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A presentation to the Manchester Social Media Cafe April 6, 2010, about open local data, OpenlyLocal.com and the Open Election Data project. For more info see http://OpenElectionData.org or ...

A presentation to the Manchester Social Media Cafe April 6, 2010, about open local data, OpenlyLocal.com and the Open Election Data project. For more info see http://OpenElectionData.org or http://OpenlyLocal.com

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Open Local Data Presentation Open Local Data Presentation Presentation Transcript

  • OpenlyLocal, open local data & the Open Election Data project Social Media Cafe Manchester, April 7, 2010
  • It’s been a good year for open government data data.gov.uk, Ordnance Survey, MPs expenses...
  • It’s been a good year for open government data data.gov.uk, Ordnance Survey, MPs expenses...
  • It’s been a good year for open government data data.gov.uk, Ordnance Survey, MPs expenses...
  • But what about local data?
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government • Inaccessible & impenetrable council websites
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government • Inaccessible & impenetrable council websites • Opaque local public bodies and NDPBs (quangos)
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government • Inaccessible & impenetrable council websites • Opaque local public bodies and NDPBs (quangos) • At best unclear & at worst unusable legal situation
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government • Inaccessible & impenetrable council websites • Opaque local public bodies and NDPBs (quangos) • At best unclear & at worst unusable legal situation • Start with the basics. Who are the councillors, where do they represent and what committees do they sit on?
  • But what about local data? • Frankly it’s a mess • Sporadically published by central government • Inaccessible & impenetrable council websites • Opaque local public bodies and NDPBs (quangos) • At best unclear & at worst unusable legal situation • Start with the basics. Who are the councillors, where do they represent and what committees do they sit on? • How easy it that information to find & reuse?
  • Enter OpenlyLocal...
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago • Screen-scrapes council websites. Now over 140 councils done, with basic information on all 434 in the UK
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago • Screen-scrapes council websites. Now over 140 councils done, with basic information on all 434 in the UK • Pulls info from about 150 local councils, plus ONS, OS, NPIA, CLG...
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago • Screen-scrapes council websites. Now over 140 councils done, with basic information on all 434 in the UK • Pulls info from about 150 local councils, plus ONS, OS, NPIA, CLG... • Building a graph of connections – councillors, committees, social networking, police forces, pension funds
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago • Screen-scrapes council websites. Now over 140 councils done, with basic information on all 434 in the UK • Pulls info from about 150 local councils, plus ONS, OS, NPIA, CLG... • Building a graph of connections – councillors, committees, social networking, police forces, pension funds • All open data – free for reuse, including commercial reuse
  • Enter OpenlyLocal... • Inspiration was a Manchester project, MCC Work For You. Doing something concrete to solve a problem. First code written 1 year ago • Screen-scrapes council websites. Now over 140 councils done, with basic information on all 434 in the UK • Pulls info from about 150 local councils, plus ONS, OS, NPIA, CLG... • Building a graph of connections – councillors, committees, social networking, police forces, pension funds • All open data – free for reuse, including commercial reuse • 100% accessible. Data first; bells & whistles later
  • RDF
  • RDF JSON
  • RDF JSON XML
  • OpenlyLocal: where next?
  • OpenlyLocal: where next? • More data. More councils. More connections.
  • OpenlyLocal: where next? • More data. More councils. More connections. • Election data, cabinet members, mayors, police authorities, health authorities, pension funds, etc...
  • OpenlyLocal: where next? • More data. More councils. More connections. • Election data, cabinet members, mayors, police authorities, health authorities, pension funds, etc... • Data used by Hyperlocal sites (inc Guardian). Ning app. Google Gadget. But want more usage, more plugins written, to give the (non-technical) community more power
  • OpenlyLocal: where next? • More data. More councils. More connections. • Election data, cabinet members, mayors, police authorities, health authorities, pension funds, etc... • Data used by Hyperlocal sites (inc Guardian). Ning app. Google Gadget. But want more usage, more plugins written, to give the (non-technical) community more power • Some things can’t be done programmatically. Need crowdsourcing tools & help with tying info to Wikipedia, other sources
  • OpenlyLocal: where next? • More data. More councils. More connections. • Election data, cabinet members, mayors, police authorities, health authorities, pension funds, etc... • Data used by Hyperlocal sites (inc Guardian). Ning app. Google Gadget. But want more usage, more plugins written, to give the (non-technical) community more power • Some things can’t be done programmatically. Need crowdsourcing tools & help with tying info to Wikipedia, other sources • Some good visualisations done, but lots more potential, particularly now that we have OS geo data
  • Why does open local data matter?
  • Why does open local data matter? • Transparency – can we see (and understand) what’s going on?
  • Why does open local data matter? • Transparency – can we see (and understand) what’s going on? • Engagement – reducing barriers to getting involved
  • Why does open local data matter? • Transparency – can we see (and understand) what’s going on? • Engagement – reducing barriers to getting involved • Equality of access to information (and thus power)
  • Why does open local data matter? • Transparency – can we see (and understand) what’s going on? • Engagement – reducing barriers to getting involved • Equality of access to information (and thus power) • Efficiency – Don’t let five different branches of government needlessly do the same thing (aka keeping it DRY)
  • Transparency A brief example.
