Open data revolution in full swing at NDRC

5 Jul 2011

Some 120 people who took part in Dublin City Council and Fingal County Council’s Open Data Challenge are reaching the end of an epic 18-hour coding marathon to show what’s possible if entrepreneurs and software programmers got their hands on data hitherto locked away from the public.

The project kicked off 15 hours ago with 28 ideas which were then put to a public vote and whittled down to nine.

Originally, 120 people showed up but according to IIA chief executive Joan Mulvihill, a proponent of the open data opportunity which Ireland is late to seize, some 60 people were still working away this afternoon on the various projects.

As you can see from the picture taken this afternoon, the teams are busy working on their various projects, which Mulvihill says are quite location-specific, including parking solutions, apps to keep children entertained and informed on trains and daily updates on routes to work.

“The open data drive has also been picked up by Enterprise Ireland, who are hosting a National Cross Industry Open Data Forum on Thursday of this week,” Mulvihill said.

“With the agencies recognising the value of this non-natural resource as an effective raw material for commercialisation, we’re on the right track. The challenge remains for the Government to take a leadership role in driving an open data-led smart economy. We cannot rely entirely on the progressive efforts of a small number of people in Fingal and Dublin City Councils,” Mulvihill said.

The winners of the Open Data Challenge will be announced this evening at 7pm at the NDRC in Dublin.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years