Open Data


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Overview of Open Data; Why it’s important; Fingal Open Data experience; Examples of businesses/services utilising Open Data; What needs to happen next.

Presentation to "Open Data 18 Hour Challenge" in NDRC, Digital Hub, Dublin, Ireland on 4th July, 2011

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  • Today, I am going to give an overview of Open Data; explain why it’s important; share our experience with Fingal Open Data; give examples of businesses/services utilising Open Data; look at what needs to happen next.
  • Open Data is …
  • Public data Which is not subject to data protection or other limitations
  • Open Formats Available in non-proprietary formats e.g. CSV, XML, KML, RDF, open APIs
  • Machine Readable In a format that computers can process
  • Accessible Available to the widest range of people for the widest range of uses
  • Why would we publish Open Data?
  • Transparency To Open up Government and enable the Public to see the underlying information. What is the actual evidence-based reality as opposed to the perceived reality
  • 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
  • Collaboration To enable the combination of data from different public sector agencies To enable other sectors to collaborate with Government.
  • Economic Opportunities Public sector data can be used as the basis for online services, mobile applications, analytics, etc.
  • Where did Open Data originate?
  • Open Data is based on the principles of Freedom of Information & Reuse of Public Sector Information. 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.
  • In the United States, Barak Obama promised Open Government during his election campaign. This website, was created in 2009 to share US Government data.
  • In 2010, the UK Government followed suit and established this website, to share UK Government data, with Tim Berners Lee, creator of the World Wide Web working on the project.
  • In 2010, the United Nations established the UN data website to share UN data
  • There are also many examples of Local Government Open Data websites around the world. In particular, the Greater London Authority have provided us with advice based on their experience with the London Data Store which was created in 2010.
  • Last week was launched A list of Open Data catalogs worldwide
  • What about Fingal? The Fingal area covers North County Dublin – north of the Liffey and the M50 including Blanchardstown, Howth, Swords, Balbriggan. It is the 3 rd largest Local Authority area by population as per preliminary Census 2011 figures It is the youngest area in the country It was fastest growing from 2002 – 2006 (22%) and 3 rd fastest growing from 2006 – 2011 (14%) To cope with this growth we have relied heavily on data for service planning.
  • Fingal Open Data evolved from the principles of the Fingal Data Hub and the Open Data movement. It is the first Open Data website in this country. It is available at The website, which you can see on screen, provides public access to source data from Council systems.
  • There are over 70 datasets, some of which can be seen here in the centre of the screen These are grouped into the 12 categories on the right-hand side of the screen.
  • These are the datasets in order of popularity (as rated by users)
  • The data is subject to the Irish PSI Licence, drawn up by the Department of Finance, which allows for fair use of the data.
  • This is the first service that has been developed with Fingal Open Data. It was built as an added feature on the ‘Hit The Road’ website It displayed all polling Stations for the 2011 General Election and allowed a user to search for a Polling Station and get directions to that Polling Station using Public Transport It showed data from all 4 Dublin Authorities, but the data was scraped from the other 3 Local Authority websites.
  • This is an iPhone App that has been built with Fingal Bring Bank data It displays all Bring Banks It allows filtering on the type of recyclable material – glass, cans or textiles It displays information about the selected Bring Bank It also identifies the nearest Bring Bank to your location and will provide directions to Bring Banks
  • Local Planning Explorer Ireland was developed by DERI in NUI Galway in cooperation with Fingal County Council and Local Government Management Agency Fingal planning applications from Fingal Open Data Five Councils planning applications from a Microsoft Azure cloud service Remainder scraped using ScraperWiki
  • Last Monday the Dublinked initiative was launched at A collaboration between Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown, Fingal & South Dublin County Councils and NUI Maynooth Platform provided by IBM A Network for Sharing Data to facilitate Innovation within the Dublin Region Invitations to participate Data release in Autumn Initial Dublin City data is being made available today for the Open Data Challenge Also work by DERI, IIA, NDRC, Enterprise Ireland Also un-Open Data – CSO, EPA, DoECLG, Marine, Finance, HSE
  • There are many examples of Applications and Services that have been developed around the world using Open Data Many have been developed as a result of challenges such as this This challenge is distinctive in the it specifically sets out to identify commercially viable ideas The following are examples of businesses or services commercially utilising Open Data
  • Sparkfish Creative are a Cambridge company specialising in App development The MassTransit app is their main product They also provide consulting and contract services
  • This website is not commercial but is included as an example of how visualisation services can be developed based on open data It provides a visualisation of the German Federal Budget. The coloured blocks provide a visual representation of the comparative sizes of different Government Departments expenditure. You can drill down to see the components of a Departments expenditure and compare expenditure from year to year.
  • Brightscope are a company who provide Tracking for 401k plans (U.S. retirement savings plans) Provides Ratings, Financial Advice One of their data sources is the Government records relating to 401K (never previously requested)
  • iTriage is a Mobile Health App Healthcare questions, symptoms diagnosis Locate nearest healthcare providers Hospital waiting times Hospital pre-registration in selected areas
  • Placr is a Location Based Services company Recently presented at Enterprise Ireland/Ordnance Survey Ireland event in Dublin Provide transport feeds to apps developers (timetables, live data) Consultancy, training and other Services
  • What are the next steps?
  • We need to have more Irish Open Data Local Authorities, Government Departments and Agencies should all start to release Open Data They should also examine whether usage restrictions can be removed from data already released There are also opportunities for Open Academic Data, Open Scientific Data, Open Bibliographic Data, etc And why not Open Business Data? Open Product Catalogues; Airline Flights and Fares; etc.
  • We need apps & services built with Irish Open Data Initially this might be Fingal Open Data and DUBlinked data, but these apps should be built to consume Open Data from any Government agency Beyond that, apps could consume data from other European countries – the EU wants to encourage cross-border apps and services Apps can be developed by business, 3 rd level, volunteers, etc If we are to demonstrate the value of open data and encourage the release of more data, we need to be able to show the practical benefits through practical applications and services
  • Open Data video from Open Knowledge Foundation –
  • 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

    1. 1. Comhairle Contae Fhine Gall Fingal County Council Sonraí Oscailte Open Data Open Data Challenge 4 th July, 2011 @ fingalopendata
    2. 2. Open Data
    3. 3. Public Data
    4. 4. Open Formats
    5. 5. Machine Readable
    6. 6. Accessible
    7. 7. Why?
    8. 8. Why? Transparency
    9. 9. Participation
    10. 10. Collaboration
    11. 11. Economic Opportunities
    12. 12. History /
    13. 13. E.U. : Reuse of Public Sector Information
    14. 14. U.S. :
    15. 15. U.K. :
    16. 16. U.N. –
    17. 17. London Data Store –
    18. 18.
    19. 19. © OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA - Fingal
    20. 20. Over 70 datasets in 12 categories
    21. 23. Irish PSI Licence
    22. 24. Polling Stations Website
    23. 25. Bring Banks App
    24. 26. Planning Explorer
    25. 27. DUB linked
    26. 28. Applications
    27. 29. Boston Transport App
    28. 30. German Federal Budget
    29. 31. Retirement Savings Tracking
    30. 32. Health App
    31. 33. Location Based Services
    32. 34. Next Steps
    33. 35. Linking Open Data cloud diagram, by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch. Irish Open Data
    34. 36. We Need Apps
    35. 38.
    36. 39. 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 http://