30 07 2010

We have been working hard to get some exciting data from Manchester’s local authorities, and it seems the results are starting to come in.

For the first time in the UK, the open data community now has access to bus timetable data. In this case, for the whole of Greater Manchester. This isn’t just the stops and routes – this is the full timetable broken down across every stop, in a machine-readable format, used by the industry.

If you want to access it, or just learn more about it, please read the Access to ATCO CIF Data page on the wiki.

And whilst you’re there, perhaps you want to help add some information to the wiki’s other pages.


Meeting – 29th July at MadLab

21 07 2010

I wanted to hold off posting details here until the schedule had been finalised, but we can now confirm 4 great talks next Thursday at MadLab, Edge Street, M4 1NH.

Our schedule looks like this:

  • 6.30pm: Turn-up/introductions/etc.
  • 7pm: Introduction from Paul Robinson, ATCO CIF data parsing and other toys you can use today
  • 7.15pm: Steven Flower from will be sharing stories from the front-line of open data
  • 7.40pm: Julian Tait talks through real-time data (and funding!) possibilities
  • 8.05pm: Derek Harvie and Tom Robinson will discuss Metrostink – a use of Twitter for reporting Metrolink wait times and problems
  • 8.30pm Wrap-up and adjourn to a bar nearby (possibly Common?)

We’re bursting at the seams on this one, and we’re hoping there is something for everybody. I can’t say too much about my intro talk right now, except we’re hoping to be able to show you something never seen before… I’ll leave it at that, you’ll have to turn up to see for yourself if you’re curious.

Any changes in details will be announced over at the wiki, and we’d appreciate it if you could drop your name on the page to let us know about numbers.

Meeting this ThursdayWednesday 16th June – Common Bar, Northern Quarter

14 06 2010

Well, the people have spoken, and it has been decided:

We’re meeting from 6.30pm onwards at Common Bar in the Northern Quarter.

If the place is packed, we might move on to somewhere a little quieter but will leave word at the bar if anybody asks for the “Open Data Manchester crowd”. If you don’t know how to spot us, feel free to email me and I’ll send on my mobile number.

Hopefully see a few of you there.
UPDATE: We originally said this was Thursday. We meant Wednesday, sorry!

Inaugral Open Data Manchester Event Announced

20 04 2010

We thought a good way to get the community rolling would be to hold a regular event here in Manchester.

Our first event in Manchester is going to be on the 27th April (next Tuesday!) from 6pm until 8pm at MDDA on Portland Street. The line-up includes an introduction to the ODM group, an overview of interesting Open Data projects if you’re relatively new to the area and a discussion about Future Everything and their involvement in this area during 2010.

We’ll also be hearing from our hosts at MDDA about the major fibre network project they’ve been championing and perhaps discuss the possible impact for real-time data gathering opportunities around the project area.

Space is limited, and so we’re asking you to register in advance for at least the first event. You can do that at the special EventBrite registration page – it’s free!

Open Data Manchester arrives

11 03 2010

The enthusiasm for open data across the globe is building, and the time for a group here in Manchester has now arrived.

As a city, we are overflowing with developers, designers and people curious about statistical data and information visualisation. They all have ideas about how to use publicly available data from a wide range of sources. Our mission as a group is to:

  • Help developers and designers become more familiar with tools, datasets and other projects around the World
  • Identify datasets of use to local data users and of interest to us generally
  • To provide a catalyst for local authorities in Manchester and the North so that they might make data available for exploration, knowing there are established groups who wish to use it

We will do this by running regular meetups with presentations on tools, best practice and ideas for using and exploring open data, and hopefully at least a few times a year running Hack Days where we intend to collaborate on substantive projects.

As curator, I am here merely to help organise and promote, but hope communities from free software groups, designers, developers and people who know more about statistics than most will engage and slowly take ownership of this group.

First things first: if you want to get involved you should join the Open Data Manchester Google Group where we’ll start having active discussions about how to move forward.