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Planning Thematic Workshop 8th December 2011

The Dublinked Innovation Network held its first event, a Planning Themed Workshop, in response to the high demand for planning information since the launch of the Dublinked open data portal. This workshop explored the potential of planning open data, various topics were discussed including Strategic Planning, Planning Application, and issues surrounding Environment & Heritage. Presentations were made by Planning Experts, Local Authority Planning Representatives and a new startup company that is currently using open data to develop a planning application. The format of the workshop presented participants with an opportunity to develop ideas on how they might use the data differently and share their views on further data they would like. Themes for discussion at the workshop included: 1. Strategic Planning 2. Planning Applications 3. Environment & Heritage 4. General Discussion

About Dublinked Dublinked, a 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. If you would like to hear about future Dublinked events, send an email to to join our mailing list.

Theme: Strategic Planning Workshop Feedback Idea: Non Statutory Consultation/Town Hall Meetings Provide data in a manner that is easy to use and understand with emphasis on visualisation of the data and providing a narrative or story relating to the data. Links should be provided from the data or data interface to the relevant agencies (Local, Regional or National) Data Needed Any data relating to Strategic Planning from any Agency or Department (i.e. should include data relating to Transport, Housing, Water, etc.)

Idea: Strategic Plans and Development Plans Provide unified access to Strategic Planning data across agencies on a regional basis (not just 4 Dublin Authorities, but also surrounding Counties) in an integrated manner and facilitate conversations with people affected Note that affected people are not just residents – also includes workers, shoppers, tourists and transient population. Data Needed Strategic Plans and Development Plans data from all Agencies

Idea: Issues and Problems reported by the Public How are these problems collected at present? is currently on trial in South Dublin and will provide a mechanism for all These are the issues that affect people in their everyday lives. We need to capture, analyse and use this data to influence the strategic planning processes Data Needed Fault/Problem Reports

Theme: Environmental & Heritage Feedback

Discussion took place on Inspire and how inspire will force the standardization of datasets, there was also some discussion a centred on the unintentional consequences of publishing some data, example given was publication of telecommunications masts could affect property prices in an area. Potential ideas which came out of the discussion were

Idea: Potential for Heritage Tourism

application, using data such as National inventory of Architectural Heritage, Protected Structures and the Dublin Civic Trust Data, to generate historical walking routes or planning itineraries. Data need protect structures Transportation Networks Civ

Idea: Controlled Crowd Sourcing of Data by Provide Schools/Local History Groups with Methodologies to carry out Biodiversity/Archaeological or Architectural data collection along with getting access to the National Monuments Photographic Archive this could provide a rich source of data.

Idea: Potential for better

planning of urban open spaces and their use example give was College Green is the Centre of Dublin with some of the most historic buildings in the country is also one of the major bus thoroughfares in the city. An argument can be made that areas such as this should be better promoted for their historic significance with improved urban spaces; less traffic and generally improve the feel of an area.

Theme: Planning Process Feedback 1. A lot of interest in getting Planning application updated daily but the question was whether this would be a delta download (changes only) or a complete upload nightly. Discussion on whether there is a national decision on output formats in xml.

2. Observation made that Dublinked was providing some data that was already available nationally on other sources i.e. monument s on NIAH (Department of the Environment). Should Dublinked just link to this live source? Which is the authoritative source when data is aggregated nationally. 3. This was also an issue with DOELG on National Development plans which is more consistent nationally than “patchwork approach� to development plans of each individual authority. Should Dublinked link to this rather than own plans. 4. Call for consistency of approach by 4 local authorities to processes, naming and what is released . The following cited a) Fingal and Dublin City using different coordinates (long/lat and easting/northings). This adds additional cost and delays for developers b) Some items placed by Dun Laoghaire in membership zone which were listed as open by other members c) Some authorities using centroids others property boundaries d) Additional information sought is treated by some authorities as new application and not by other e) Are all Dublin LAs going to release commencement notices? 5. Data protection restrictions cited in related to planning, enforcement, commencement notices and voters registration. Can these be clarified or changed. 6. Could the categories used within APAS or other parent system for application be released (ie educational, institutional, health facility) 7. Call for Derelict sites register and enforcement data to be released.

