This blog has moved to Medium, where all our new content will be published.

Category: open-data

PublishMyData v2.7: What can it do for me?

by Sarah on 29 Mar 2016 in data, linked, open-data, publishmydata

We’re delighted to announce the latest version of PublishMyData. It has some spanking new features that let you do many good things with the open data our customers are publishing. Over the next few weeks I’ll be writing example posts about what the features let you do but for the moment, here’s a brief run down. Read More »

Data-Driven Decisions: 26th May in Manchester. Speakers and Tickets

by Sarah on 21 Mar 2016 in events, linked-data, open-data

On the 26th May 2016, we'll be hosting Data-Driven Decisions at HOME in Manchester. This one day event is for anyone interested in how national or local open data can be used to support better-informed decision making and will be relevant to open data from all over the UK. Hear from the Scottish Government's Gregor Boyd, MyNHS Product Lead Julie Fidler, DCLG's Open Data Strategist Steve Peters and OD Camp Founder Jamie Whyte. Early Bird tickets available now! Read More »

Publish a Linked-Data-powered Google Chart on the Web in under 10 steps

by Sarah on 15 Mar 2016 in data, linked, open-data, publishmydata, scottish-government

In this post I use the site to show how it’s possible to find specific data, and create and share a Google chart which uses it. In this example I’m looking at using data to inform where I should work in Scotland. Read More »

Surrey County Council launch linked open data platform

by Sarah on 19 Jan 2016 in data, linked, open-data, publishmydata

We've been working with Surrey County Council to create Surrey Open Data - a pilot open data site which initially addresses the local government transparency code but with more to come over the next few months. Read More »

New Deprivation Data and Apps for OpenDataCommunities

by Sarah on 19 Nov 2015 in data, dclg, linked, open-data, publishmydata

At the end of September, DCLG published the new 2015 data for the Index of Multiple Deprivation on This is one of the most widely used government datasets, so we're really excited to help make it available in a range of machine readable ways. Read More »

Open Data Camp UK v2.0

by Sarah on 09 Oct 2015 in open-data, publishmydata

Open Data Camp UK have published one of my posts telling you a bit about our sponsorship of the upcoming OD Camp in Manchester. The second camp of the year; it’ll be held on the 10-11 October and we'll be there as sponsors and attendees. Read More »

Webinar on publishing government statistical data: Tuesday 22 Sep 2015

by Bill on 21 Sep 2015 in open-data

Swirrl is running a webinar on its work in the OpenCube project, on publishing government statistical data with PublishMyData: 5pm UK time, Tuesday 22 September Read More »

Open Data Innovator Stories

by Sarah on 17 Sep 2015 in events, open-data

Back in the spring we hosted Local Open Data: Reaping the Benefits, a day devoted to raising awareness of the good stuff going on with open data at a local level. Now, with Open Data Camp coming to Manchester in October (and us sponsoring it), we thought it’d be a good time to share the videos of the speakers who came to the event. So if you missed it (or just want to catch up with it again) check out the videos and slides! Read More »

Open Data for a Smart City

by Bill on 08 Sep 2015 in open-data, smart-city

You can't have a smart city without open data. Read More »

Scottish Statistics Beta - over 1 billion Scottish facts!

by Sarah on 10 Jul 2015 in data, linked, open-data, publishmydata, scottish-government

We’re happy to say that the new Scottish Statistics website is now publicly available! Currently in beta, it’ll soon replace Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics. It is our largest site (by data volumes) so far with over 1 billion facts being published to a 5 star standard through our PublishMyData service. Read More »

5 tips for Open Data at a local level

by Sarah on 23 Apr 2015 in events, open-data

Tuesday was our Local Open Data event. We had great speakers; fab attendees and lots of discussion about the good stuff going on with Open Data from Inverness to Hampshire. We learnt loads, but here's a selection of the top tips our speakers had for us on using Open Data at a local level. Read More »

Local Open Data Event: New Speakers Announced and More Tickets Released

by Sarah on 02 Apr 2015 in events, open-data

We're happy to announce that Lucy Knight and Lucille Brown will be speaking at our Local Open Data event, held later this month. And if you haven't got your ticket yet, a new batch has just been released! Read More »

