Posted on 5th Aug 2016 by Paul Armstrong
Caught up in my usual inspired frenzy following the meetups I agreed to write a quick post so here goes.
I snapped some photos of the Post-It’s and decided to pick a couple of issues where I know things are happening or data is available to see if this would spark any ideas or even give people the opportunity to get involved in any work currently ongoing. I’ve also tried to include links to peoples’ twitter handles so hopefully you can get in touch.
The three topics I’ve chosen are Pollution, Housing Occupancy and Crime Stats. Obviously I’m happy to expand this out if anyone finds it useful or has any questions or interest in a particular area, I’m thinking litter could potentially be the next.
In March we had a presentation from Phil James who is Academic Lead on the Urban Observatory at Newcastle University. In his presentation Phil introduced the Urban Observatory, what they do and the datasets which they publish via their API.
Phil also described some of the issues they experience, with absolute (rather than relative) air quality being extremely difficult and very expensive to measure. However, he presented some of the innovative ways they are using other related datasets as indicators which can be used to forecast or predict air quality, for example traffic stats and noise levels have direct correlations to air quality.
I would encourage anyone who hasn’t already to check out the Urban Observatory as it really is a great resource. Likewise you can see lots of crossover with the data published by the Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) and see how using these two together could result in some really interesting city projects and insights. Some good examples of these datasets being used can be found in the entries to the recent Data Movement competition run by UTMC and the Digital Catapult at Sunderland Software City.
A great example of work that has been done using housing occupancy open data (in Leeds) is the Empties Map created by Tom Forth from Imactivate and ODI Leeds. This shows the number of empty homes in every ward in Leeds, for the last decade, on a map. Leeds has made huge progress on filling empty homes and wanted to make the data they release on it more visible. This view and presentation of the data is also being used to make the case for more housing in Leeds and has acted as a catalyst for Leeds City Council to release more open data on housing.
All ‘crime’ information for England, Wales and Northern Ireland is currently published by the Police. From this site you can download street-level crime, outcome, and stop and search data as a CSV format. They have an API which gives access to detailed crime data and information about individual police forces and neighbourhood teams. You can also download data on police activity, and a range of data collected under the police annual data requirement (ADR) including arrests and 101 call handling. All the data on this site is made available under the Open Government Licence.
A great example of where this data has been used is the work done by Jamie Whyte from Trafford Innovation and Intelligence Lab. Crime and Safety Profile API is a tool which automatically pulls data from data.police.uk, and counts it according to the selected geography (area). It can provide data to at least LA level for every Local Authority in England and Wales, with some down to ward level and town centres etc.
Just to also take this opportunity to signpost you to the Newcastle library data updated with new metadata as I mentioned at the meeting. We would really love your feedback on this – was it useful, do you think there is anything missing or can you think of a way we can do things better?
Cheers and hopefully see you all next month