Blogs

We love telling a good story, whether it be about something someone else is doing or about some of our own work!  We want to hear from you though - if you've written a blog recently let us know and we'll publish it here...

Using tech for healthy ageing

Today's guest blog is an update regarding our recent Local Government Association sponsored Innovation Lab across the North of England. Lee Emery from Stockport talks about the proposal chosen to be developed further below.
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ODI Leeds and Friends Showcase 2017

Leeds Digital Festival returns for 2017, and with it so does our ODI Leeds & Friends Showcase! Last year's event had a fabulous turnout of nearly 100 people throughout the day, popping along to hear about ODI Leeds and the partners and sponsors that make the digital scene in Leeds so vibrant.
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Ripple – An Open Digital Platform for the NHS

Ripple OSI are looking to create an 'open platform challenge fund' - a yearly open competition for the creation of open platforms to be deployed in the NHS. The fund would be created by diverting 1% of the yearly NHS digitisation budget.

They are inviting submissions of interest in this 'open platform challenge fund,' hoping to gauge the wider interest in this fund and bring the responses to the attention of NHS Digital and NHS England.
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Data Mill North wins ODI Publisher Award!

We're delighted to announce that Data Mill North has been awarded the 2016 ODI Publisher Award. Here are some thoughts on our approach to Open Data, thanks to our collaborators and an indication of our future plans - including an appeal for additional datasets and more organisations to join our community!
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I am new to all this

Hello, my name is Forsyth, I am the newest member of the Open Data team at Leeds City Council. I started full involvement on 19th September. I have arrived at a really exciting time, as there seems to be a groundswell in the desire to do collaborative work across public, private and voluntary sectors all using data which is in the public domain. In this blog I will share my first impressions of the world of Open Data.
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Publisher nomination for DMN!

This has been a great year for us at the Data Mill and the good news keeps coming. It was a big step forward to re-brand Leeds Data Mill to Data Mill North and great to see City of Bradford MDC publishing ever more datasets and producing some great visualisations. We then found out that we had been nominated for the ODI Publisher Award 2016. As you can imagine we're pretty chuffed!
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Let’s help Bradford’s bid to host the Great Exhibition of the North 2018!

As part of Bradford’s bid, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are holding a social media spotlight day on Friday 16th September. Please, please, please use any or all social media channels available to you share images, photos, data insights, examples of collaboration, opportunities etc. using the hashtags #GreatNorthExpo2018 and #BradfordGXn. Let’s get these hashtags trending nationally on Friday 16th September and show why Bradford should be chosen to hold the event and what makes us great!
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Hello Data Mill North!

Well it's all really exciting here at the Data Mill. As I write this we're putting the finishing touches to the migration from Leeds Data Mill to Data Mill North. Whilst there's a tinge of sadness with the Leeds Data Mill website and name disappearing, this is more than outweighed by the excitement of what lies ahead for Data Mill North.
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Data for people who don’t do data

Chances are if you’re reading this you have an interest in data. Whether it be looking for patterns or re-using it in different ways. If however, you want to find out more about the city and don’t have a background in analysis or coding, or just simply not interested in looking at rows and rows of data, then maybe the Leeds City Dashboard is for you.
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Vote! Vote! Vote!

I've always said that Leeds does some amazing stuff but we tend to just quietly get on with it in our own unassuming way - of course, I'm always happy to accept a compliment or three and it's good to know that people are taking note of what we're doing in our great city.
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#Floodhack16 – where next?