Swirrl Local Open Data Event - More Speakers Announced and Early Bird Tickets released!

by Sarah on 04 Mar 2015 in events, open-data

Our Local Open Data event is getting closer. We’re delighted to announce that we have more speakers who’ll be sharing their experience and successes of working with Open Data and that Early Bird tickets are now available. Read More »

Open Data Camp UK

by Sarah on 11 Feb 2015 in linked-data, open-data

We're proud to be sponsoring Open Data Camp UK, a two day event devoted to Open Data held later this month. And last week we wrote a guest post for them all about what linked open data really means and some of the practical advantages it has. Read More »

Local Open Data Event: First speakers announced

by Sarah on 26 Jan 2015 in events, open-data

On 21st April 2015 we’ll be hosting Local Open Data: reaping the benefits - a one day event at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry. It’s aim is to bring together people working with, or interested in, data at a local level and we’re pleased to announce the first of our speakers. Read More »

Local Open Data Event: 21st of April, 2015

by Sarah on 15 Dec 2014 in events, open-data

We’re happy to announce that on April 21st 2015 we’ll be sponsoring an event about local open data at MOSI, the Museum of Science and Industry, in Manchester. Read More »

GMDSP Awarded for Innovation

by Sarah on 10 Dec 2014 in linked-data, manchester, open-data, projects

Recently the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme won an award celebrating it as a leading example of how information can be used innovatively and effectively for real benefits. Read More »

The Hampshire Hub Beta

by Sarah on 24 Nov 2014 in hampshire-hub, linked-data, open-data

This year we've been helping Hampshire County Council, and public service providers in the area, to create the Hampshire Hub and we're happy to announce the first release this week. The Hub is an open, linked data platform and, although there's more to come on it, the beta is already developing well Read More »

Joined Up Data for Joined Up Problem Solving

by Sarah on 05 Nov 2014 in dclg, linked-data, open-data, the-odi

This week, the Open Data Institute published a post I wrote on how open, linked data can improve collaboration and extend data reach. In it, I focus on DCLG's relaunched and rebranded site, OpenDataCommunities. Read More »

Swirrl awarded new Scottish Government linked open data project

by Sarah on 03 Nov 2014 in announcements, linked-data, open-data, scottish-government

We’re happy to announce that we’ve been awarded a contract with the Scottish Government’s Statistics Group to help them create a linked open data platform. Earlier this year we worked on, a pilot study designed to showcase how linked, open data could power smarter, more transparent and efficient data use. Now the Scottish Government taking the next step and creating a new Scottish open data platform, based around Linked Data. Read More »

OpenDataCommunities relaunch with design refresh and improved data browsing

by Sarah on 11 Sep 2014 in announcements, dclg, linked-data, open-data, projects

This week we released a refreshed version of OpenDataCommunities, DCLG's linked open data site. It’s now stylistically more in line with the main brand, we've improved the navigation, there's a blog and we've upgraded the data platform to the v2 of our PublishMyData platform, making it easier to access and use the data you want. Read More »

The hard graft of Linked Data ETL

by Rick M on 16 Jul 2014 in dapaas, etl, grafter, linked-data, open-data, opencube, rdf

We're helping regional and national governments publish the highest quality open data imaginable, whilst helping consumers access and use this data in rich and meaningful ways. But allowing a range of users to repeatably and reliably produce high quality Linked Data requires a new approach to Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)... Read More »

Open Data Communities: New Features

by Sarah on 09 Jul 2014 in dclg, linked-data, open-data, projects

Over the last few months we’ve added some new features on the Open Data Communities site that we continue to run and develop for DCLG. The Statistics Selector and the Geography Selector both make it easy to cherry pick and combine the exact data you need from across all the datasets on the site... Read More »

GMDSP: Phase 2

by Sarah on 26 Jun 2014 in announcements, linked-data, manchester, open-data, projects, publishmydata

The GMDSP project is entering a new phase after the successful first release of the data at the hack event held in March. Read More »

