io datalabs


Sparks NorthEast - Open Data Day 2014


(...This blog post is a living document- it will be updated with more information later...)

iodatalabs was pleased to hold a Sparks NorthEast event to represent Newcastle for Open Data Day 2014.

The event took place over a 12 hour period on Saturday 22nd February, and was hosted by Ignite 100 in Newcastle's Ignite Loft.

We were privileged to have test access to Newcastle's new UTMC live data feeds, featuring data about air quality, car parks occupancy, traffic flow, CCTV cameras and weather. Alongside this, we considered static data presented at our previous event, and any other open data sources.

Data access facilitated by Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA), and prizes were awarded for the most interesting, promising, creative or useful projects.

We intend to run further events. To find out more, you can sign up for the email list, and follow @sparksnortheast on Twitter


We had 19 participants at our event. 17 produced something they were happy to present. In total, we had nine presented projects.

  • Team: Aidan Garnish

    Dude, Where's my Car Park?

    A simple, clean, effective tool to find, and navigate to the nearest car park with available spaces.

    Online: Dude Where's my Car Park

  • Team: Adrià Mercader

    Roadworks Dashboard

    A panel giving a breakdown of current and planned roadworks, with information about contractor, map and street view links.

    Online: Roadworks Dashboard

  • Team: Alistair MacDonald

    A couple of projects - (1) mapping traffic flow (2) Live car park data displayed on an e-ink panel

  • Team: Colin Oakley

    An air quality, temperature and allergy recommendation panel.

  • Team: Craig Tweedy, Lauren Thompson


    A tool to map the less palatable things that happen around a location, and give you a personal safety rating.

    Online: Shabba!

  • Team: Kaspars Zarinov, Peter Macatominey, Ryan Davies, John Hill

    Perfect Parking

    A 'dating'-style app to help your car find the most compatible car park.

  • Team: Sanjeev Pratinidhi, Rekha Pratinidhi, Taavi Raidma


    A heatmap overlay of traffic accident data over a route planner- so you can find out how 'dangerous' your route might be.

    Online SafeDriveNcl

  • Team: Cally Gatehouse, Gregory Marler


    Part app - part art comment. Find your nearest CCTV camera, and be presented with a countdown timer for the its next snapshot, so you can be in the picture.

    Online: #CCTVSelfie

  • Team: Jon Davies, Phil Jeffes

    Super Information Rationalisation and Inference Tool (Not SIRI)

    A web app to help you plan necessities for your day - view CCTV cameras across the city with linked weather reports.

    Online North-East Uncovered


  • Joint-First Place + Public Vote: SafeDriveNcl

    Judges: A clean, and straightforward interface, appropriate visualisation, and offering some existential insight. Offers good opportunity for public awareness.

  • Joint-First Place: Shabba

    Judges: Playful, and significant credit for the use of multiple data sources. Unlikely to have real-world application, but an interesting twist on how we apply value to our open data.

  • Second Place: Dude, Where's my Car Park

    Judges: Liked the simplicity, and clean interface for the data. Criticism of practical use in transit is valid, but addressable.

  • Third Place: Roadworks Dashboard

    Judges: A great way to simplify the information to aid public awareness. Street View really helped ground the information.

  • Spot Award: CCTV Selfies

    Judges: A creative application of the city feeds. Not convinced by practicalities due to the image resolution, but loved the subversiveness of the idea.

If any teams would like feedback on their project, please contact James.


Audio interview with James, courtesy of Betarocket - about open data, Open Data Day, and Sparks North East.

John's Day of Hacking, by Betarocket

CCTVSelfies by Gregory Marler

CCTVSelfies by Cally Gatehouse

Interview with the winning SafeDriveNcl team courtesy of Betarocket


We had many positive comments about the event, from both participants and our data provider. We're collecting formal feedback from our participants to help make future events better.

* Again, to find out about the next event, you can sign up for the email list, and follow @sparksnortheast on Twitter *


Helpful People

Some Media From the Event

See also #oddncl