8. Other potential useful data from other agencies a) Bord Plaenala. If Bord Pleanala could release data in open format, with linked planning number and on website as it is sent back to other local authorities it would increase timeliness of resulting apps b) Could the OS release the townlands mapping in open format? c) Could records of protected structure and NIAH use a shared numbering sequence to allow linking of data from both sources? d) Valuations Office has comprehensive data on commercial property and rateable valuations from across the country which would be very useful in open formats. See Valoff

Theme: General Discussion Feedback Formats: It needs to be made easier to consume data. Currently the formats exclude people. Needs to be made available in a format that can be understood by the ordinary man. Formats very difficult to understand different LA’s provide data in different formats, field names different, level of access different, method this data is input. There needs to be a standard web service for all 4 LA’s for inputting to Dublinked. Currency Issue. All this needs to be sorted out at base level. Complicated structures. Tools to use and extract the data needed. Should be downloadable in many formats. Rationale behind the datasets. AVOID DUPLICATION look and link in with other bodies who are doing this e.g. AIRO, CSO mapping potential, more joined up thinking.

Visualisation: Mapping, street maps and tools Google provide, should be aware that these can go out of date and there is no guarantee that Google will continue this practise We should include more data in visual formats and incorporate that into Dublinked. 3D data

Membership: Different layers of access and levels of membership; this is not consistent across the board and needs to be address in a timely fashion. Some LA’s give open access to data on a particular topic then other LA’s require membership for access to the same data. We need a model for how someone uses membership data. What we view initially, maybe we should hide the membership data and instead just show what is open, only members see the extra benefits as it is off putting sometimes to users. The issue of Licences, having access to data based on a licence given. Should we be paying a licence to use this data? Data needs to be in the proper context. The concept is great and facilitates many uses. Needs formats for all. Scalability – boundaries Kildare/Meath roll it out across the boundaries Model for how someone used membership data. Data in the proper context. Liability – who is liable for the accuracy of the content and the disclaimers; this is not clear at the moment. There needs to be Quality Control and standardisation. Easy to read things properly from base level up. There issue about having data in too many places, the same data in varying formats in varying places is almost the same as having no data at all. There should be data in one place only. Too many different ways we all do the same thing.

Links: There should be hyperlinks to similar websites and the LA’s home websites etc on the Dublinked home page

Idea: Establish Open Data Network/Town Hall to generate ideas from all the players in the open data eco-system Ideas are needs driven. Dublinked/Local Authority role is not to come up with the big ideas ourselves but rather as facilitator of this eco-system nework that includes data owners, subject experts, development community and data users to public, and let the market decide where the interest lies. Could run two parallel models: - Structured Economic Development Forum to bring business thinking to build a sustainable economic model for open data and support system for SMEs. -Creative Network to harness design thinking and network existing initatives such as Universal Design challenges, Open data challenges, Hack the City etc. Bring psychology of gaming into user experience of public apps (‘dopamine surge’, ‘get them addicted’). Build partnerships with agencies like Inventorium, Science Gallery, Trinity etc. Data Needed Let user stats indicate where user interest lies

Idea Role of the developer community in making data consumable Feedback loops to middle tier/wider developer community for help in achieving standards and developing web interfaces, APIs and tools for contextualising, visualising, and analysing through Dublinked to make data understandable to public and businesses. Data Needed Data Standards -correct granularity-open standards -updated frequently Data authorisations in place Data focussed on one concept (split multiple sets into their constituent parts)

Idea: Capture public interest by making data accessible to widest group possible Focus on data which impacts on the public good. Need national policy to ensure public retain owners over data when commercial services are privatised. Could run visualisation competition e.g. Big App 3 (NYC) just launched making 700 datasets and corresponding APIs available for reuse. Data Needed Participation, Crime, Access, Environment, Population, Waste Collection, Unemployment Cross tabulating public and private data

National Level: National Level Development plan GIS, planning data zoning the whole country. Next steps should be to begin phasing. There needs to be different levels and categories. EU: INSPIRE directive from the EU. Maybe use this as a method as how we can introduce harmonisation at a national level and get it right as a standard that will apply down through to the LA’s. Look to the wider national & EU context provides. Data Needed What happens in a zone Business, size, square footage, trade number of employees etc. Could this link to Rates Data and valuation data. Densities and so on. Transport Data Real Time and Live data CRO as spatial data Spatial and 3D data Size of business their locations and number of people they employ Square footage of business will be required for incoming property tax Identify the data we want and go looking for it. ISDE – meta data

Callan Institute National University of Ireland Maynooth Maynooth County Kildare Ireland Twitter: @dublinked

Dublinked Planning Thematic Workshop