Written by: Mark Barrett, Data Flock, 15/07/2015
Today (Tuesday 15th July) Cllr Yeadon and I are launching our very own ‘Leeds Dashboard’. The aim is to make Open Data understandable to all by creating something very visual that helps explain our city.
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.
Rather than creating a single one-time snap shot of the city, I wanted the dashboard to be a place where other people could create their own widgets and have them included. The vision is to create something that is truly “By the city, for the city” with developers creating widgets from data that is interesting to them. You may notice that each of the dashboard widgets has a “created by…” tag underneath it which links through to the creators design portfolio / twitter account / personal website – this is so people are recognised for their work – something that was really important to me. There is also a section on the dashboard that provides design and development guidelines, along with icons that could be used to create the widgets.
As more and more Open Data is released on this site, richer analysis can be done as datasets can be mashed together to understand the city in new ways.
To back this up we have planning to host a range of Data Dive events where people and teams are invited to examine datasets under a different topic each month. Starting with “Health” in September, “Sport” in October, “Transport” in November, and “Energy” in January we hope to be able to work with companies and organisations to release information as Open Data so others can use it to create widgets and insight like never before. I’ll be blogging about this in more detail and releasing event details over the coming weeks.
The long-term plan is for the Dashboard to provide a comprehensive live feed of what’s happening in the city and, eventually, people will be able to personalise their Dashboard with the widgets that are most relevant to their interests. Once we have enough hyper-local data, we could even create village dashboards. We will be continuing to work on the dashboard as we believe in it and want this to be a useful dashboard that is truly “By the city, for the city”.
So, into this brave new world we go, where we explain Open Data to everyone, not just Open Data geeks like me (and you!)
Check it out – www.leedsdashboard.co.uk