Hacking Warwickshire….again

Following on from the fantastic inaugural Hack Warwickshire competition, we are very pleased to announce our second Hack Warwickshire competition.

Round 2 will run from Monday 23rd August 2010 until Friday 29th October 2010. Judging will take place on Friday 5th November 2010. The rules are located on our blog.  We will be giving away a camcorder to the value of £250 as the prize.

We have another 15 datasets to play with following on from the first Hack Warwickshire competition, so there’s plenty of scope for new applications. We hope to have more data online over the course of the next 2 months.

Good luck!

A Small Victory

Through a fantastic team effort by our Road Safety Unit, our GIS team and Health & Safety, our open data site is now the proud owner of the School Crossing Patrol data. Finally, we are moving closer to my dream of  Walk This Way, Talk This Way becoming a reality.

For anyone who has been privy to my Open Data presentation, you will know that this is one of my Town Mayors. For those wondering what on earth I am on about, watch out for “Kate Sahota – Open Data Promoter”, coming to an open data event near you!

No flies on us

Now the dust has settled after the highly successful Hack Warwickshire competition, there are no flies on us as we have just released a whopping 12 datasets. These datasets are all related to Waste Management in Warwickshire so come and have a look and see if you can do something exciting with our rubbish.

The highly awaited locations our School Crossing Patrols are imminent, as well as some very interesting data around our energy consumption in council buildings. We’ll be blogging and tweeting as soon as these are available.

Discussions are taking place on the £500+ expenditure figures with our finance teams. Our staff are beavering away tidying up some of the data to ensure there is no personal information at risk of being published. We hope to have something out in the next couple of months.

Never mind the World Cup, here are the Hack Warwickshire results

After 3 hours locked in the War Room of Warwickshire County Council, we are delighted to announce that the winners of our inaugural Hack Warwickshire competition are:

 Lewis Wagner with his Warwickshire Library New Releases hack

 and

 Matt Hawthorne with his Warwickshire Wired Hack

Congratulations should also go to Karen Ramsey-Smith for her great idea and Chris Heilmann for his excellent use of Yahoo! YQL, who are both the recipients of Apple iPod Shuffles.

 The standard of entries was great and our judges were all very impressed with what they were looking at. Dave Coplin, of Microsoft, said

“My goodness, there’s some good stuff in there”

Thanks to everyone who got involved, we’re delighted with the outcome and, remember, there will be more opportunities to Hack Warwickshire soon.

Extra Time to Hack Warwickshire

Due to the increased numbers of datasets loaded onto our Open Data site in the last week, we have decided to extend the deadline of the competition to Friday 2nd July 2010 at 5pm.

This is to give entrants more time to look at the new data and either enhance their current entry, or even build a new one.

A Surge of Open Data

In the run-up to the last week of the competition we have some great new datasets to play with.

Ageing Population

Child Poverty Issues

Health Deprivation

Job Seekers Allowance Claimants

Jobs Growth

Relative Age Profile

Skills and Qualifications

and to top it all off …

Warwickshire Super Output Areas to help you do something clever with all of the new data.

With a week left to go, there’s still time for you to get your paws on an iPad or an iPod shuffle.

Kate’s Great Idea

So it would appear the downside to running a competition is that I’m not allowed to enter. Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t tell the world about my fantastic idea for an application – Walk This Way, Talk This Way (but not to strangers). Have a read, and see if you can do better by sending your idea to opendata@warwickshire.gov.uk. We need your ideas, and who knows, it might give some clever developer the inspiration to build what you want.

The reality of my application is still not quite possible until we can launch the locations of zebra, pelican and pedestrian crossings – they are currently OS-derived datasets. But with the rate at which the Ordnance Survey are freeing stuff up, this could be possible by the end of the year (nudge, nudge).

The Political Mashup and Open Data

According to Wikipedia, there are many types of mashup. Now, thanks to David Cameron and Nick Clegg there is a new type of mashup – the Political Mashup (if I could copyright that, I would). 

I’ve been having tremendous fun reading “The Coalition: Programme for Government” this morning with my Open Data glasses on looking for more carrots and sticks to “encourage” data out of WCC. It seems Dave and Nick have heard my furious swearing after yet another unsuccessful phone call with one of our data huggers (that’s what I call them on a good day). Here are just a few extracts from the programme that should help local authorities overcome some of the problems we are currently having: 

  • Setting government data free will bring significant economic benefits by enabling businesses and non-profit organisations to build innovative applications and websites
  • We will require public bodies to publish online the job titles of every member of staff and the salaries and expenses of senior officials paid more than the lowest salary permissible in PayBand 1 of the Senior Civil Service pay scale, and organograms that include all positions in those bodies
  • We will publish government ICT contracts online
  • We will require full, online disclosure of all central government spending and contracts over £25,000
  • We will create a new ‘right to data’ so that government-held datasets can be requested and used by the public, and then published on a regular basis
  • We will require all councils to publish meeting minutes and local service and performance data
  • We will ensure that all data published by public bodies is published in an open and standardised format, so that it can be used easily and with minimal cost by third parties
  • We will implement the Sustainable Communities Act, so that citizens know how taxpayers’ money is spent in their area
  • We will oblige the police to publish detailed local crime data statistics every month

I’d like to end on a positive note as I feel I may have overplayed how difficult I am finding getting data out of WCC. On the whole, everyone has been marvellous at getting me their data and been very supportive. The ones that haven’t, you know who you are.

Don’t stop us now…

The WCC open data team are having such a good time.

Like the Icelandic volcano, our open data work has been rumbling along nicely over the last few weeks. We’ve had a steady stream of new data being delivered neatly on our doorstep and the excitement of being “officially” launched.

Just in the last few hours we’ve had exclusions data, bridge weight limits and height restrictions.

Like the new kid at school, we have been received well and everyone has been very kind and gentle, but now it’s time to get on with the job and ensure all of our hard work produces some great results before we get roughed up behind the bike sheds.

In the pipeline we have listed buildings, school crossing patrols, congestion, budget and revenue, and pension fund data, to name just a few.

As we speak, my colleague is busy writing the rules for our Hack Warwickshire competition, due to launch within the next couple of weeks. We have also been developing some very exciting sample applications to give you an idea of what could be done with our data.

So keep watching, we will be flaunting ourselves shamelessly around the open data community over the next few weeks.

If you love something, set it free…

It seems our initial fears of reluctance within WCC to release data were mostly unfounded. Over the course of last few days our open data has, quite literally, been trickling in.

So for everyone eagerly awaiting the grand launch of WCC’s Open Data site, I can confirm we will have the following datasets:

  • WCC School closures
  • WCC News
  • WCC Events
  • WCC Councillors
  • Committee Meetings
  • Jobs
  • Museums
  • One Stop Shops
  • Libraries
  • Country Parks
  • Recycling Centres
  • Schools
  • School admissions data

And (hopefully) the following datasets will be coming to a screen near you very soon:

  • Pupils on roll
  • Pupils with SEN
  • Free School Meal eligibility
  • Pupils with a first language other than English
  • Pupil ethnic groups
  • Pupil absences
  • Pupil exclusions
  • Roadworks information
  • Congestion information
  • Election information
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