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The media Mill Gazette

December 12, 2016
Mark Lochrie

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Every week, the studio’s Andy Dickinson publishes a newsletter that gathers interesting links and stories on Open Data, data journalism and open government.  Here’s a taster of this weeks newsletter. If it looks interesting, don’t forget to subscribe

Open Data Advent Calendars
In my little roundup last week I missed ODI Leeds’ open data advent calendar and BathHacked’s #Dataadvent . Sorry. If you want more…The Twitter native Open data Cal and the Economist’s chat advent calendar (H/T warning graphic content) might satisfy.

Announcing Open Data Camp 4
When you get your new diary or Calendar for chritmas, put Saturday and Sunday 25/26th February 2017 in it. The fourth Open data camp is at The Pierhead in Cardiff.

When governments can spend £75 on a mop, open data is vital
The headline is a bit clickbatey but the underlying point about the value of open contracting is a good one.

What’s the nearest bus stop to a pub
This is a great little project by Get The Data, which takes their open pub dataset and open bus stop data from NaPTAN and creates a way to find the bus stop closest to a pub!  Amazing!

Call to action from Urban Transport Group to ‘get smart on data’
Talking of buses…The Urban Transport Group, a consortium including Manchester, Liverpool City Region and  Sheffield City Region amongst others is calling on transport authorities and UK legislation to get smart on data. They’ve also released a report on the same topic. 

A Robust Vision for Using Data in Government
“collecting data is not the same as harnessing data”  – The US based Pew trust is starting a new project to investigate

The library of missing datasets–now a github repo and art piece
“Missing data sets” are my term for the blank spots that exist in spaces that are otherwise data-saturated” So says artist Mimi Onuoha. I lovely idea and, as Jeremy Crampton points out, some are no longer missing.

Open data in the public sector – what’s next?
Sean Green is service head ICT at London Borough of Tower Hamlets thing government needs to think about its IT structures more if it wants to get Open Data right.

Open sourcing the Embedding Projector: a tool for visualizing high dimensional data
I love the results but have absolutely no understanding of the concept! But as data gets ‘bigger’ and AI, natural language processing etc. get more traction in the mainstream…I guess this is the future (or a way of looking at it anyway)

Is there a place for chord charts in data visualisation?
“It’s the dataviz equivalent of loving Kandinsky and hating Picasso, or admiring Bach and being indifferent to Radiohead. “

Hyperlocal is hyper-screwed: Our last, best chance to reinvent local news
This comes from a US perspective, but dig beneath the talk of FCC’s etc. and the story of the importance and value of protecting local broadcasting when you sell of ‘spectrum’ is all too familiar for those involved in local broadcast media in the UK.

Cincinnati Uses Visual Dashboards to Demystify Government
US based again but an interesting use of Tableau to pull together a site that layers narrative, context and dashboards. The piece also has some interesting insight into the role the dashboard site has in getting people to engage when an open portal itself is not enough:  “It’s one of those things where it’s like when the whole open data portal movement started, people made this decision ‘Let’s build it and they will come.’ But guess what? They have not come,” 


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