Open data is often under-represented in discussions about open source, so we’ll have a set of speakers with talks focusing on open data.


Behind the local lockdown tool

During the second half of 2020, various parts of the UK found themselves under various different sorts of local restrictions, which changed regularly. Originally done with a huge list of postcodes, then resolving to council and ward areas, these confusing, complicated changes lacked a straightforward way of finding out the current restrictions where you were. So I wrote a postcode lookup tool to look up local restrictions, which ended up being mentioned in Parliament. This talk will look at the open data behind the legislation and my tool, and some of the problems and issues faced.

Open data and transparency

Sam will be discussing open data and transparency. The UK has a renewed focus on user needs, standards and quality of data. This entails a number of approaches that involve data and ways of working to ensure transparency, accountability and citizen participation inform the way that government prioritises open data. The presentation will involve UK and international case studies.

About the speakers

Matthew Somerville is a senior web developer based in Birmingham. With mySociety, he is involved in many of the UK’s best known civic websites, such as FixMyStreet and TheyWorkForYou. Finding that there didn’t appear to be a comprehensive IMDb-style site for the theatre, he created Theatricalia, an online database of theatre productions. His bookmarkable version of the National Rail website provides constant positive karma, and his live map of the London Underground was described as “what IT was invented for” and “possibly the coolest use of the internet”. Outside of the internet and his house, he used to sing with the City of Birmingham Choir, and play violin in the South Birmingham Sinfonia, and hopes to do so again.

Sam Roberts is the head of Open Government and Open Data policy at the UK Cabinet Office (GDS) having previously worked across a number of prominent government areas, including information sharing legislation, international transparency, and youth policy. In addition to policy development, Sam is a trained agile delivery manager and has led the delivery of projects within multidisciplinary teams of Data Scientists, User Researchers, Content Designers, Product Managers, and Policy Advisers. Sam also leads a range of international work with the Open Government Partnership, OECD, and the Digital Nations.

Our events are for adults aged 16 years and over.

This event is brought to you by: BCS Open Source specialist group

Webinar: Open Data in 2021
Date and time
Thursday 18 March, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
This event is sold out