“Dublinked” opens window on €27 billion EU open data market

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Dublin’s Local Authorities and NUI Maynooth invite businesses, technologists and researchers to join unique new data network

Across the EU, public sector bodies are estimated to be sitting on a potential treasure trove of data, worth up to €27 billion*. Through a unique initiative launched today between Dublin’s Local Authorities and NUI Maynooth, businesses, technologists, app developers, researchers and entrepreneurs are now invited to join “Dublinked” – a membership network to mine, exploit and utilise public data to generate new revenue streams and address regional challenges.   

Dublinked, the new regional data sharing initiative sees previously unreleased public operational data being made available online for others to research or reuse. With the initial data coming from Dublin City Council and Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, South Dublin and Fingal County Councils, it is expected that other public and private organisations in Dublin will link up with Dublinked to share their data and invite research collaborations. The information is curated by NUI Maynooth to ensure ideas can be commercialised as easily as possible and to minimise legal or technical barriers that can be impediments for small and medium businesses (SMEs) seeking to develop and prove business ideas.

The initial release of data consists of over 100 environmental, traffic and planning datasets including:

  • Planning application data from across the region 

  • Water flow, rainfall and energy monitoring 

  • Air, water pollution and noise maps for the Dublin region

  • A wide array of usable mapping from development plans, river catchment and drainage 

  • Parking, residential and disabled parking as well as detailed traffic volumes

John Tierney, Dublin City Manager on behalf of the Dublin local authorities said “Dublin like all cities is complex to plan, manage and service.  Dublinked gives others the chance to see the complex planning and operational data that contribute to resource planning and operational decisions that Council staff make every day”.

Speaking at a seminar to over 120 Dublin businesses today, Dublinked Co-ordinator, Dr Ronan Farrell of NUI Maynooth said businesses and entrepreneurs would use this data to develop innovative and interesting business ideas which would drive job growth while also enhancing city living. “We have seen fantastic examples in other cities of new user interfaces for public transport information, the property market or healthcare data. One of the unique benefits of Open Data is that applications developed here can easily be adapted for other cities around the world and we look forward to working with our Dublinked partners to develop new businesses from Dublin”, he said.

Dublinked is unique in providing both open data and an additional membership zone.  Members can access additional datasets in the research zone and participate in regular member events. Fees vary and are based on company size. The first event on regional water data will take place on November 24th. (www.dublinked.ie for further details).

To enable the start up phase of this project IBM Research has offered a technology platform using open data collaboration technologies and research tools. IBM Research is delighted to be providing our open innovation platform to "Dublinked" and to be part of making city data available to the wider research community, not only to drive innovation, but to drive collaborative and rigorous research" said Dr. Lisa Amini, Director, IBM Smarter Cities Technology Centre.

Also speaking at the launch of ‘Dublinked’ at the Wood Quay event were:

Andrew Montague Dublin Lord Mayor said “As a website designer I know the power of unlocking data e.g. the real time passenger information that’s available on phones or finding the nearest dublinbike.  Dublinked is the first regional data sharing initiative which we are proud to unveil during the Dublin Innovation Festival.  We look forward to seeing regional information being merged, reused and re-imagined in unexpected ways.”

Adam Greenfield of Urbanscale the renowned New York based author on networked cities and ubiquitous computing  spoke on how cities, citizens and businesses can benefit from access to city data said “ Just as the novice programmer is invited to learn from, understand, and improve upon — to “hack” — open-source software, the city itself should invite its users to demystify and re engineer the places in which they live and the processes which generate meaning, at the most intimate and immediate level.  …We are quite comfortable in asserting that open resources will give rise to the most vibrant ecosystem of third-party development, an ecosystem of entrepreneurs free to search the space of possibility and elaborate on niche opportunities previously unimaginable”

Jonathan Raper, CEO of PLACR, a UK company specialising in the use of open data. His view on open data is that “Open Data is incredibly exciting and its potential is practically endless.  However one of the issues can be that public sector bodies often do not move at the pace that SMEs require to prove their ideas and get it to market.  What is exciting about Dublinked is that the Local Authorities have partnered with NUI Maynooth to curate the data and remove many of these impediments. This is a key learning from around the world”

This Dublinked event is part of Innovation Dublin 2011, which takes place across Dublin from 17th October to 18th November. The festival demonstrates Dublin’s capacity to inspire, interact and innovate.

*2009 EC Report “Re-use of Public Sector Information – Review of Directive 2003/98/EC

For more information

NUI Maynooth

Deirdre Watters

ph: +353 1 86 803 5274