On the 11th and 12th of March nearly a hundred people came to ODILeeds to pool knowledge, share ideas, and build solutions to flooding. Two weeks after the event, Tom Forth, is moving the discussion beyond what happened and start sharing what’s happening next.
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Introducing the Urbal map

There is a term, ‘Rurban,’ which technically describes a ‘periurban’ area that is chiefly residential, but where some farming is carried out. It’s also used by some to describe the bleeding of unsustainable and polluting urban consumerism into formerly healthy rural resources. (It’s even been claimed that the whole of Britain is now effectively Rurban).
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Variations in drug prescriptions in England

Built by Ben Goldacre and Anna Powell-Smith at the EBM Data Lab, OpenPrescribing uses millions of rows of prescription CSV data which is published by the HSCIC right here in Leeds.  The website converts the data into useful information, which can be easily viewed, analysed and queried by the public and health professionals.
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Everything you need to know about open data (and a bit more)

Edafe Onerhime is a Strategist, Speaker and Consultant. She has worked with Leeds Data Mill and Leeds City Council on a number of their Innovation Labs and done some great work in 'making sense of data'. Here, she's pulled together all manner of links and guides to help us all through the open data maze..
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Investigating Road Traffic Casualties in Leeds

This year ODI Leeds embarked on an ambitious project focusing on road traffic casualties in the city. Using open data from Leeds Data Mill, I began exploring the Road Traffic Accidents datasets available on the portal. This initially culminated in a dot density map of cycling casualties in the city.
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The secret life of an office building

Earlier this week we held our first Energy Innovation Lab as part of the ongoing Smart City programme. The Lab marks the beginning of a project to encourage employees to take greater interest in their carbon footprint. We made some surprising discoveries when we analysed the energy consumption data of one of the office buildings across 24 hours a day for an entire month.
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Here’s why every smart city has to be age-friendly

Many cities across the world are keen to evolve into a futuristic ‘smart’ metropolis. But there is another significant change that is taking place in our towns and cities right now. We’re living longer than previous generations. In the UK alone, the number of people aged 80 and over is set to double by 2037. So it’s about time we consider smart city projects that take a pragmatic and positive view on ageing.
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Dashbord on an iPad

Storytellers of Leeds help shape Leeds City Dashboard

Mention ‘open data’ to most people and, if it means anything at all, surveillance, security, technology, calculators spring to mind. Open data is in fact a massive well of published information that we’re only just starting to explore the possibilities of its re-use. Just one way Leeds City Council is trying to make open data more accessible is through a new ‘Dashboard’.
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The Leeds Empties Map

At the end of April 2015 the ODI Leeds challenge team finally finished our Innovate UK sponsored work with Leeds Empties. It was hard work, but we’ve learned a lot and delivered some really promising products which we’ll be sharing on this blog in the coming months.
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Viaggiart: Culture around you, wherever you are

The ViaggiArt project, promoted by the Italian company Altrama, is an open data based web platform and mobile application for cultural tourism. The solution, which is already available in Italy, allows tourists to access reliable open data based information (description, location, and pictures) about cultural sites around them.
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Making sport accessible

At Leeds City Council we have lots of information on our website pages about the activities and sports on offer at our various leisure centres. We wanted to see how newly published data could present this same data in a new and interactive way. Working with Hebe Works, we published the data on Leeds Data Mill and then let Hebe get on with the flashy stuff!
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The Power of Open Data

Sandip Ghattaure and Stephen Blackburn both work in Leeds City Council’s Open Data team. Their latest work is the release of the city's WiFi data set.
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Hack My Route – Live Blog

Leeds Data Mill have joined forces with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (formerly Metro), and ODI Leeds to create Hack My Route, a creative hack day designed to bring cyclists together with road safety specialists and creative developers to create a new service for cyclists across the wider West Yorkshire region. Catch the action as it unfolds here!
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Leeds Empties Wins Technology Strategy Board Funding

Leeds Empties is a social enterprise which works with owners of empty homes to bring them back into use. We are funded by Leeds City Council – and work alongside their Empty Homes Team to offer intensive support to owners of empty homes in Leeds – 90% of which are privately owned.
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Hacking Sport with Leeds City Council

What's it like to take part in an internal data dive to help businesses understand the potential of their data? We asked Tom Forth to tell us tales from the recent Leeds City Council Sports Internal Data Dive.
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Call for Developers

