Last week we got underway with another Open Data Forum in Exeter, and we were delighted to welcome Martin Parkes from Devon Communities Together to talk about an open data working group they’ve set up. Membership includes local government, academics, action groups, third sector and SMEs, meeting every few weeks to discuss possible joint projects, and how to create a shared approach to opening and accessing data that might be useful to the different group members.
We heard about one of the projects which is in the discovery phase, working out what data is available that could contribute to a better understanding of access to health services and social opportunities for vulnerable people in isolated communities. Obvious data layers like public transport, health facilities, income and deprivation have been added to a rough prototype map, and now Martin is asking what other information might be helpful to include. They are also wondering if any local developers are interested in suggesting technical applications or improvements to make the end result more effective and more likely to be picked up and shared with other apps or tools.
Contact Martin at MParkes@devoncommunities.org.uk for more information, or if you’d like to join the conversation.
After that we heard a little from Becky Moore about the latest work going on at the Met Office, with a brief speculative detour on whether we could pull live weather data into Minecraft to go with the maps generated from Lidar data recently – real-time likelihood of rain over County Hall perhaps?
We rounded off the evening with another test-drive of the Open Data Institute’s prototype open data board game, gathering more beta tester feedback for the team back at HQ and having some fun in the process. We’ll continue to test the game’s successive iterations at future Open Data Forum events in both Plymouth and Exeter, so if you fancy a go do come along! The details and dates for both venues can be found on the Meetup group.