Camden seeks new uses for open data

London Borough of Camden yesterday ran a hackathon to help it uncover new ways of using its open data platform.

The online platform, which was established in 2015, hosts more than 300 different datasets covering information from planning applications to road accidents.

At an event in the borough yesterday, more than 100 developers, designers, programmers and data enthusiasts gathered to discover innovative ways of using the data.

TheoBlackwell, cabinet member for finance, technology & growth at the council, said: “Our platform has built up a huge store of clean, accessible data for public benefit.

“The data available on Open Data Camden has the potential to improve the everyday lives of local residents and we want to unlock this potential to improve public services just as its driving value in the digital economy.” 

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Figures released by Camden also show that it has published many more datasets per head of population than any other London authority.

It has 139 datasets per 100,000 residents, compared with an average of just eight across the capital as a whole.

Blackwell said that since the open data platform launched, the borough has used the information to create a planning email alert system.

“We were able to do this quickly and at low cost because open data is so easy for programmers to reuse.

“These apps have contributed to a £200,000 saving to the planning service’s budget by reducing the number of letters its sends to residents about planning applications.”
Camden’s 2015 Open Data charter pledged to publish all data held by the council unless there is a good reason not to.


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