You may have been wondering what the Panel has been up to since our last post. We were restricted in what we could post during the election period, and in addition the Panel meeting scheduled for 20 April had to be postponed. It is now due to take place on 1 June. We have however continued to make progress in a number of areas.
We held a meeting on 19 April in the West Midlands with around 25 people who either publish or use local data. The purpose was to generate ideas and understanding about what is needed to drive the local public data initiative at a local level, including ideas for further activity and issues for research and communications around the topic. For more information see the working blog at: http://localdata.citizenshipfoundation.org.uk/?p=8
We’ve also been taking forward the Local Data Exemplars project. This is an initiative to acknowledge local authorities who are leading the way in making local public data openly available. By drawing attention to local public bodies that are already making their data available in this way we hope it will encourage others to follow suit. A number of local authorities are now working with us on this, with Lichfield and Warwickshire being the first to reference links to their data on data.gov.uk. Thanks and congratulations go to them. Several more are expected to join them in the next few weeks, so things are starting to take off.
Finally, Panel member Chris Taggart’s Open Election Data project http://openelectiondata.org/ has been very successful, with over 20 local authorities committed to publishing election results as machine readable open data. In particular the project has helped bring to the surface some of the problems and difficulties that will need to be overcome in future projects.