Engaging on open data in the 2018 BBC Digital Cities Week

Innovation
06 Dec, 18 by Phil Higgins

In support of Bristol being a Learning City, the City Innovation team were proud to take part in this year’s BBC Digital Cities Week. The week offered a range of free events delivering tech and creativity skills.

Two open data focused events were delivered by the Our Data Initiative in partnership with UrbanThings, OpenDataSoft, the University of the West of England and Just Eat.

Data Jam / Hackathon

We kicked off with a two day Data Jam / Hackathon on 24th and 25th November hosted at Just Eat’s offices. 51 participants worked in 8 teams bringing a mixture of skills and experience to create a range of innovative projects to support Bristol’s One City Approach in reference to sustainable transport, homes and communities.

Technical support was offered throughout the event by UrbanThings (powering the awesome Bristol’s API) and OpenDataSoft (host of the newly refreshed Open Data Bristol platform). In addition, the University of Bristol’s Jean Golding Institute helped participants consider the use of data science in their projects. Generous amounts of food and refreshments, supplied by Just Eat, helped keep everyone fuelled.

The Eco Road Warriors won with their Eco routes project which takes the idea to nudge drivers in Bristol to produce fewer emissions with their cars on day-to-day journeys. Judges were impressed by the amount of work that was able to be achieved over the 2 days. The team modelled likely emissions per vehicle per road segment for every road in the city (taking into account traffic lights, hills and zebra crossings) which was incorporated into a prototype route planner web application which demonstrated an average drop in emissions of 22% per journey, in exchange for a modest increase in journey time.

Team members included Frank Kelly, Ercan Ezin, Alexander Frenzel, Michelle Ho and Fanqi (Freddie). Frank Kelly was awarded the team’s first prize of a trip to London with lunch, with scheduled networking and mentoring sessions.

A second award was given to Tomasz Pamuła who was recognised by all participants as the individual who bought the most enthusiasm and engagement throughout the event. Tomasz’s prize includes a half-day session to The Factory to create a 2D/3D designed project of his choice as well as mentoring and networking sessions.

Code developed by participants during the event is presently being curated and will be made publically available on Github.

Our Data Projects – Pitching and Commissioning Session

Our second event was kindly hosted by the University of the West England at the Arnolfini on 28th November. 29 attendees in all joined came together as participating teams were given 4 minutes each to pitch how their idea could utilise open data to address Bristol City challenges / strategic priorities in relation Housing, Communities, Transport and/ or Connectivity.

The event was judged by Bristol City Council’s Deputy Mayor Craig Cheney, Web/UX Designer Ajara Pfannenschmidt and the Jean Golding Institutes’ Patricia Holley.

The 3 X £1,500 commissions awarded below will present their completed projects at the end of February 2019 –

Eco routes – Frank Kelly, Ercan Ezin, Alexander Frenzel, Michelle Ho, and Fanqi (Freddie).

Nudging drivers in Bristol to produce fewer emissions with their cars on day-to-day journeys.

With a background where diesel and petrol vehicles are significant contributors to poor air quality in the UK, and where GPS navigated journeys are currently planned to minimise journey time only, our idea was to create alternative routes across the city for drivers; that reduce their carbon footprint and also limit the harmful NOx gas emissions produced.

During the 2 day hackathon, by modelling likely emissions per vehicle per road segment for every road in the city (taking into account traffic lights, hills and zebra crossings) we incorporated this information into a prototype route planner web application which demonstrated an average drop in emissions of 22% per journey, in exchange for a modest increase in journey time.

Triffids* (working title) – Thomas Wieck, Tim Pushman, Faizaan Sakib, Josh Jarvis, and Taavi Kelle.

A web application based around the Bristol Open Data API, making use of the Trees, Parks and Green Spaces datasets. The intention is to inspire people to explore and become involved with urban greenery by providing information and challenges in Bristol’s green spaces.

The Solar Mapping – Tom Statham, Lenka Haska, Julian Vercruysse, Sam Sheng, and David Saunders.

The project plans to build on the Bristol Solar Map dataset to aggregate solar potential by streets and council wards, and link to actual solar energy generation data and indices of social deprivation, to indicate areas of highest potential.  We want to link this to a new app which can log people’s interest in solar roofs, cheaper energy and so on – for use in community engagement, and to accelerate the city’s progress towards carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy.

The Our Data Initiative has created the DataBrain brand as a mechanism to stimulate awareness, skills and support for the open data community within Bristol. Knowle West Media Centre’s Eight was commissioned to create the DataBrain logo in recognition of their support and use of emerging local creative talent. Additionally, their community-led maker-space, the Factory, created award trophies from reclaimed wood and perspex for the two events.

data brain

An online document space has also been created for community conversation about use of data and information in and around Bristol city. The document is incrementally developing as the Our Data events engage new interested parties

 

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