Inaugural ODBH meeting on February 8 2011

There was a great turnout for the inaugural meeting of the Open-data Brighton and Hove group at The Quadrant in Queen’s Road, Brighton BN1 3FA.

This post does not seek to be anything other than a bullet-point list of action points or issues discussed by the 40+ people who attended. By summarising them, I hope it will help inform discussion at our next meeting on Tuesday, March 8.

The main points and issues, which I’ll add to in the light of any feedback, are:

  • Catalogue and categorise Brighton and Hove data that is already, to some degree, “open” (with a particular focus on data held by instituitons/organisations that receive public funding);
  • Identify various strands/themes of interest to ODBH members, including: transport, health, education, voluntary/community, police/crime, cultural (museums, galleries etc), environment;
  • Mobilise all-party, non-partisan support for an open-data Brighton and Hove from canddidates in the city council elections on Thursday, May 5;
  • Possible creation of a Google spreadsheet where datasets – and their uses – can be identified or recorded. Will a Google Group add value (in addition to this blog and the Open-data Brighton and Hove Meetup page?
  • Use of Twitter hashtag #ODBH. See also @OpendataCities;
  • Preparation for CityCamp Brighton on March 4-6 and the £10,000 prize;
  • Delicious links relating to open-data cities;
  • Research into – and analysis – of most prominent open-data cities, including San Francisco, New YorkWashington, Toronto; also monitor/collaborate with other open-data city campaigns such as the one in Manchester;
  • Does Brighton and Hove need its own CIO and/or its own Chief Digital Officer, similar to Rachel Sterne in New York? Does it need its own datastore?
  • Which institutions/organisations have a leadership role in the move to an open-data Brighton and Hove? Pivotal role of Brighton and Hove City Council; Paul Colbran (@PaulColbran), the city council’s Head of ICT, contributed to the meeting, for which thanks;
  • Is there a need for a “311-style” non-emergency service? See: Open311 and “What 100 million calls to 311 reveal about New York“;
  • Possible future speakers at ODBH: Chris Taggart (@CountCulture), of OpenlyLocal + OpenCharities + OpenCorporates (provisionally booked for Tuesday, March 8). Also Roger French, managing director of Brighton Buses? A CIO from a North American open-data city? Who else?

The inaugural meeting attracted significant interest. Here is a selection of articles, reports and blogs:

My next post will try to highlight some links to open-data cities around the world – and to articles about developments in such cities.


About Greg Hadfield

Greg Hadfield is editorial director of Brighton & Hove Independent, a free weekly newspaper. He is a former Fleet Street journalist and internet entrepreneur (including Soccernet and Schoolsnet).
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