Ireland's Public Data Opportunity


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Presentation to the Big Data Summit held in Croke Park, Dublin, Ireland on Wednesday 14th November, 2012

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  • Today I am going to talk about Ireland’s Public Data Opportunity including Big Public Data The benefits of making information available and accessible Encouraging public participation in key decisions Building trust between citizens and government Economic opportunities The challenges in opening up data for reuse
  • The Public Sector holds large volumes of data which have the potential to realise much greater value if re-used by others Much of the data held by the public sector could be considered Big Data i.e. Big Volume, Big Velocity, Big Variety
  • The public sector holds large volumes of traffic related data. This includes data relating to roads, speed limits, signs, traffic lights, traffic cameras. It also includes traffic camera feeds and traffic count feeds which are both Big Volume and Big Velocity.
  • National Weather Agencies collect large volumes of weather data
  • National Mapping agencies produce large volumes of mapping data
  • Water data includes data about the network itself as well as water flow data feeds - Big Volume and Big Velocity.
  • Public Transport agencies hold route, stops and timetable data. They also now collect data feeds of vehicle location and continuously calculate expected arrival times by stop – big volume and big velocity.
  • The public sector collects data relating to energy usage for various public buildings as do other sectors for their premises. Energy production, distribution and consumption data is generally held by the semi-state or private sector – Big Volume and Big Velocity. This data will need to become available in open formats in an appropriate manner if we are to address sustainable energy
  • How do we get our hands on this data
  • 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.
  • An EU study estimated the direct PSI re-use market at €27Bn in 2008 The direct and indirect economic benefits was in the order of €140Bn in 2008 If PSI policies were open with access for free or marginal cost, direct re-use value would increase by €40Bn With easier access, direct and indirect benefits in 2008 could have been in the order of €200Bn Vickery Study, 2011
  • In the United States, Barak Obama promised Open Government during his election campaign. This website, was created in 2009 to share US Government data. This is the seen as the main catalyst that has driven the Open Data movement The site now contains 4,717 datasets
  • In the United Kingdom, Tim Berners-Lee persuaded Prime Minister Gordon Brown that the UK should pursue an Open Data policy. This website, was created in 2010 to share UK Government data. David Cameron’s Government has continued this policy The site now contains 8,751 datasets
  • 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
  • In the 3 years since the launch of, Open Data sites have sprung up around the world, mainly in Canada, USA, Europe, Australia and New Zealand 2010 – UK Government, London, United Nations, World Bank
  • Fingal is located to the north of Dublin City Dublin Airport is located in Fingal Map illustrates population density in the County 273,051 citizens 3 rd largest Local Authority Fastest growing & Youngest county Population is concentrated in the South and East of the County 3 main population centres of Blanchardstown, Swords and Balbriggan North-West is rural farmland
  • In November 2010, Fingal County Council launched Fingal Open Data – the first Open Data website in the country It provides public access to source data from Council systems. It built on previous work led by the Council on inter-agency data sharing
  • There are currently 170 datasets organised into 12 categories Detailed information is provided about each dataset, including description, date published and available formats.
  • The site has a Featured Apps section to showcase uses that Fingal Open Data has been put to
  • In October 2011, the 4 Dublin Authorities and NUI Maynooth laucnhed the Dublinked website Dublinked is a Network for Sharing Data to facilitate innovation in the urban environment through collaboration between private, public and research partners with the Dublin city region as a proving ground The aim is to enable innovators to collaborate on tackling challenges facing the Dublin city region using public sector data as the basis.
  • There are currently over 250 datasets datasets in the Datastore 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
  • Apps Showcase
  • Past Events Planning Technology Spatial Data Visualisation Open Innovation Future Events Public Sector Transport
  • The next event will be held on 22 nd November in the Science Gallery concentrating on the publishing of data by public bodies
  • The Irish eGovernment Plan was published in April 2012 The Plan includes Requirement for Public Sector agencies to publish Open Data Data contained in Published Reports must also be published in Open data formats Agencies must carry out audits of data holdings Inter-Agency Data Sharing Integration of Administrative Data Data Sharing Clearing House Review of Data Sharing Legislation The Public Service Reform Plan also includes Centralised Open Data Portal
  • The eGovernment Action plan contains 3 specific actions relating to Open Data All public bodies will publish Open Data Data published in reports should also be published in parallel in open formats Public bodies will identify data holdings and release by default
  • What are the benefits of making Public Information available and accessible
  • 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 was a prize fund of €11,500 thanks to the generosity of our sponsors
  • 23 Apps were submitted 36 Ideas were entered
  • 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
  • What are the potantial benefits of 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 In addition to Citizen-Government collaboration outlined earlier, also - 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.
