A site about how community groups and charities can make the most of data and open data to do something useful. Focused on Birmingham, relevant everywhere.

Helping David Owen find the data he needs to make unattached playing fields in Birmingham more useful and more used.l


Earlier today Steph Clarke and I had a chat with David Owen of Friends of Spring Lane in Birmingham.

Sprin Lane playing fields in Erdington

Spring Lane is what is know as an “unattached playing field” (not attached to a specific school – although there for the sporting use of primary schools in Birmingham).  Spring lane once had numerous maintained pitches – including the two pitches you might be able to see on google earth.  It also had three changing rooms.  David and the other in the friends are hoping to revive the site for organised sport.    This is , briefly, what David said he is hoping to achieve…

He’d approached us because of the work we’ve being doin g to introduce data and open data skills to community groups through the social media surgeries.


So what was he after?  Information on

Health outcomes in an around this and other playing fields in Erdington. Perry Barr and Hodge Hill.

Crime statistics

Unemployment statistics

Training and skills information.

We pointed him in the direction of work we’ve already done with other groups helping them find what they need, or a starting point for what they need.  Here are some links we shared with him

This explains what Local super output areas are and how you might use them:

and this on using LG inform plus and its natural neighbourhoods to get broad brush data on neighbourhoods you can define yourself – including population and some health information.
which you can create your own here:
And look at other LSOA data around the Indices of Deprivation, making it easier for him to compare neighbourhoods and communities
Police data (maps):
Birmingham Data Factory:
Doorda – multiple maps – inc food places:
Freedom of information requests in public!
We also pointed him at the current Birmignham City Council open data consultation, in case there was something specific he’s looking for.
He was very enthused with the help that was available and the data there – and has some decent spreadsheet skills of his own.  So we were pleased to see that the approaches taken with other groups and blogged about here make sense for him.


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