We’re pretty darned chuffed to have been one of four companies to take part in a new project in the East Midlands run by Broadway Cinema in Nottingham and funded by the Arts Council. It’s called ‘Making Future Work’ and aims to develop innovative new digital works and research in the region via four specific Digital Commissions.
Our one is about Redundant Systems and, by association, open data. Rather than doing a hacking project, we wanted to do something that was the start of something else. The start of myriad things in fact.
We work with data quite a lot. From our game Chromaroma that uses people’s Oyster Card data to make travel into a fun and imaginative experience, to the soon to be launched Birmingham Civic Dashboard. A few of us at Mudlark reside in the East Midlands and it’s a small cause of frustration that (seemingly at least) no work is going on in the region to work with civic data in the ways that London, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester are doing. After seeing what good can come of open data, we want it here and we want it now. So the first part of our project is a Scouting Mission to find out:
a) what data is out there in our region
b) who owns that data
c) is anyone doing anything with it
d) if not, why not
e) what can the East Midlands learn from other forging forward with open public data
The next bit, after collating all the research together into something useful and browseable, will be to speak to developers, designers, data wranglers and artists to brainstorm what could be done with the data that exists and is available.
The outcome of the whole project will be, if all goes to plan, a comprehensive guide to civic and derived data in the East Midlands, where it is, who’s got it, how to ask for it, and what you might do with it.
We’re really excited about speaking to people in the region and introducing them to thinking behind and the benefits inherent in open public data, as well as working with Broadway, QUAD, iShed and everyone else involved.
Armed with a spreadsheet, a telephone, and a flask of weak lemon drink…we’re off!