The West Midlands Open Data Forum is an idea that has been initiated by Digital Birmingham. It has a mission
“To promote the release, re-use and integration of open data to benefit communities, businesses and public services in the West Midlands area.”
I was asked to join its steering group a few months ago and have attended three of its meetings so far. Here we have mostly been discussing the Terms of Reference for the group, commenting upon proposals for a Birmingham Open Data Platform and planning how the current steering group will support the new forum to host quarterly events that “bring together developer, activist, public authority, university, third sector and business communities over open data”
Photo Credit: suzannelong via Compfight cc
This was the talk I did at Pecha Kucha Coventry in November last year. It might sound a slightly odd title for a talk that is all about open data, but I was keen to do the whole presentation without using the phrase “open data” once. This was because I was part of an evening that had a variety of different speakers, not all of whom were technical, so I really couldn’t assume any prior knowledge of what open data is from the audience.
I also think that using the phrase is often a way of excluding people from the discussion. This was a useful opportunity to prove to myself that it’s possible to talk about open data in a way that is easy to understand for people who don’t want to know anything about the technical details.
I think that’s pretty much most people.
So, here it is. It is essentially me talking about three projects I’ve been involved with: the Birmingham Civic Dashboard, AidView and some ongoing work I’m doing with Mike Cummins about secondary school admissions.
The other Sunday I went for a walk around a part of the boundary of the Eastside regeneration area in Brum. No, really.
It was a part of Nikki Pugh‘s Uncertain Eastside project and turned out to be less of a “walk” and more of a “people clamber around a bit and take photos”. Only I don’t take photos. Sometimes I have pretensions and imagine that what I take qualify as snaps.
Anyway, ambling along Watery Lane we went by Birmingham City Mission. Here’s the view coming up to it.
Birmingham City Mission