  • Building Trust
  • The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform publishes details of Government Budgets and Spending
  • This website shows how Government Expenditure can be made more accessible through visualisation. In this case it’s 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.
  • Openly Local collates information from UK Local Authorities and presents it in a standardised manner
  • is a website which takes a feed of Oireachtas proceedings and presents them in a user-friendly website Unfortunately the site has not been updated since September 18 th due to a change in technology used by the Oireachtas
  • won the Enterprise Category of Apps4Fingal is a Web App which uses Planning Application data from all 4 Dublin local authorities. These are displayed on a map allowing users to easily check planning applications in an area. Features include a notification service, a 3D interactive house showing what works need planning permission, a professional directory and planning-related news feed. Planning applications are colour coded by status and more info can be displayed. has gone on to develop the service further, now incorporating data from 12 local authorities
  • Participation
  • Fingal Day Tripper won the Student Category of Apps4Fingal Fingal Day Tripper is a Web App that allows day trippers to select the type of activities they prefer, as well as if they would like to stop for a coffee. They can also specify whether they are travelling with children or disabled passengers. The app will then suggest a day trip in the local area, showing locations of interest on the map. It also provides the option of getting the route and driving directions for the trip and details of each attraction.
  • Fingal Traffic View won the Community Category of Apps4Fingal Fingal Traffic View is an Android Mobile App which provides information about traffic cameras, parking zones, disabled parking, train stations and Garda safety zones. These are displayed on a map and users can also view images from the traffic cameras. The App also incorporates a live feed of twitter accounts related to Dublin Traffic.
  • Discover Fingal won the Overall & Tourism Categories of Apps4Fingal Discover Fingal is a Mobile Web App in which users are encouraged to discover historical and cultural sites in Fingal through a Find and Reward Facebook App and Mobile Website. Detailed information is provided about each site. If a user checks into three cultural sites they are rewarded with a voucher for a free cup of tea or coffee which can be redeemed at Skerries Mills.
  • KidsMaps takes the playground data from the Fingal Open Data site, but also includes playground data sourced from most of the Local Authorities in Ireland. This is a great example of how Apps based on Open Data can be scalable.
  • FixYourStreet is an open transparent tool for reporting problems to Local Government It also has an Open Data dimension, as the data is exposed through an API for developers to write programs that consume the data behind the site – location, details and resolution of Reported issues
  • FixMyArea is a commercial website which utilises the FixYourStreet interface to submit reports to those Local Authorities using the system
  • FixMyStreet is a voluntary website which utilises the FixYourStreet interface to submit reports to those Local Authorities using the system
  • Other possible reuse could include Visualisation, Analytics, etc HeyGov! is an example of the type of development that could be done with FixYourStreet data
  • In New York City, FixYourStreet type technology is being used to suggest new services The Bike Racks 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
  • In North Sydney Council, Australia citizens can participate in determining budget priorities The citizen can choose to increase, decrease or not alter spending under the budget headings Their selections are totalled interactively so that they can see whether they are over or under budget and if over budget what the implications are for rates Citizens inputs are compiled into a report which feeds into the Councils decision-making process
  • In Melbourne, Australia the draft City Development Plan is published as a Wiki and the public can directly edit the Plan There is also a discussion page relating to each section of the plan where suggestions can be outlined or changes justified All versions are retained to enable comparison between versions of the Plan Once the public consultation phase is complete, the Council deliberates on the contributions to organise, refine and incorporate ideas in the most practical way
  • Economic Opportunities
  • Discover Fingal won the Overall & Tourism Categories of Apps4Fingal Startup company App built using the LearningHunt platform for creation of guided tours NDRC funding and mentoring
  • won the Enterprise Category of Apps4Fingal Startup company Building Eye – visualising Building and Planning data Currently targeting US and UK markets NDRC Launchpad programme
  • Startup company – Hit The Road NDRC Launchpad programme Uses Public Transport data
  • FixMyArea complementing the RateMyArea service
  • JustPark came second in the Irish 18 Hour Open Data Challenge in 2011 (NDRC, FCC, DCC, Microsoft & IIA) Product has been developed since and has been rebranded as ParkYa Enterprise Ireland support and IT Blanchardstown incubation cebtre
  • The Property Services Regulatory Authority has started publishing the Address, Price and Date of Sale of all residential properties sold in Ireland since 1 st January 2010 A member of the public downloaded this data and used Google Fusion Tables to map the properties
