Make a date for Data Play

data-play-new-325-pixPeople with great ideas about how to make Plymouth a better place are being invited along to an event about how to use information the Council has made public by opening up its data.

 A Data Play event is being organised by the Council on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 October at the STEM Centre at City College to encourage people to think of innovative ways to use information.

 This is the fourth Data Play hosted by the Council which has received funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government through its Delivering Differently scheme, which aims to help local authorities to deliver services in new and innovative ways.

This time the theme of Data Play is environmental challenges and the organisers want those who attend to get their thinking caps on, power up their laptops and get looking at the open data already available.

Open data is data that everyone can freely use without restrictions. The Council holds a lot of data on a huge range of subjects and is aiming to releasing as much as possible, providing it meets stringent data protection checks. Digital developers are not always aware what’s available and one aim of the day is to tell them.

Deputy leader of the Council Councillor Patrick Nicholson, said: “This day is all about making the information we hold useful and how we can improve life in Plymouth as a result.”

One local company, Pixalytics used information the Council holds on the amount of green space in the city and discovered that there was a lot more than originally thought, for instance.

 As a result of an earlier Data Play Day, an app is currently being designed to make it easier for people to use the city’s Time bank scheme. Another project is hoping to map all the city’s trees.

Neighbourhood Planning Manager Hannah Sloggett said: “Having information is one thing, knowing what to do with it is another, which is why we try to make the event a bit fun as well.”

 People can come on their own or as part of a team and there is a chance to win £2,000 to develop an idea, which has the most potential.  

The Data Play Days have helped forged strong partnerships with Plymouth’s digital community and are also an opportunity to showcase the latest technology in our city.

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