MK Data Hub

The MK Data Hub is award winning technical, data infrastructure of the MK:Smart project, supporting the collection, integration and use of large amounts of data from many diverse resources relevant to city systems.

The datasets include local and national open data, data streams from both key infrastructure networks (energy, transport, water) and other relevant sensor networks (e.g. weather and pollution data), data crowdsourced from social media and mobile applications, etc. As a data platform for the city, the MK Data Hub enables the onboarding of data from data providers, who remain in control of the redistribution policies (the data licences) and the access permissions they want to apply. The data catalogue supports the discovery of the data, as well as the description and traceability of the relevant metadata, such as the sources and rights that apply to the data.
Much of the functions of the MK Data Hub are centred around smart APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to re-deliver the data in a common, homogeneous and convenient way for the developers of data-intensive applications (see developer section of the MK Data Hub portal). Currently, the MK Data Hub includes a streaming API for timeline and sensor data, and an Entity API which aggregates the information available in the hub on general entities (places, buildings, topics, etc.) from the many datasets contributing to the MK Data Hub . These data and APIs are used to inform analytics at different levels of detail to support intelligent planning and usage of resources across city systems. Innovative solutions are being created using the MK Data Hub to reduce the cost of data-driven application development.In addition to supporting the various workstreams in MK:Smart, the MK Data Hub is also enabling the development of MK Insights, a portal to be used by both MK City Council and the wider community, to access and make sense of city data.
The Data Hub has also been used to support the Ground Resistance arts installation presented at the Milton Keynes International festival in July 2016. This installation used visual and audio representations of the data to show how a city is represented in terms of the information it produces. The infrastructure provided by the Data Hub is also being used by several SMEs, which are developing applications in various domains, including education, healthcare and even a community radio!
The MK Data Hub is also being replicated in Manchester as part of the Innovate UK City Verve project and has won several awards, including Best Commercial Catalyst at the TM Forum Live in 2016. Beyond the close of the MK:Smart project, the MK Data Hub will continue to support council services and data-intensive application development as well as providing a resource to support scientific research and business training.

Leader: Enrico Daga
The Open University