Meeting of West Midlands Open Data Forum Steering Group  Tuesday 14th Jan 2014 at the Enterprise Lab, BCU, Millennium Point


 18.00             Agree notes of last meeting

18.05             Review actions

18.15             Smart City Roadmap – WMODF response

Update from Heike Schuster-James

18.35             Roles and targets – sharing agreed positions

18.55             Any other business and date of next meeting

19.00             Data challenge – Transport

20.00             Close

Minutes of WMODF meeting January 2014


Attendees: Teresa Joly, Andrew Mackenzie, Ardavan Amini, Simon Whitehouse, Gavin Broughton

Guests: Brian Prangle  Mappa Mercia, John Paddington AECOM (works with Centro), Simon  Purohit Walsall Council transport and innovation lead

Apologies: Chris Price, Susannah Goh, Don Dhaliwal,

Minutes from last meeting: Agreed as published on the Forum website

Actions reviewed:

All members have provided a description of their role in the Forum and commitments/targets what they can do for the forum.

Action: Andrew/Chris to create a consolidated document that presents each member’s role and aims in the same format.  To be circulated to the group.  Each group member to update their profile on the website accordingly.

Smart City Roadmap:

The Forum has reviewed the roadmap section about open data and information market places and submitted comments to Birmingham City Council – Digital Birmingham.  HSJ responded on behalf of DB and agreed to change the title of section C to include Open Data; add WMODF to the stakeholder list of several actions and include some other changes requested.

Update on Open Data portal procurement:

Digital Birmingham has received the Service Birmingham quote, which is now being reviewed in detail.  Given the additional cost quoted by Service Birmingham the suggestion was made to consider the option of withdrawing from the procurement completely and get data out to an external place instead. The BCC internal deadline to get a procurement decision signed off has moved to early February.

List of BCC datasets:

HSJ has provided suggestions for categories for an open data portal and a list of ‘top 50’ datasets that BCC should aim to release.  The initial list is based on interest expressed by members of the group, a comparison of other UK open data portals and internal interest.  It was suggested to help prioritise the list further by publishing it on the WMODF website and allowing people to express an interest. Measures for prioritising data for release could be number of people expressing an interest and why they need it (e.g. current work on a project, upcoming hack event…) – how quickly they would use it.

From a data provider point of view any data request will be reviewed against licence implications, potential loss of revenue, ease / cost of data release and data quality.

It was agreed to create a public version of the list and publish it for comments on the WMODF website and also use it to track progress of data releases achieved.  In addition a post needs to go on the website to explain to people how to request data through FOI (could link back to information on or ICO websites) with a call to action to citizens to ask for data of all regional local authorities.

Action: AM, HS-J, CP, SW will produce the public spreadsheet.. AM will produce a briefing note on FOI & datasets.

Transport data:

Brian Prangle gave a presentation about the work of Mappa Mercia and demonstrated some of the applications of OpenStreetMap for transport in the region.

Mappa Mercia, run events, took the BCC gritting list and created winter gritting map; Dec 2011 – purchased aerial images – now have 270k buildings in WM with 102k addresses with postcodes, work with Staffordshire reoffending service and Community Payback; responded to all reconfigurations when Centro changed the bus stops, showed the A38 tunnel closure, have built external 3D rendering for Library of Birmingham, worked with Heidelberg to create a 3-D model of LoB inside layers –  potential to create a 3-D map for Birmingham.

Mappa Mercia organise mapping parties to improve the completeness of  OSM mapping in the region.

Listed building information from local authorities should be provided as a csv file rather than PDF

Bulk uploads/import data – OSM always talk to the community who is working on their local maps first, then import what people agree on.

Cycling and walking – users can choose a map rendering for their purpose, or a transport rendering for  public transport and driving.

Routing algorithms need to know where are the no right turn/no left turn restrictions

Imports – is this a data cleansing issue? Data often of bad quality, community uses it as a guideline, often community puts correction forward but most organisations don’t listen – English Heritage is good at taking corrections, BCC isn’t; data is correct where people have worked on,

Warwickshire CC  has given access to aerial photography under OGL at 12.5 inch resolution!

Demonstration of for finding bus routes.

Key message from OpenStreetMap: use our data


There is a need to check which datasets are regularly updated, which are static

Identify datasets that can be paired, swapped – e.g. BCC gives out opening times, Centro gives out something in return.

Can we have updated gritting route updates published as open data? For Birmingham responsibility for gritting routes has moved to Amey.


Digital Birmingham is a partner inShare-PSI – invited group to travel and pledge 1-2k Euro to support events

Next meeting

Tuesday 11th February 16.00  to 17.30 committee business and working groups. 18.00 to 19.30 discussion on the theme of procurement. Guest presenters tbc.

Please note earlier starting time.


Open StreetMap and transport data presentation at WMODF January 2014. Download Powerpoint


Transport notes January meeting. Download Word doc

Notes from Transport Data focus

Minutes of January meeting. Download Word doc

2014.01.14 WMODF_minutes


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