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website...
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website...
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website... • ...with no relevant heading
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website... • ...with no relevant heading
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website... • ...with no relevant heading • Accessible only as a PDF of a scan of a document
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website... • ...with no relevant heading • Accessible only as a PDF of a scan of a document
  • Transparency A brief example. • A story in Private Eye • An investigation by the District Auditor • A report buried in the nether recesses of the website... • ...with no relevant heading • Accessible only as a PDF of a scan of a document • Is it any wonder suspicions are raised?
  • Engagement
  • Engagement • Local Authorities now have a duty to engage. This means • Reducing barriers to understanding and involvement
  • Engagement • Local Authorities now have a duty to engage. This means • Reducing barriers to understanding and involvement • Accessible for all
  • Engagement • Local Authorities now have a duty to engage. This means • Reducing barriers to understanding and involvement • Accessible for all • Available to use when, where & how we want to
  • Engagement • Local Authorities now have a duty to engage. This means • Reducing barriers to understanding and involvement • Accessible for all • Available to use when, where & how we want to • Publishing as data means easy to be repurposed – for mobile, for mashups, for offline use (e.g. Postcode Paper)
  • Equality
  • Equality • At the moment, all this information is available... at a cost
  • Equality ££ £ • At the moment, all this information is available... at a cost
  • Equality ££ £ • At the moment, all this information is available... at a cost • Huge asymmetry of information (and thus power)
  • Equality ££ £ • At the moment, all this information is available... at a cost • Huge asymmetry of information (and thus power) • Raises the barriers to involvement, and, critically, to challenge
  • Efficiency Now: cumbersome, wasteful, opaque, error prone Typical local data flows
  • Efficiency Now: cumbersome, wasteful, opaque, error prone Typical local data flows Council
  • Efficiency Now: cumbersome, wasteful, opaque, error prone Typical local data flows Govt Dept A email web Council Govt Dept B upload Govt Dept C
  • Efficiency Now: cumbersome, wasteful, opaque, error prone Typical local data flows Govt Dept A public (maybe) email web Council Govt Dept B upload Govt Dept C
  • Efficiency A better way? Council
  • Efficiency A better way? open data Council
  • Efficiency A better way?  <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <!-- Here we are saying the candidate has given names of Keith William and a familyName Cockroft -->         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"><span property="foaf:givenName">Keith William</span> <span property="foaf:familyName">Cockroft</span></th>             <td rel="openelection:party" resource="http:// openelectiondata.org/id/parties/6"><span property="rdfs:label">Labour</span></td>         <!-- The candidacy got 330 votes -->        <td property="openelection:candidateVoteCount" datatype="xsd:integer">330</td>         <td>16.6%</td> open data Council          <td property="openelection:elected" datatype="xsd:boolean" content="false">No</td>       </tr>      <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate">           <span typeof="openelection:Candidate" property="foaf:name">Brenda Lilian Constable</span>           <span rel="openelection:address">             <span property="v:street-address">37 Morley Road</ span>,             <span property="v:locality">Burntwood</span>,             <span property="v:region">Staffordshire</span>             <span property="v:postal-code">WS7 2DE</span>           </span>         </th>        
  • Efficiency A better way?  <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <!-- Here we are saying the candidate has given names of Keith William and a familyName Cockroft -->         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"><span public property="foaf:givenName">Keith William</span> <span property="foaf:familyName">Cockroft</span></th>             <td rel="openelection:party" resource="http:// openelectiondata.org/id/parties/6"><span property="rdfs:label">Labour</span></td>         <!-- The candidacy got 330 votes -->        <td property="openelection:candidateVoteCount" open data datatype="xsd:integer">330</td>         <td>16.6%</td> Govt Dept A Council          <td property="openelection:elected" datatype="xsd:boolean" content="false">No</td>       </tr>      <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"> Govt Dept B           <span typeof="openelection:Candidate" property="foaf:name">Brenda Lilian Constable</span>           <span rel="openelection:address">             <span property="v:street-address">37 Morley Road</ span>, Govt Dept C             <span property="v:locality">Burntwood</span>,             <span property="v:region">Staffordshire</span>             <span property="v:postal-code">WS7 2DE</span>           </span>         </th>        
  • Efficiency A better way?  <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <!-- Here we are saying the candidate has given names of Keith William and a familyName Cockroft -->         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"><span public property="foaf:givenName">Keith William</span> <span property="foaf:familyName">Cockroft</span></th>             <td rel="openelection:party" resource="http:// openelectiondata.org/id/parties/6"><span property="rdfs:label">Labour</span></td>         <!-- The candidacy got 330 votes -->        <td property="openelection:candidateVoteCount" open data datatype="xsd:integer">330</td>         <td>16.6%</td> Govt Dept A Council          <td property="openelection:elected" datatype="xsd:boolean" content="false">No</td>       </tr>      <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"> Govt Dept B           <span typeof="openelection:Candidate" property="foaf:name">Brenda Lilian Constable</span>           <span rel="openelection:address">             <span property="v:street-address">37 Morley Road</ span>, Govt Dept C             <span property="v:locality">Burntwood</span>,             <span property="v:region">Staffordshire</span>             <span property="v:postal-code">WS7 2DE</span>           </span>         </th>         Publish once, consume many times
  • Problems
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently • Data tied up in PDFs (will we ever get this back?)
