HODOR: helping hyperlocal journalists in a changing Wales

Here at the Satori Lab we believe that public value can be unlocked and created through open platforms for collaboration.

This is why we invest a lot of our time and resources supporting these kinds of platforms and you will often find us attending various camps on weekends.

In Wales we already organise GovCampCymru and its little cousin BaraBrithCamp.

Wearing our ODI-Cardiff hats we went along to support the Hack The Local event, which took place at Cardiff University on 11th and 12th June. Organised by the centre for community journalism and the computational data journalism MSc, it brought together journalists and journalism students, technologists, and hyperlocal website editors. The objective was to look at how hyperlocal journalism can benefit from open data.

Various challenges were proposed, and we decided to join a team that was looking at creating resources for hyperlocal journalists, to help them use open data in their reporting. The team members were: Zuzana Pohloudkova, Danny Llewellyn, Jack Davies, Gennie Rose and Esko Reinikainen.

We put together a website prototype which we called HODOR: Hyperlocal Open Data Open Resource

During the mini discovery process we also found out that hyperlocal reporters are often interested in using data from local government, and that in terms of open data publishing by local government in Wales is a bit behind the curve when compared to other parts of the UK. This identified a user need for resources to help local government to publish open data in a way that serves the needs of hyperlocal journalists. So we decided to include resource section specifically for local government.

Map of Wales with a scattering of dots

Image screengrabbed from Owen Boswarva’s site


As a hackathon only allows a limited amount of time for development and testing, the resource we have assembled is an early prototype. However it was well received and there seems to be an appetite to keep iterating the development into a more comprehensive resource, which Cardiff University is looking into.

If you are interested in HODOR, local government open data, and/or hyperlocal reporting using open data, join us in the ODI-Cardiff slack team, and find the #hodor channel to become part of the conversation.

We are also mapping the current landscape of open data in Wales, so if you’re a user or publisher of open data in Wales, please fill in our mapping survey.

And finally if your interests align with the development of a healthy open data ecosystem in Wales, ODI Cardiff is looking for sponsors and partners, or if your organisation needs to build up its open data capability, we can offer you consultancy services. You can contact esko or ben to discuss your requirements or user needs.

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