By Sam Milsom with Sami Karamalla-Gaiballa, Phil Reed and Alice Kaerast.

An aeroplane in the air. You can see black pollutants out of its engines.
An aeroplane in the air. You can see black pollutants out of its engines.

March 2020 marked the 10th Open Data Day, an annual celebration of open data, where groups from all over the globe run events to show the benefits of open data. This year over 300 events were organised, exploring climate data, tracking public money flows, open mapping and data for equal development.

With many councils across England declaring a climate emergency, including Manchester, we chose to focus on environmental data. …


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24 Hour Data People in ITA2 Baudot-Murray code

2019 was a year which has seen Open Data Manchester develop and establish itself with new programmes and partners. The continuation funding from Luminate and the ongoing sponsorship by the Co-op Foundation has enabled us to lay the foundations that will make us operationally and financially more stable. As a not-for-profit Community Interest Company(CIC) our income comes from a mixture of grant funding and commercial work, where the surplus from our commercial work gets reinvested into our programme. …


By Jamie Whyte

On 8th October, Open Data Manchester held an event at Federation House designed to give people the opportunity to explore the Indices of Deprivation, updated for 2019.

The Indices of Deprivation is a tremendously important collection of datasets, used to support all sorts of decisions made across central and local government, voluntary sector, and businesses. The datasets are updated approximately every 4 years, and they measure comparative deprivation in small areas in England, using many different factors, from air quality to educational attainment, and from housing quality to worklessness.

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Jamie Whyte welcomes the first session attendees to the day

Attendees on the day were from a wide variety of backgrounds — local authorities, NHS, civic society, journalists, voluntary sector, and academics — and all came to hear from the experts that we had brought together from across the country to talk about the indices, and then take part in workshops and discussion. …


by Sam Milsom

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OpenStreetMap is a free, editable map of the world. Often described as the ‘cartographical Wikipedia’, it’s incredibly detailed and entirely crowdsourced. You can access it right now, and use it in a multitude of ways and for a variety of purposes. It’s all open source too.

State of the Map is the annual conference for all things OpenStreetMap (OSM). Each year OSM enthusiasts, mappers, businesses, and even those completely new to OSM gather to discuss all things OSM. …


How can we make our maps more inclusive? by Sam Milsom

In Part 1, we looked at the Mapping Mobility Stockport project, which aimed to map the routes and strategies used by people with mobility impairments when travelling around Stockport town centre. We explored a methodology for crowdsourcing this information in a way that is detailed and inclusive. …


Mobility and accessibilty in Stockport town centre By Sam Milsom

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The municipal environment often includes barriers that exclude people with restricted mobility. These barriers may be the result of natural topography, historic planning, deterioration of the urban environment or planned and unplanned maintenance. Some of the barriers may not be known to the local authority.

People with mobility impairments are often on the frontline when it comes to negotiating these obstacles, and often have their own knowledge and strategies in negotiating and circumventing them. …


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The Lovell Telescope makes for an impressive backdrop to the main stage

When Open Data Manchester were asked if we would like to run a tent at this year’s Blue Dot Festival, held at the Jodrell Bank Observatory, how could we resist? Not only is Blue Dot a celebration of all things music and science, it takes place around the fabulous Lovell Telescope — now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The festival was also celebrating 50 years since the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

With so many fascinating displays and stalls at the festival, we knew we had to convey the many facets of what Open Data Manchester does clearly, in a fun and informative way that would not only demystify the world of data, but encourage people to think about how data affects their lives. …


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Charabanc in the hills

We all need to use transport, whether it’s to get to work, to school, to the doctor, to meet friends and family, or the myriad other things that are vital for our everyday modern existence.

Public transport promises the ability to travel quickly, conveniently and in a more environmentally-friendly way. In Greater Manchester, we’re lucky enough to be able to travel via train, tram or bus. Unlike London or many European cities in Greater Manchester these modes are all treated as separate ways of traveling all with their own price structures.

With the tram and train it is relatively easy to find out in advance the cost of traveling, but within the deregulated bus system this is not the case. Many people have to take a bus to catch a train, get a bus after leaving a tram, or even take two buses to work, so being able to understand the cost of travel or the cheapest way to get from A to B is not an easy task — especially when multiple operators run a bus route, or when a different operator runs a service after a certain time of day. …


by Julian Tait, CEO Open Data Manchester CIC

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Greater Manchester, MappingGM

Over the last six months, we’ve been developing a series of workshops that introduce people to the open data that is about them and their communities. Through a mixture of presentation and practical exercises, these sessions take participants through the basics of what data and open data is, what data can and can’t do, and showcases some simple tools to access and explore this information.

There is a huge amount of open data available about the communities in which we live and work. …


By Sam Milsom

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A coxcomb diagrame of mortality in the military, by Florence Nightingale

Open:Data:Night is an open session for anyone with an idea, project or interest related to open data and data practice. We usually host an Open:Data:Night every few months, and they form part of our monthly meet up programme. On Tuesday 28th May, we hosted a special data visualisation-themed edition.

Jamie Whyte and Sean Borg

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3D map of the Greater Manchester local election 2019 results

First up Jamie Whyte and Sean Borg. Jamie had created a 3D digital visualisation of the Greater Manchester local election results, which portrayed results by ward. …

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Open Data Manchester

Promoting a fairer and more equitable society through the development of responsible and intelligent data practice

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