  • has taken the data and incorporated it into a prototype system which shows mapped properties for sale alongside sold properties
  • Dublin City Council has published traffic journey times from its TRIPS system via Dublinked Visualisation above Potential reuse opportunities
  • Dublin City Council and National Transport Authority have implemented Real Time Passenger Information for Dublin Bus Cork buses in pilot Integrated Bus, Luas and Irish Rail on the way API on the way
  • CSO collect large volumes of Census data Previously difficult to access Small Area Population website makes it easier to access Demographics for each of 3,409 Electoral Divisions
  • Census 2011 data is also available at the new Small Area level of geoography 18,488 Small Areas Hugely valuable and mineable dataset if released en bloc Usage restrictions at present (non-commercial)
  • Although we have come a long way and, critically, Open Data is now Government policy, there are still a number of challenges in releasing Open Data in Ireland
  • It is taking time for public bodies to release data Each Public Body should assign responsibility for Open Data to a named individual – which is most likely to be the person responsible for FOI and PSI It works best if the CEO, Secretary General, County Manager etc. supports the initiative
  • Public bodies should start releasing data Possibly use Dublinked to try it out No need to build a website – add a page to the website Support from Senior Management within releasing organisations is essential Should align with Organisational Objectives – Fingal : Tourism, Age Friendly County UK Government policy to release data; however, Local Government is finding it difficult – additional work with reducing resources Use it as an opportunity to create an Internal Data Catalogue for Information Management Align with INSPIRE directive requirements – single data catalogue/store for both
  • We also need to examine whether usage restrictions can be removed from data already released Do you have a PSI page on your website covering website content? Is any of your content covered by a restrictive licence? Does it really need to be? CSO, EPA, Heritage, Marine, Finance, HSE 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. Enel, Italy’s largest power company, has released Open Data Nike have employed Ward Cunningham, inventor of the Wiki, to work on Open Data
  • The different departments and agencies of the Public Sector have a need to access the data holdings of other agencies In most cases it is a laborious and time-consuming task to obtain data from other arms of the public sector Even within Public Sector agencies and departments it can be difficult to obtain data from other sections Adopting a data-sharing approach with catalogues and data stores within the public sector could bring great efficiencies in this area Then it is simply a matter of categorising the access permissions and releasing relevant data publicly
  • We need to agree standards for data formats, service vocabularies, data catalogues We need to measure the quality of the data and records within the data and publish these quality measures We also need to ensure that once we publish Open Data, we continue to do so on an on-going basis We However, this should not prevent us from starting to publish Open Data Standards can be applied retrospectively Potential users of the data would prefer that the data be released in the first instance (just not in PDF) Go ugly, early
  • 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
  • While datasets should be published, we also need to look at publishing data as web services e.g. JSON
  • The Public Service Reform Plan includes an objective for a national public sector data sharing portal
  • We need to move to a model of publishing by default We need to ask “why shouldn’t we publish the data”, rather than “why should we publish”
  • Ideally, in the future as Open data matures, the public sector should move to a model of building its own online services on top of its own Open Data Then, if there are any problems with the Open Data feed, it will affect the public body in the same way as those reusing the data
  • There is often a fear that the data will be misinterpreted or that the quality is too poor to release Use Metadata & release briefing notes to counter misinterpretation There may be a possibility to use it as an opportunity for improvement through crowdsourcing (UK bus stops) There can also be a reluctance to opening up the decision-making process We’ve always done it this way, the legislation doesn’t allow for Innovation requires that we question why we do the things we do and the way we do it Legislation needn’t be a barrier – so long as it doesn’t say that we can’t do it We in the public sector need to Let Go a bit
  • You can help by getting involved
  • This is the website for the Irish Open Data community
  • This is the Google Group for the Irish Open Data community – sign up to keep up to date
  • These are the contact details for Fingal Open Data and Dublinked – email or follow on Twitter
  • To conclude I have outlined the opportunities available in public sector data Availability of public data will increase dramatically over the next 3 years Government wants to encourage others to make use of this data If you are interested, get in touch Fingal Open Data is available at 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.
