DATA Play 2 winners announced

Thank you to everyone who submitted their proposals for DATA Play 2. We had 14 brilliant ideas and it was a really tough for our panel to decide on the three project that would receive the £2000 funding. So after a long morning of deliberations, three worthy projects were selected. Without further ado, here they are!

Our Way Tech: Pop up Past

Pop up Past sets out to get younger people engaged in the heritage of Plymouth. Our Way Tech (@OurWayTech) is made of four students from Plymstock School who worked with Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) to set up their student led social enterprise. With the funding money, they hope to set up a virtual reality experience using Google Cardboard to guide people through Plymouth’s history using images from Plymouth’s archives.

As well as getting younger people engaged in the past, the project will also aim to get young people thinking about the future. This project hopes to make local heritage look cool and intrinsically connected to technology. This funding will enable Our Way Tech to play with and test different technology and to work with developers to create a digital map that collects and shares memories and historical data.

The digital map and the data that they will be collecting would be a fantastic resource for the city and could be used to promote events such as the Mayflower 400 or the closure and re-opening of The Box. Interactive events combining digital technology and historical data could be co-designed and delivered by Our Way Tech and tech-partners over the next few years, a long term campaign that will encourage more young people to connect with their local heritage.

Read more on the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) website…

Plymouth Tree Partnership: Plymouth Tree Database

The Plymouth Tree Database is a proposal from Andrew Young from the Plymouth Tree Partnership working in partnership with i-DAT.

Trees are an important part of any city and well-chosen and well-grown trees have been proven to increase both the prosperity of an area and the health of its citizens. World famous cities like such as London and New York have been spending millions on planting new trees. Plymouth is gradually losing its tree cover and there is no database showing exactly where our precious trees are, their health and species etc.

The project will deliver a pilot database which is accessible through the internet and populated with live data. Importantly, it will include a method of alerting registered users when information within their areas of interest changes.

The scope of the solution may be limited by the available budget so it must be readily able to accept later expansion and additional functionality such as links to other citizen-science databases. Conceptually, it could contribute to understanding ecological dependencies; for example as between trees, insects and birds. The database will be capable of uploading pictures with GPS location from mobile devices. It will provide the input to the i-Tree tool for calculating canopy benefits and, where feasible, it should also be linked to other applications such Google Earth and Streetview.

The Plymouth Outdoors Team and Elixel

The family team of Jenson (10), Kitiana (13), Robert and Lavinia have been paired up with the technology know-how of Elixel to develop their idea for an app that helps you find your nearest sports facility, club or event.

The app for mobile devices would enable users to locate their nearest sports facilities along with useful information. Plymouth has a wide range of sports facilities, many of which are free, but it is not very easy to find information about them, especially if a resident is not sure what sports they want to try out. The app will allow a user to select a type of sport (for example running, basketball, bowls, cycling, skating) and will then show on a map the locations of their nearest facilities for that sport alongside useful sport specific info for comparison (because people have different requirements). For example, for running/walking the app could show the length of a particular path, suitability for pushchairs/wheelchair, whether dogs are allowed and bins provided, if the path is well lit, and so on. For basketball or tennis it could show how many hoops or courts the facility has, opening hours, whether there is a hire fee, and nearby parking information.

The app could allow users to ‘log’ use of a facility which would provide feedback to Plymouth City Council about which sports and facilities are popular, by which age groups, time of year/day, etc, which will help the Council to allocate future resources for maintenance and new builds. The app could also allow users to log problems with the facility for the Council to look into, for example regular reports of broken glass or dog mess could indicate that a facility needs to be locked at night or need more bins, reports of flooding or illegible surface markings on a court might indicate maintenance is necessary. The teams have been partly inspired by a local app called Artory (which Elixel were heavily involved with building) which is used to find art exhibitions and feedback our experiences.

We have tried to provide constructive feedback to every submission and we honestly felt that every idea was fantastic. The ideas above were chosen as the panel felt that these ideas have the most potential to really deliver something to the city and its people.

Please, please don’t lose heart if your idea wasn’t picked this time. There’ll be another DATA Play event in April. So use the time until then to develop and mould your idea. Who knows, you could be walking away with the funding next time :)

15 March 2016

Useful links