“Life is not binary”

LbyS_SW04

A very enjoyable day in Bristol with colleagues Andrew and Steve at Local by Social South West – a day of community apps.

I’ll write up my notes over the weekend, but a few quick thoughts for now.

“Life is not binary”

– a comment by a Bristol councillor (sorry I didn’t get his name) encouraging all in government to publish data, even if that data might not be totally clean.

He’d rather seen publication and an admission if there were errors and to learn about mistake, just as as is the case in medicine, his “day job”.

I think I wasn’t alone in being impressed by Bristol’s embracing of technology and it sounds like there is some good incubation work going on, including app development tapping into data from a variety of sources including open datasets from government.

In the workshop in the afternoon, we got the opportunity to choose a possible app for development in tomorrow’s hackers’ session.

I took part in a very intense discussion about reinventing democracy from the ground up, trying to facilitate better engagement with the public.

I’m not sure apps can do this alone. But, our specification using council employees as sensors within the community was pretty intriguing. I’ll be very interested to see how the hackers deal with that!

Amongst other proposals, I must mention that Andrew’s team put together a spec for the North Devon inspired beach app. It would incorporate tide, surf, water quality and ice cream van data amongst other useful coastal related data.

Huge thanks to Bristol CC, LGID, Local by Social and all participants.

More over the weekend.

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