People across the country jumped at the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of open data and put tools and techniques into practice at a series of free masterclasses we hosted recently.
The masterclasses, hosted by Ordnance Survey’s GeoVation initiative and supported by Horizon Digital Economy Research, were held at six locations across England and Wales and attended by over 130 people. The free all-day sessions attracted small businesses, local authorities and students interested in learning about open data and how to maximise its use.
Following feedback from two previous successful masterclass series, the sessions focused on giving participants the chance to use open datasets and put the theory into practice. The masterclasses introduce the context of open data across the world, OS OpenData and the GeoVation initiative before hearing a user case study. During the sessions people had the chance to work with data from the Home Office, public authorities and more and see how it could be put to use with OS OpenData datasets, a great framework to display other available public data.
One case study worked on included taking data on school attendance rates and crime statistics on anti-social behaviour and overlaying it on Boundary-Line (shown in image). Alternatively, another case study was looking at how local authorities could identify areas to increase public transport. Users looked at traffic hot spots on a map, then using information on average car occupancy, overlaid this on the map to identify areas where increasing public transport could reduce traffic hot spots.
We’re aiming to run a further series of masterclasses across the country later in the year. These may develop the current sessions by offering support for using open data in web platforms and mobile formats. Let us know if there are areas where you would like to see masterclasses next time – or if you’ve already attended, let us know how you’d like us to develop future sessions.