We’ve recently started work on an new open data initiative called the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme, (or GMDSP for short). As the name suggests, we’ll be working with authorities in the Manchester area including Manchester City Council, Salford City Council and Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, who will all publish some similar data sets as Linked Open Data at the same time.

To make this happen we’ll be helping some local code fellows (recruited specifically for this project to work alongside council staff) to convert and publish a selection of datasets to rdf. With our guidance, they’ll model the data and upload it to our PublishMyData platform. In future phases of the project, we plan to build on the work of the code fellows to produce tools and workflows to make the whole process more repeatable.

This project is a collaboration between the Connected Digital Economy Catapult, Future Cities Catapult and Future Everything - the latter we worked with on Nesta’s digital social innovation project over the last year.

As part of their annual festival in Manchester at the end of the month, FutureEverything are organising a hack event (with a £3500 prize fund) focused around the first release of the data. There’s a pre-event at this month’s OpenDataManchester, for propsective participants to meet some of the stakeholders and get advance notification of judging categories.

It’s always great to be involved with others who are also passionate about public sector linked open data. And it’s especially exciting to be working on this Manchester-based project, because it’s where our technical team lay their hats after all.

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