The Hampshire Hub: open and linked data for Hampshire

by Sarah on 10 Jun 2014 in announcements, hampshire-hub, linked-data, open-data

Some great news: We've recently been awarded a new project called the Hampshire Hub - a partnership project for Hampshire County Council and public service providers in and around the area. Read More »

Swirrl and the ODI

by Sarah on 18 Apr 2014 in announcements, open-data, the-odi

Some great news: we’ve recently become members of the Open Data Institute Read More »

DaPaaS: simplifying open data publishing and use

by Sarah on 16 Apr 2014 in announcements, dapaas, open-data, projects, publishmydata

Towards the end of last year we started work on a European collaborative project called DaPaaS (Data-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service). It aims to optimise and simplify both publication and use of Open Data across different platforms ... Read More »

Smart Data Hack Edinburgh

by Sarah on 14 Apr 2014 in learning, open-data, scotland

In February, our very own Bill went to advise at the Smart Data Hack in Edinburgh. This was a 5 day undergraduate event and we put up a prize of £250 for the best app that used government data ... Read More »

Linking up Manchester's data

by Sarah on 11 Mar 2014 in announcements, linked-data, manchester, open-data, projects, publishmydata

We’ve recently agreed to work on an exciting open data project called the GMDSP (Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Programme). 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. Read More »

Open Data Scotland: a Linked Data pilot study for the Scottish Government

by Sarah on 20 Jan 2014 in linked-data, open-data, projects, scotland, scottish-government, visualisation

Last month we launched Open Data Scotland - a pilot site built to showcase how Linked Open Data can make for smarter, more efficient data use. Read More »

Launch of the Shakespeare Review

by Bill on 16 May 2013 in open-data, policy

I had an interesting morning yesterday at the launch of the Shakespeare Review, Stephan Shakespeare's independent review of public sector information. Read More »

Hampshire Land Supply Linked Data

by Ric on 11 Mar 2013 in hampshire, linked-data, open-data, projects, publishmydata, visualisation

A short time ago we produced a Linked Data site for Hampshire County Council. We modelled their planned home building plans over the next six years as Linked Data and published it through PublishMyData. Read More »

Swirrl awarded new DCLG Linked Open Data contract

by Ric on 04 Mar 2013 in dclg, linked-data, open-data, projects

We are pleased to announce that we were recently awarded a contract to work on a production version of DCLG's open data initiative, OpenDataCommunities. Read More »

DCLG Impact and Input Indicators Dashboard

by Ric on 06 Feb 2013 in dclg, open-data, projects, visualisation

We recently worked with DCLG (Department for Communities and Local Govermnent) to produce an online dashboard that enables users to see how the department is performing against key indicators. Read More »

SmartJourney: Realtime Travel and weather for Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire

by Ric on 21 Dec 2012 in aberdeen, linked-data, mobile, open-data, projects, publishmydata, scotland, visualisation

A couple of weeks ago, we launched SmartJourney. Built in collaboration with Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils, and part-funded by Nesta, SmartJourney combines crowd-sourced and official information and weather and travel conditions in the North-East of Scotland. Read More »

Linked Open Data Business Models

by Ric on 11 Jul 2012 in business, linked-data, open-data, opinion

In the wake of our respected competitor, Talis, retiring from the general Linked Data software and consulting market, I thought it would be a good time to explain how we perceive the market, and position ourselves at Swirrl. Read More »

UK government open data white paper

by Bill on 29 Jun 2012 in linked-data, open-data, policy

Interesting news from the UK Cabinet Office yesterday, announcing their new open data white paper, as well as departmental open data strategy documents. There is a lot there to digest, but I just wanted to highlight some points that we think are particularly notable. Read More » Homeless Hack Day Winners!

by Ric on 19 Jun 2012 in announcements, hackday, open-data

At the weekend I attended the Homeless Hack day organised by the Government Digital Service and my team won! Read More »

Universal Music Artist Gateway with RDF powered by Swirrl

by Ric on 08 Jun 2012 in linked-data, open-data, projects, rdf

Universal Music launched their Umusic UK Artist Gateway last month. Because of our experience in the area of Linked Data and RDF, were brought into the project to help with the RDF API for artists and releases. Read More »

