NI Open Data Challenge – What’s Your £5k idea?

Want the opportunity to pitch your open-data idea to a panel of ridiculously qualified people, as well as the chance for a £5k prize fund for coming up with and pitching your province-changing idea with no strings attached?

Launched last month by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster (yes, holding things again) and Money Maestro Simon Hamilton (not that one, the other one, who we’re told is also a big geek), it’s clear that the executive are aiming for this challenge to be more than just a wee bit of cash; it’s an opportunity for your idea and your open-data pains to be heard at the highest levels of government and industry.

I’ve been going through the ‘push’ website, and with just 9 days to go before the close of the competition, I can’t see any reason not to give it a go.

My ‘summary’ on the competition is:

  • Have legitimate idea for how to use Open Data (preferably based / sourced in NI) for ‘good’ (art, social development, transport, engineering, employment, training, fun)
  • Create short pitch (no more than a Gathering of Lightning talk) in front of judging panel heralding from NESTA, The Technology Strategy Board and the Open Data Institute, as well as obviously being in a big room with a load of other people who care about big data.
  • No IP Claims or expectations of further work after the challenge (take the money and run)

So if you’ve been unhappy with the growth of Open Data in NI, now’s the time to justify it; Open Data is a big ‘cart and horse’ problem, with data providers politically unwilling to put in effort until there’s a demonstrable output. A few ideas I’ve had looking at global open data reactions (feel free to steal, just buy me a pint if you win):

  • Tracking of public transport routes against traffic cam statistics to highlight inefficient commuter routes or routes that need outer-city park’n’rides
  • Interactive timelapse explorer for census data dating back as far as we can, able to explore the changes in income, occupation, living standards, and social mobility over time.
  • Collation of constituency candidate voting data against ministerial voting activity (i.e. vote as I say not as I vote)
  • Real Estate Cross-referencing system based on personal priorities (I care this much about public transport, and this much about free parking)
  • Collation of birth/death rate statistics against ministerial healthcare investment per postcode/county area
  • “Last Bus/Train” alarm so you can get a last pint in.

To be honest and personal, only reason I’m not going for it is that I can’t be at the pitch event at CultureTECH. Don’t let that stop you.

Registration closes THIS FRIDAY but you’ve got until the 29th to clean up your ideas for submission.

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