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Leeds Dashboard launches offering a live snapshot of a changing city

A pioneering new Leeds “Dashboard” has been launched.

Designed to transform live open data feeds taken from Leeds Data Mill, supplied by public, private and third sector organisations, into simple infographics, the Dashboard will give people living and working in Leeds a live snapshot of the city at any given moment.

Leeds Dashboard makes visual sense of the data sets behind Leeds Data Mill, a ground-breaking open data platform that was launched in March of this year.

Leeds Data Mill is believed to be the first platform of its kind in the country to bring together Open Data information from multiple sectors across a city.

By collecting Open Data from multiple sources into a single website, Leeds Data Mill gives a greater insight into the workings of the city than ever before.

The new Leeds Dashboard is an evolution of Leeds Data Mill – offering an “at a glance” visual representation of the live data.

A number of interactive ‘widgets’ have been created on the Dashboard to demonstrate its capabilities – from daily footfall figures for key streets in the city centre, to cultural events.

Leeds Data Mill is now calling for developers and creatives to use the constantly growing number of open data sets available on the website to create their own widgets for inclusion on the Dashboard, making it “for the city, by the city“.

Mark Barrett, Open Data Lead at Leeds Data Mill, said:

“The Dashboard allows us to offer a simple, visual representation of the live data sets, and works on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.

“I believe ours is the first dashboard which allows other people to create and upload their own widgets.

“We hope developers will grasp this opportunity and be inspired to have a look at the open data we have available and come up with some really interesting and creative widgets which will tell a really rich story of the city.

“The long-term plan is for the Dashboard to provide a comprehensive live feed of what’s happening in the city and, eventually, people will be able to personalise their Dashboard with the widgets that are most relevant to their interests.

“Once we have enough hyper-local data, we could even create village dashboards.”

Leeds Data Mill will host a series of “Data Dive” events where people and teams are invited to examine datasets under a range of themes including health, sport, transport and energy and to create new widgets using the continually expanding information available based on themes.

Local businesses are also encouraged to attend to find out more about how their open data can use used as part of the project.

The first Data Dive will be held on the September 5 and 6 at the Open Data Institute in Leeds and focuses on health.

Mark Barrett added:

“This technology can be rolled out across a range of businesses and organisations.

“For example, a school could commission us to develop a dashboard to give parents key information, from attendance records to live sports day results ‘at a glance’.

“Or a multi-national company could request a dashboard to demonstrate their commitment to the environment – with live recycling rates and CO2 emissions – or even monies raised through charity work. If the data is available – the opportunities are endless.”

Leeds Data Mill is interested in hearing from companies, organisations and individuals who would like to know more or are interested in submitting their data to the platform.

The team are also keen to share their expertise with other cities, and hope to create further Data Mills throughout the country.

Mark Barrett

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