Local authorities hold significant amounts of public data - such as transport, carbon emissions, population and crime data - which may help to power a range of useful digital services and apps.
Through Make it Local, we encouraged local authorities to work with digital media developers to unlock this data and create innovative new digital services for their communities.
Four forward-thinking councils were chosen after a competitive tendering process. In conjunction with a digital media business each developed an innovative web-based service using the council's publicly-owned data.
London Borough of Sutton in partnership with web developer Adrian Short
The team created 'Sutton Open Library', an online service giving residents instant access to library information such as the availability and location of books and resources held in stock.
The project developed 'Sutton Bookshare' a new resource for community borrowing. Users are given an opportunity to register books they own and offer them as a community resource, lending titles to other residents in Sutton. The code used in the Sutton Bookshare project is available for anyone to start their own bookshare project. Find out how.
Kirklees Council in partnership with Thumbprint Co-operative
The team built an online community resource called 'Who Owns My Neighbourhood?', using land ownership data, where residents can add and discuss information about their area and keep up to date with solutions to local land problems such as fly-tipping.
The site also gives locals a say in how green or redundant space can be used more effectively, making it easier for them to request space for projects such as community allotments.
Birmingham City Council and Digital Birmingham in partnership with Mudlark
The team created a 'Birmingham Civic Dashboard', a social web tool that maps where requests for council services have been made.
Residents and the council are able to use the web tool to see the themes developing from these service requests and the broader issues they illustrate such as graffiti 'hotspots'.
London Borough of Barnet in partnership with mySociety
The team will develop two projects to link local council data to two existing national websites.
Barnet Council will unlock all data on street-based problems, such as graffiti and broken paving slabs, by linking all of their information with the current FixMyStreet national website.
This will give local residents a complete picture of all issues raised in their area. They will also develop a local government version of TheyWorkForYou, a website which lets the community keep track of the work being done by their local MP.
What did we learn?
Read the Make It Local blog for more information on how the projects were developed.
We’ve also put together a toolkit summarising what we learned throughout the programme, distilled into 10 top tips for creating online local public services using open data.