Falkirk Council is one of 32 Local Authorities in Scotland. Located in the centre of Scotland with a population of around 155,000 people, 1 in 5 people and 1 in 4 children in the Falkirk Council area are estimated to be living in poverty.
Fairer Falkirk is Falkirk Council’s strategic response to the rising poverty in the Falkirk Council area. It brings community planning partners together and sets out in detail a series of practical, deliverable, and achievable programmes aimed towards mitigating the impact of poverty on individuals and families. Services that provide money advice, access to food provision, digital access and community support are key to supporting those facing poverty, but ensuring that local people and front-line staff have access to up-to-date information relating to these services is challenging.
With funding from the Open Data Institute (ODI)’s Local Government Geospatial Data Stimulus Fund, Fairer Falkirk and their technology partner thinkWhere have harnessed the richness and flexibility of OpenStreetMap to create “Our Falkirk”: an online, map-based tool to allow local people to easily access information on services in the area.
The presentation will look at how we’ve created a simple mapping platform for service discovery that allows enriched OSM data to be easily described, mapped and shared through the concept of data ‘themes’. We’ll look at some of the key challenges and opportunities identified through this process, and show how taking an Open Data approach has allowed Falkirk Council to democratise access to vital information through the streamlining of data creation of publication. We’ll look at potential next steps and sign-post the resources now available as a result of this fully open–sourced project.