The following guest post is from Stephen Hilton, Programme Lead of the Connecting Bristol initiative.

Unusually perhaps, for a city council, we recognise and relish the fact that our city is a quirky, unorthodox, hot-bed of creative digital activity and activism. Bristol City Council has been promoting local e-democracy for the last decade. And it is this passion for digital transparency and engagement that has led us head first into the world of opengov and open data.

B-Open is a high-profile Bristol City Council open data initiative. Launched at the end of June 2010 by Barbara Janke, Council Leader and Dr Mark Wright, Executive Member for Transformation and Efficiency, the project seeks to place as much council data as possible into the public domain and catalyse the highly active digital community in the city to re-use and re-purpose it, generating new products, services and insight.

In partnership with the Bristol-based iShed, B-Open was launched as a strand of nationally recognised collaborative innovation scheme, Media Sandbox. Through Media Sandbox 3 x £10k commissions are being awarded, to develop ideas using council data which encapsulate criteria defined as “creative, smart, green, connected” and delivering public value.

An open data portal is being created to act as a focus for the community who are engaged in this work and the people who might benefit from the outcomes. Once developed, the B-Open portal will provide access to
council data and importantly, will also provide a showcase for the uses of the data that will emerge.

At the time of writing a wide range of high quality applications have been received, including data visualisations, mobile games and services relating to transport and mobility – six projects have been shortlisted for interview and the 3 commissions will be announced at the end of the month.

For more information see:

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2 thoughts on “B-Open: Open Data from Bristol City Council”

  1. Update…. 45 companies submitted proposals to the Bristol Media Sandbox, 11 specifically related to B-Open and Open Data. The 3 Open Data commissions we have made are as follows….


    Overlay Media will develop a digital map to help people with restricted mobility, such as wheelchair users, older people and people with pushchairs, find the best and easiest route between two places. The route will take into account information on hills, cobbled streets and the location of drop-kerbs for example.

    Mobile Pie will create Blossom Bristol, a phone based game that will encourage people to plant virtual crops in any part of Bristol and watch as they flourish or fail depending on environmental factors such as the city’s air quality, water quality, weather and temperature. The player’s real-life activities will also feed into their success in the game with credits and rewards being offered when players choose to shop locally or at a Farmer’s Market.

    Later this year, all council’s will be required to publish detailed figures on all items of expenditure over £500. Delib will develop a website that will set out this complex financial information in easy to understand and accessible ways.

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