  • Ireland's Public Data Opportunity

    1. 1. Ireland’s Public Data Opportunity Big Data Summit, Croke Park, Dublin - 14th November, 2012 @fingalopendata
    2. 2. Big Public Data
    3. 3. Traffic
    4. 4. Weather
    5. 5. Mapping
    6. 6. Water
    7. 7. Public Transport
    8. 8. Energy
    9. 9. Data Release
    10. 10. Reuse of Public Sector Information
    11. 11. Value of Public Sector Data
    12. 12. US Government - 4,717 datasets
    13. 13. UK Government - 8,751 datasets
    14. 14. Open Data • Public Data • Open Formats • Machine Readable • Accessible
    15. 15. Open Data Worlwide
    16. 16. 3 largest rd Youngest Fast GrowingFingal
    17. 17. Fingal Open Data
    18. 18. 170 datasets in 12 categories
    19. 19. Apps
    20. 20. Dublin Region Innovation Network
    21. 21. Over 250 datasets in Datastore
    22. 22. Apps
    23. 23. Events
    24. 24. Public Data Event
    25. 25. eGovernment Plan • Public Sector to publish Open Data • Inter Agency Data Sharing • Integration of Administrative Data • Data Sharing Clearing House • Review Data Sharing Legislation • Implementation Plans • Centralised Portal (Public Service Reform Plan)
    26. 26. eGovernment 2012-2015
    27. 27. Benefits
    28. 28. apps4fingal COMPETITION 9th November, 2011 – 9th January, 2012 €11,500 in prizesCommunity, Enterprise, Tourism, Student & Ideas Categories
    29. 29. apps4fingal 23 Apps created 36 Ideas entered
    30. 30. Apps4Fingal
    31. 31. Benefits • Transparency • Participation • Collaboration • Economic Opportunities
    32. 32. Building Trust
    33. 33. Government Expenditure
    34. 34. German Federal Budget
    35. 35. U.K. Local Authority Information
    36. 36.
    37. 37. (Apps4Fingal)
    38. 38. Participation
    39. 39. Fingal Day Tripper (Apps4Fingal)
    40. 40. Fingal Traffic View (Apps4Fingal)
    41. 41. Discover Fingal (Apps4Fingal)
    42. 42. KidsMaps
    43. 43. FixYourStreet
    44. 44. FixMyArea
    45. 45. FixMyStreet
    46. 46. Miami 311
    47. 47.
    48. 48. Sydney Budget Allocator
    49. 49. Future Melbourne
    50. 50. Economic Opportunities
    51. 51. Discover Fingal (Apps4Fingal)
    52. 52. (Apps4Fingal)
    53. 53. Hit The Road : Fingal
    54. 54. FixMyArea
    55. 55. ParkYa
    56. 56. Map of Property Price Register
    57. 57. Properties For Sale & Sold
    58. 58. Dublin Journey Times
    59. 59. Real Time Passenger Information
    60. 60. Demographics (3,409 EDs)
    61. 61. Demographics (18,488 SAs)
    62. 62. Challenges
    63. 63. Assign Responsibility
    64. 64. Release Data
    65. 65. Data Usage Restrictions
    66. 66. Inter-Agency Data Sharing
    67. 67. Standards, Quality, Persistence
    68. 68. Data Quality Improvement
    69. 69. Data Services
    70. 70.
    71. 71. Open by Default
    72. 72. Eat Our Own Dog Food
    73. 73. Let go …
    74. 74. Get Involved
    75. 75.
    76. 76. Open Data Ireland Community!forum/open-data-ireland
    77. 77. Fingal Open Data @fingalopendata Dublinked @dublinked dublinked@nuim.ie
    78. 78. Ireland’s Public Data Opportunity @fingalopendata
    79. 79. 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