In the coming months we will be running a series of internal hacks with Leeds City Council staff. Our goal is to build confidence in a more collaborative way of working that can be facilitated by open data. We also want to increase the number of open data sets that are made available on Leeds Data Mill.
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Sporting City Commission

Leeds has long been heralded as a sporting city, with a stronghold of supporters come rain or shine. What we are less known for however is those small community sports clubs that brave the elements every weekend without fail. We know that local clubs are already active hovering just below the radar, but how many local teams do we have in the city?
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What is an Open Data Project? (Part 3)

In part 1 and part 2 we looked at why and how you might approach an open data project. So what exactly is this data that we’re talking about? What does it mean?
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Agile Development Chart

Get your data project going! (Part 2)

In the first part of this post we explored why companies should release open data. In this part, I'll share some thoughts about how you might scope and plan an open data project.
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Dot Line Form

What is an Open Data Project? (Part 1)

Data is not a thing in itself, it always has context. Think of data as a parcel that has come through the post. Inside the parcel is 'data', but the parcel itself is also data - you've only got the data inside because it's been created, packaged, and sent to you. So finding and understanding data is not just about locating a database on a server, or a file in a folder, it's about understanding the people and the processes that give that data meaning and relevance.
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Leeds Data Dashboard

Leeds Dashboard

We’re launching Leeds Dashboard with a number of initial ‘widgets’ that have been created to demonstrate its capabilities – from daily footfall figures in the city centre, to parking fines, and planning application approval rates. As you’ll see, the Dashboard works on desktop, tablet and mobile devices and will also be appearing on big screens across the city.
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Leeds Civic Hall

Where should I live in Leeds?

I was involved in a workshop last week with colleagues who are involved in responding to Freedom of Information (FoI) requests. Changes to the FoI Act now state that if a dataset is requested, we must provide the information in an open and machine readable format to allow re-use. Not only that, we should also publish it on our website as the chances are that if one person has shown interest in it, others may be interested too.
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Health in Numbers graphic

Event – Health in Numbers

Health in Numbers is a FREE one day event that will showcase projects, experiments and the latest thinking on the role of open data in healthcare. This event is hosted by Leeds Data Mill and will feature a series of lightning talks, a panel session and an interactive workshop.
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Heatmap

The importance of blending local and national data sources

Platforms such as Leeds Data Mill, Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme, and the Hampshire Hub share a common (golden) thread and bigger prize: They set standards to blend data from local and national sources. This is key to enabling innovative new data-driven tools and insights, focussed around places, people and communities.
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The Leeds Data Mill: A New Hope (Guest post)

The Leeds Data Mill hackathon at Leeds City Museum on the 8th and 9th of March was the first chance for about 50 interested people to have a look at data published on the data mill. We’ve documented what we did.
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Lonely Bird Logo

The Creation of a Lonely Bird (Guest post)

The Leeds Data Mill Hack event was unlike other hackathons we’ve previously attended in such a way that it was intended to solve problems; or rather, to ask the right questions. This was totally different for us, where previously our experience of hacks was mostly about creating the weirdest, overambitious hack you could think of within the time limit.
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Becoming a winning team at a hack event

National Hack The Government is an annual hack day run by Rewired State, they aim to bring great people together to have fun hacking and building things. Hoping to improve transparency, open data and relationships between the Government and it’s citizens.
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Leeds Digital Festival stage

An open data hack where context is key

At Leeds Data Mill our goal is to create the first comprehensive repository of open data sets for the city that is available for everyone to use. This includes data from healthcare, heritage, culture, transport, education and many other sources.
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Welcome to Leeds Data Mill

The Leeds Data Mill website is now live and we invite you to explore the data sets we've collected so far. The website will remain in perpetual beta, which is our way of saying will continue to take feedback and make changes are we progress - constantly developing.
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Rewired State Logo

Join us for our 1st public event

This is the first event hosted by Leeds Data Mill and is open to all to participate. With your help we will explore the myths and reality of the services we use on a day-to-day basis to understand what is the quality of life of a Leeds citizen.
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