Manchester Community Central – the voluntary service council for the city – releases some of it’s data as open data.
They define it as
Open data are data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone
It is subject only, at most, to the requirement to attribute and sharealike
Open data are the building blocks of open knowledge
Open knowledge is what open data becomes when it’s useful, usable and used
and add that their main aims are
That our data are useful. We wish to publish data that bring value to those building a stronger community and voluntary sector.
That our data are meaningful. We wish to publish data that add to the ongoing dialogue and discussion about the sector.
That our data are accessible. We wish to publish data in an open and accessible way, and provide regular narrative and understanding to the stakeholders
So far they have provided open data on the grants they give and some information about groups in the city. The grants data is very illuminating, showing who received the grant, what for and how much.
The image below of from one of the the spreadsheets on groups – showing how many member groups serve different parts of the city. I’ve added a very brief explanation of the GSS code and the GNS code. These help you when adding the information to a map.
The data comes in spreadsheet files which are .ods format. This is an open format and can be opened with microsoft excel or open source software like open office (which is free, open source software and works much like microsoft office). If you use an Apple Mac computer you’ll need to download an install open office to read the file.
MACC have written a policy on open data (opens as a pdf) – which is useful and practical for any vol sector organisation planning to follow in their footsteps.