Open data: Under the hood




Stuart Harrison
Lichfield District Council

                             Hikaru Kazushime
Lichf eld District
    i
Small district north of Birmingham
Two urban centres (Burntwood and Lichfield)
Mainly older popul...
Ratemyplace
Food Safety scores website
Built completely in house
Open data? Why not!
Simple RESTful API
Widgets too!
Next steps
Lots of information on our website
Why not expose all this?
Added geographical information too
Next steps (2)
Heard about Openly Local
Felt the pain of scraping
Why don't I just give you our data?
What are the barriers?
Lack of awareness
Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
Lack of interest from suppliers
Lack of technical kno...
Open Elections Project
Aims to overcome some of these barriers
Standards-based
Minimal technological knowledge
Minimal cos...
Ordnance Survey
Data created on OS maps (even points) OS derived
Can't easily be reused by third parties
Massive issue wit...
A consumer as well!
My Area
Inspired by BCC DIY
Uses data from:
   Openly Local
   Planning Alerts
   Data.gov.uk
   Polic...
Why open data?
Allows us to engage with different audience
Makes engagement a 'many to many' arrangement
'Failure for free...
What next?
Deeper integration with systems
More useful data (performance data, geographic data)
Standards, standards, stan...
Thank you
Stuart Harrison
stuart.harrison@lichfielddc.gov.uk
01543 308779
www.twitter.com/pezholio

www.lichfielddc.gov.uk...
Open data: Under the hood




Stuart Harrison
Lichfield District Council

                             Hikaru Kazushime
  ...
Lichf eld District
         i
     Small district north of Birmingham
     Two urban centres (Burntwood and Lichfield)
   ...
Ratemyplace
     Food Safety scores website
     Built completely in house
     Open data? Why not!
     Simple RESTful AP...
Next steps
     Lots of information on our website
     Why not expose all this?
     Added geographical information too

...
Next steps (2)
     Heard about Openly Local
     Felt the pain of scraping
     Why don't I just give you our data?




 ...
What are the barriers?
      Lack of awareness
      Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
      Lack of interest from suppliers
   ...
Open Elections Project
      Aims to overcome some of these barriers
      Standards-based
      Minimal technological kno...
Ordnance Survey
      Data created on OS maps (even points) OS derived
      Can't easily be reused by third parties
     ...
A consumer as well!
     My Area
     Inspired by BCC DIY
     Uses data from:
        Openly Local
        Planning Alert...
Why open data?
     Allows us to engage with different audience
     Makes engagement a 'many to many' arrangement
     'F...
What next?
      Deeper integration with systems
      More useful data (performance data, geographic data)
      Standard...
Thank you
Stuart Harrison
stuart.harrison@lichfielddc.gov.uk
01543 308779
www.twitter.com/pezholio

www.lichfielddc.gov.uk...
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Opendata - Under the hood

