked out before, including voluntary sector and small business, will be in a much stronger position to pitch for contracts and bring new ideas and solutions to the table."<br />@dominiccampbell "there are no rules, we want to see what you can do, your innovation" - @ericpickles #localgov<br />
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    8. 8.
    9. 9.
    10. 10. The ‘Crackavan’<br />Rufford Street c2002<br />In front of my house<br />Pics – Mark Bailey<br />
    11. 11. Public Sector Information in action<br />Brand new street light broken for 163 days<br />Someone isn’t living up to contract<br />From snagging to failure<br />Can performance data help hold to account?<br />
    12. 12. 2007-2008 Took a lifetime to find basic relevant information on web<br />Street light repair – Islington average 26.5 days v 163 here<br />Lever for getting things done<br />Light gets fixed due to this and other factors<br />
    13. 13. Abandoned cars and weekly arson<br />Bingfield Park, Rufford Street 2002<br />In front of my house<br />Pics – Mark Bailey<br />
    14. 14. This 2010 open data would have been priceless in 2002 when fighting acute arson problem in Caledonian Ward<br />
    15. 15. Towards a DIY datastore – first catch your data<br />
    16. 16. Towards a DIY datastore – store your data<br />
    17. 17. Towards a DIY datastore – publish links to your data<br />
    18. 18. DIY data store: no cash, no programming , no brainer<br />First catch your data –<br />For tips on what data to ask for go to London Data Store and ask your council for what London publishes, in machine readable form such as CSV or excel spreadsheet<br />Put in two requests a day for data citing and linking to Eric Pickles and David Cameron’s statements. Use<br />Ask in the right way. Either – ask nicely if you think the LA will publish or you have a relationship. Or copy some of my aggressive FOI request language in whatdotheyknow, borrowed from Heather Brooke.<br />Get some mates to help you to spread load and prevent ‘nuisance’ issues<br />Send an email to the Leader of the Council explaining what you are doing – a common courtesy. Then if the Council plays up, FOI what s/he does with the email internally<br />Store the data – and google docs<br />Set up a free Google mail account and use google docs – put CSV data you receive in a Google sheet and click to publish/share the sheet (this gives it a URL accessible over the interweb etc). If they give you pdfs you can store them there too.<br />Publish the data<br />Go to and set up a simple free blog, use the standard theme and don’t fanny about making it look pretty<br />Call blog e.g. – will quickly rise up Google<br />Give it a simple title – Midfordshire Data Store – helps with Google<br />Create categories in the blog for the types of data you are requesting<br />As you get each new piece of data store it in google docs, then write a short blog post explaining what data and what format it is in your wordpress blog, with link to google docs and<br />Tell people about it and get them to link to you<br />
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