Summary of data, mashups and APIs event

Birmigham Social Media CafeLast Wednesday, I went to an event at Fazeley Studios in Birmingham to explore innovative, useful and important applications of data.

The event — titled Data, Mashups and APIs — was organised by Birmingham Social Media Cafe and sponsored by The Guardian, Barefoot Wine and Screen WM.

I won’t try and summarise the whole event. A huge amount of material was covered and Chris Unitt has already posted this very detailed round up pulling together all of the talks and links.

However, I thought I’d pull out a couple of highlights.

Michael Brunton-Spall gave an inspiring, rapid-fire whirl of a talk through the Guardian’s journey in opening up its data and content, resulting in the Data Store and Content API.

Michael Brunton-Spall at #dmapi by chrisunitt

Timely information for citizens

It was also good to hear Dave Harte on Digital Birmingham‘s timely information for citizens project. The project aims to demonstrate how opening up local authority datasets, and then mashing this data to tell effective stories using the social web, can successfully engage citizens in improving public services.

Here at the Observatory, we’re working on delivering a new API that will enable external developers to query the datasets signposted from our Resource Catalogue.

The idea is to work with Digital Birmingham and other organisations to encourage use of the Resource Catalogue and the API as a starting point for them to get their hands on regional and sub-regional datasets.

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