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Opendata - Under the hood

  1. 1. Open data: Under the hood Stuart Harrison Lichfield District Council Hikaru Kazushime
  2. 2. Lichf eld District i Small district north of Birmingham Two urban centres (Burntwood and Lichfield) Mainly older population, but younger in urban centres Technically savvy, with a lively blogging scene NickBrickett
  3. 3. Ratemyplace Food Safety scores website Built completely in house Open data? Why not! Simple RESTful API Widgets too!
  4. 4. Next steps Lots of information on our website Why not expose all this? Added geographical information too
  5. 5. Next steps (2) Heard about Openly Local Felt the pain of scraping Why don't I just give you our data?
  6. 6. What are the barriers? Lack of awareness Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt Lack of interest from suppliers Lack of technical knowledge in web teams AdobeMac
  7. 7. Open Elections Project Aims to overcome some of these barriers Standards-based Minimal technological knowledge Minimal cost Also built a Jadu module
  8. 8. Ordnance Survey Data created on OS maps (even points) OS derived Can't easily be reused by third parties Massive issue with Google Maps Ongoing discussion with Cabinet Office
  9. 9. A consumer as well! My Area Inspired by BCC DIY Uses data from: Openly Local Planning Alerts Data.gov.uk Police API NHS Choices Etc, etc http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/myarea
  10. 10. Why open data? Allows us to engage with different audience Makes engagement a 'many to many' arrangement 'Failure for free' It's going to happen anyway coccu
  11. 11. What next? Deeper integration with systems More useful data (performance data, geographic data) Standards, standards, standards Don Solo
  12. 12. Thank you Stuart Harrison stuart.harrison@lichfielddc.gov.uk 01543 308779 www.twitter.com/pezholio www.lichfielddc.gov.uk www.pezholio.co.uk
  13. 13. Open data: Under the hood Stuart Harrison Lichfield District Council Hikaru Kazushime 1
  14. 14. Lichf eld District i Small district north of Birmingham Two urban centres (Burntwood and Lichfield) Mainly older population, but younger in urban centres Technically savvy, with a lively blogging scene NickBrickett 2 The internet, whilst being accessible to people is mainly a system for presenting information. While machines know what type of information is on a web page, they don't necessarily know what the information is Open data essentially makes web based information accessible to machines, as well as people.
  15. 15. Ratemyplace Food Safety scores website Built completely in house Open data? Why not! Simple RESTful API Widgets too! 3 Here's a standard web page As I mentioned before, machines know how to present the data, but they can't tell the difference between what is an address (for example) and what is a political party or telephone number. This makes it very difficult to get the data from a web page to any other system (without a lot of work from developers)
  16. 16. Next steps Lots of information on our website Why not expose all this? Added geographical information too 4 This is the same information presented as XML It's standardised, so machines can read it very easily and there is less work involved on the part of developers.
  17. 17. Next steps (2) Heard about Openly Local Felt the pain of scraping Why don't I just give you our data? 5 Data can then be reused as in this example – openly local Information is shown in a simple, clear format, with other council's information in the same format – much of it gained through screen scraping.
  18. 18. What are the barriers? Lack of awareness Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt Lack of interest from suppliers Lack of technical knowledge in web teams AdobeMac6 However, there are some barriers, licensing is one, sometimes we can't share all the data we want to because of licensing restrictions. There's also a lack of awareness amongst senior management, which means there's noone pushing for data to be opened There's also a lot of fear about open data, it's a brave new world and a lot of people are used to 'data hugging' – keeping their data close and using it as power Suppliers don't seem to have got on the open data train yet, there's currently no offering that allows online systems to be opened easily Some web teams don't have a technical resource, and without suppliers offering systems, they just don't have the knowledge
  19. 19. Open Elections Project Aims to overcome some of these barriers Standards-based Minimal technological knowledge Minimal cost Also built a Jadu module 7 Twitterplan uses data provided in a standard format by PlanningAlerts Sends a direct message on Twitter to users whenever a planning application is lodged in their area Because it uses standard data, which is easy to work with, it took me two days to build – if I had to get the data from council websites myself it would take a lot longer However, due to the actions of the Royal Mail, this service is currently suspended.
  20. 20. Ordnance Survey Data created on OS maps (even points) OS derived Can't easily be reused by third parties Massive issue with Google Maps Ongoing discussion with Cabinet Office 8 Twitterplan uses data provided in a standard format by PlanningAlerts Sends a direct message on Twitter to users whenever a planning application is lodged in their area Because it uses standard data, which is easy to work with, it took me two days to build – if I had to get the data from council websites myself it would take a lot longer However, due to the actions of the Royal Mail, this service is currently suspended.
  21. 21. A consumer as well! My Area Inspired by BCC DIY Uses data from: Openly Local Planning Alerts Data.gov.uk Police API NHS Choices Etc, etc http://www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/myarea 9 At LDC, I was inspired by the work of dedicated volunteers, and wanted to open up our data We've taken a 'steady as she goes' approach, releasing data in a piecemeal fashion, working with developers in the community and finding out what they want We've also been identifying quick wins, if someone wants a new system, we make sure open data is built in. Also if there's data that's easy to open, such as leisure centre or park locations (as KML files), that goes in too
  22. 22. Why open data? Allows us to engage with different audience Makes engagement a 'many to many' arrangement 'Failure for free' It's going to happen anyway coccu 10 I've gone through the hows, but what about the whys? Why should we lofty public sector folk give our data to the public? For a start, it allows us to engage with a different type of audience, opening data gives us access to a typically younger, digitally switched on audience, not just the curtain twitching nimby type Also, when we release data, communities build up around data, making engagement a many to many arrangement – good example is BCCDIY It gives people the opportunity to build cool stuff with our data – stuff we either wouldn't have thought of or don't have time to do. And if it doesn't work, we've lost nothing – to paraphrase Clay Skirky, we get 'Failure for Free'
  23. 23. What next? Deeper integration with systems More useful data (performance data, geographic data) Standards, standards, standards Don Solo 11 I've gone through the hows, but what about the whys? Why should we lofty public sector folk give our data to the public? For a start, it allows us to engage with a different type of audience, opening data gives us access to a typically younger, digitally switched on audience, not just the curtain twitching nimby type Also, when we release data, communities build up around data, making engagement a many to many arrangement – good example is BCCDIY It gives people the opportunity to build cool stuff with our data – stuff we either wouldn't have thought of or don't have time to do. And if it doesn't work, we've lost nothing – to paraphrase Clay Skirky, we get 'Failure for Free'
  24. 24. Thank you Stuart Harrison stuart.harrison@lichfielddc.gov.uk 01543 308779 www.twitter.com/pezholio www.lichfielddc.gov.uk www.pezholio.co.uk 12
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