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently • Data tied up in PDFs (will we ever get this back?) • Legacy systems. That nobody now understands
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently • Data tied up in PDFs (will we ever get this back?) • Legacy systems. That nobody now understands • Private companies/JVs. No FoI. No access to data
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently • Data tied up in PDFs (will we ever get this back?) • Legacy systems. That nobody now understands • Private companies/JVs. No FoI. No access to data • Outsourcing (councils have outsourced the skills & knowledge and now are often dumb consumers)
  • Problems • IDs – councils don’t generally use them; central government uses many... inconsistently • Data tied up in PDFs (will we ever get this back?) • Legacy systems. That nobody now understands • Private companies/JVs. No FoI. No access to data • Outsourcing (councils have outsourced the skills & knowledge and now are often dumb consumers) • Silos, especially of budgets. How do you get money from one budget to another (even if the whole benefits)
  • The OpenElectionData project
  • The OpenElectionData project • Tackling the open local data problem, one set at a time & learning lessons on the way
  • The OpenElectionData project • Tackling the open local data problem, one set at a time & learning lessons on the way • Succeed, or fail forward
  • The OpenElectionData project • Tackling the open local data problem, one set at a time & learning lessons on the way • Succeed, or fail forward • No public database of local election results, only a commercial one (subsidized by the Electoral Commission)
  • The OpenElectionData project • Tackling the open local data problem, one set at a time & learning lessons on the way • Succeed, or fail forward • No public database of local election results, only a commercial one (subsidized by the Electoral Commission) • Allows even those with no prior knowledge of linked data/RDF/ semantic web(choose fave buzzword here) to take part
  • The OpenElectionData project • Tackling the open local data problem, one set at a time & learning lessons on the way • Succeed, or fail forward • No public database of local election results, only a commercial one (subsidized by the Electoral Commission) • Allows even those with no prior knowledge of linked data/RDF/ semantic web(choose fave buzzword here) to take part • Just need HTML competence
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Instead of publishing their election results as arbitrary HTML they publish it as HTML that has been semantically marked up. • e.g. <tr rel='openelection:candidacy'>         <th scope="row" rel="openelection:candidate"><span typeof="openelection:Candidate" property="foaf:name">Helen Elizabeth Fisher</span></th>      <td rel="openelection:party" resource="http://openelectiondata.org/id/parties/25"><span property="rdfs:label">Conservative</span></td>      <td property="openelection:candidateVoteCount" datatype="xsd:integer">655</td>         <td>33.0%</td>      <td property="openelection:elected" datatype="xsd:boolean" content="true">Yes</td> </tr> instead of <tr class='zebraBandOdd'>     <th scope="row" class='darkGreyCell'><span class='boldEntry'>Helen Elizabeth Fisher</span></th>     <td class='lightCell'>Conservative</td>     <td class='lightCell'>655</td>     <td class='lightCell'>33.0%</td>     <td class='lightCell'>Yes</td> </tr>
  • Open Election Data project How it works
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Allows:
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Allows: • data to be pulled from the page, and consumed by RDF reader
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Allows: • data to be pulled from the page, and consumed by RDF reader • Local Authorities to develop an understanding of the key issues of open linked data - e.g. URIs as identifiers
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Allows: • data to be pulled from the page, and consumed by RDF reader • Local Authorities to develop an understanding of the key issues of open linked data - e.g. URIs as identifiers • the beginnings of a complete database of local election results
  • Open Election Data project How it works • Allows: • data to be pulled from the page, and consumed by RDF reader • Local Authorities to develop an understanding of the key issues of open linked data - e.g. URIs as identifiers • the beginnings of a complete database of local election results • a concrete way of identifying the blockers & pain points when moving towards open local data
  • Where next?
  • Where next? • A Freedom of Data act
  • Where next? • A Freedom of Data act • A recasting of how Government (central & local) does IT. Avoid the big #fail
  • Where next? • A Freedom of Data act • A recasting of how Government (central & local) does IT. Avoid the big #fail • A change in relationship between central & local government
  • Where next? • A Freedom of Data act • A recasting of how Government (central & local) does IT. Avoid the big #fail • A change in relationship between central & local government • A change between between government and citizen
  • Where next? • A Freedom of Data act • A recasting of how Government (central & local) does IT. Avoid the big #fail • A change in relationship between central & local government • A change between between government and citizen • Some new business models – to support hyperlocal sites, innovative and supportive suppliers, public-interest groups