Expert panel of judges select the OpenUp winner

Thursday, 8 September 2011, 15:28.

From March to December 2010 TSO ran the OpenUp contest to find the best ideas from the general public for the use of public sector data. On 23 March 2011 the shortlisted entrants came to the OpenUp final at Altitude 360 to present their ideas.

We were delighted to have our distinguished panel of judges in attendance: Professor Nigel Shadbolt, Charles Arthur, Lucian J Hudson, Emma Mulqueeny, Ashley Freidlein and Robin Brattel as well as eminent guests including former Director of Digital Engagement, Andrew Stott. 

As our expert panel of judges were interviewing the four finalists, some of those instrumental in opening up government data spoke on the challenges and benefits to a seminar audience.

John Sheridan, Head of Legislation Services for The National Archives talked about how legislation.gov.uk was created on open data principles to deliver better service more efficiently.

Jeni Tennison, a specialist consultant in XML-related and linked data, talked about the importance of URIs and naming things well.

Paul Davidson, CIO of Sedgemoor District Council talked about the challenges being faced by local government in making its data transparent.

You can view videos of the expert presentations in our Videos area.

Following the seminar sessions, guests were invited to mingle while the judges deliberated on the winner of the OpenUp award. It was an extremely tough decision with such great entries and compelling presentations.

In fact it was such a tough decision that a runner up position was awarded to Gail Knight for her Great British Public Toilet Map idea.

The winning idea was Tony Hirst’s Access to UCAS University Course Data which aims to create a dataset that enables students to aggregate information quickly and compare courses.

The other finalists were also highly praised by the judges for their ideas which have both public and commercial benefits: Benjamin Wood’s My Neighbourhood App and New Premises? submitted by Harry Harrold.

You can read blogs from Tony, Gail, Harry and Benjamin on our OpenUp contest site.

Robin Brattel, OpenUp Panel Chair said ‘The quality of presentations was excellent. Each idea had its merits and all have the potential to become very useable and useful applications, however, someone had to win! The judges felt that Gail Knight and Tony Hirst’s ideas were most in keeping with the rules of the OpenUp challenge, and we unanimously voted for Tony to win because his idea will help a large population of young people make the biggest decision of their life!’

You can view a video summary of the event in our Thought Leadership section.