Energy use Open Data for Scottish Government Buildings

by Ric on 08 Jun 2012 in internet-of-things, linked-data, open-data, projects, scotland, scottish-government

A project that we carried out last autumn for the Scottish Government went live a couple of months ago, as part of the a platform for disclosure on the sustainability performance of the Scottish Government Estate. We worked closely with the Head of Data Standards at the Scottish Government, to put together a Linked Data site holding half-hourly electricity and gas consumption data from Scottish Government Buildings. Read More »

Visualising Open Data on local authorities

by Bill on 21 May 2012 in dclg, linked-data, open-data, projects, visualisation

To help illustrate what kind of data visualisations were possible with the DCLG's new linked open data site, and demonstrate one approach to doing it, we built a Local Authority Dashboard. Read More »

New Linked Data Site for DCLG

by Ric on 02 May 2012 in dclg, linked-data, open-data, projects, publishmydata

We've been hard at work recently creating a new linked open data site for the UK Department for Communities and Local Government. This is a major overhaul and extension of the OpenDataCommunities site that we first set up last year, with a new design, lots more data and new features aimed at making access to the data easier. Read More »

Linked Data and the Internet of Things

by Bill on 30 Jan 2012 in internet-of-things, linked-data, open-data, projects

On 1st March we'll be starting our 'City of Things' project, part of the Technology Strategy Board's Internet of Things Convergence programme. Our project will be looking at the application of the Internet of Things to management of the urban built environment. Read More »

Swirrl: Winners at Kent Developing Solutions Camp

by Ric on 29 Nov 2011 in hackday, kent, open-data, projects

We worked on a prototype for the Learning Game, one of the ideas that had been proposed before the event, and ended up winning top-prize in the Mobile App category! Read More »

Guest blog post for Open Kent: Making the Most of Open Data

by Ric on 14 Nov 2011 in kent, open-data

Later this month I'm going to be attending Kent County Council's Developing Solutions Camp, and earlier today, I posted a guest blog article on the Open Kent website as part of the build-up to the event. Read More »

IMD Mapper: a new Linked Data and JavaScript app

by Bill on 26 Sep 2011 in dclg, deprivation, javascript, linked-data, open-data, projects, visualisation

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about an app that DCLG's Steve Peters built for visualising the Indices of Multiple Deprivation data. We've just released an app of our own: the IMD Mapper Read More »

Visualisations and Linked Open Data

by Bill on 12 Sep 2011 in dclg, deprivation, linked-data, open-data, visualisation

Last week Steve Peters announced his excellent visualisation app for the English Indices of Multiple Deprivation. It allows you to explore the deprivation rankings in various domains, highlighting the most and least deprived areas in the country. Read More »

Scottish Linked Data Hack Day Report

by Bill on 12 Jul 2011 in hackday, linked-data, open-data, scotland, scotland

We had another successful Scottish Linked Data hackday last week. Around a dozen keen linked data folks spent a day at Inspace, part of the Edinburgh University Informatics Forum, working away on a variety of linked data projects. Several more folks joined for the end of day presentations and discussion session. Read More »

Open Data Challenge prize for Manchester bus data

by Ric on 17 Jun 2011 in announcements, hackday, linked-data, manchester, open-data

We were really pleased to hear yesterday that we were the winners of the Talis Award for Linked Data, one of the prizes in the Open Data Challenge, a Europe-wide competition run by the Open Knowledge Foundation and the Open Forum Academy. Read More »

Mydex Community Prototype

by Bill on 03 Nov 2010 in linked-data, mydex, open-data, projects

We're very pleased to be making a contribution to the Mydex Community Prototype that launched last week. Read More »

Public Sector Open Data: Big Problems Still to Solve

by Bill on 04 Jul 2010 in linked-data, open-data, opinion

We're in the very early days of the UK government's new approach to open data. While it seems to be going in the right direction and progress has in many respects been remarkably quick (eg the government's recent announcement on public sector transparency), clearly we still have a lot to learn and many problems to overcome. Read More »