Open Data Manchester first met in March 2010. It was set up as part of FutureEverything’s Open Data Cities project and sought to create a forum for people who were working on or interested in Open Data in the region
Open Data Manchester was vitally important in encouraging local authorities and public bodies in Greater Manchester to start thinking about and ultimately releasing data. The group created a demand-side argument for its release and in July 2010 Transport for Greater Manchester (then Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive) became the first travel authority to release bus scheduling data that was originally held on the Open Data Manchester wiki.
The Open Data Manchester community was key in the setting up of DataGM – The Greater Manchester Public DataStore and many members work on projects or advise on open data implementation and use.
In November 2011, Open Data Manchester became constituted and continues to grow from strength to strength.
Who are we?
Note: members can add their own details here on request.
Ric Roberts is the CTO of Swirrl, a company whose aim is to make the promise of Linked Open Data a reality. Swirrl are currently concentrating on their Linked Data publishing platform, PublishMyData, and related projects. With Julian, Steven, Ben, and Farida, Ric founded OpenDataManchester
Ric is an active member of Manchester’s technology community. He regularly attends the North West Ruby User Group (NWRUG) meetings and has run two Ruby on Rails training courses at Manchester Digital Laboratory (MadLab), and he also co-founded Manchester Bootstrap Club.
Steven Flower has a long history of working in the field of non-profit technology.
Currently this involves working with governments and organisations to assist with the publication of open data to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which requires liaison around data schemas, quality and accessibility. Alongside this, Steven works with charities and civic organisations to promote the usage and production of open data.
More widely, Steven also organises Manchester Net Squared - a series of regular meetups, discussions and surgery events around a variety of topics pertinent to social-good organisations utilising technology. Alongside this, he also co-ordinates the annual Young Rewired State event at MadLab, and sits on the Global Leadership Council of NetSquared.
I am a project initiator and creative producer interested in the societal impact of technology and mechanisms that bring about change. My work is split between FutureEverything and Littlestar and am a judge for Eindhoven in the Global Living Lab Awards. Since May 2009 I have been leading the Open Data Cities programme for FutureEverything. The programme seeks to bring about a change in the way that public bodies within Greater Manchester share data with themselves and citizens. The project laid the ground work for the Greater Manchester Datastore DataGM and created the Open Data Manchester community. I am also a co-founder of SMC_MCR a monthly event that brings together people who are interested and active in technology and social media, Redeye – The Photographer’s Network and Look 07 – The Year of Photography.
He is an active member of a number of local groups. Ben regularly attends the North West Ruby User Group and co-started Manchester’s BootStrap Club, a social gathering of people to discuss building sustainable businesses and projects. He runs Manchester Jelly, Manchester’s free, casual co-working event, is a member of Open Data Manchester and is the developer representative on the DataGM Steering Committee.
Robin Gower is an economist and software developer. He makes extensive use of open data for the development and evaluation of public policy. He is passionate about improving efficiency, using and developing open-source software, and exploring the balance between competition and cooperation.