23rd April 2012

Making the most of open data


People across the country jumped at the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open data and put tools and techniques into practice at a series of free masterclasses we hosted recently.

The masterclasses, which were run by GeoVation and supported by Horizon Digital Economy Research, were held at six locations across England and Wales and attended by over 130 people. The free all-day sessions attracted small businesses, local authorities and students interested in learning about open data and how to maximise its use.

Following feedback from previous master classes, the sessions focused on giving participants the chance to use open datasets and put the theory into practice. The masterclasses introduce the context of open data, OS OpenData and the GeoVation initiative before hearing a user case study. During the sessions people had the chance to work with data from the Home Office, public authorities and more and see how it could be put to use with OS OpenData datasets, a great framework to display other available public data.

One case study worked on included taking data on school attendance rates and crime statistics on anti-social behaviour and overlaying it on Boundary-Line (see image below).

Map showing anti-social behaviour statistics overlaid with school attendance rates

Map showing anti-social behaviour statistics overlaid with school attendance rates

Thank you to everyone who gave feedback on the master classes which we will use to improve further sessions. Congratulations to Gareth Glynn who won a £10 Amazon voucher in the prize draw.  Gareth said ‘I enjoyed the class and certainly came out the wiser – it was a tough but rewarding day’.

Don’t worry if you missed out, we’re aiming to run another series of masterclasses across the country later in the year. These may develop the current sessions by offering support for using open data in web platforms and mobile formats.  Let us know if there are any places you would like us to visit.