DataGM, the Greater Manchester Datastore, was a partnership between FutureEverything and Trafford Council in Greater Manchester, that developed out of FutureEverything’s Open Data Cities innovation lab.

A portal developed as part of Open Data Cities, an innovation lab from 2009-10, DataGM looked at the ways in which cities are being rewired, through a series of urban interventions, debates, and art and design experiments. As a result, it has informed policy debates in Greater Manchester, and was featured on the cover of two Guardian Smarter Cities supplements.

Open Data Cities – How would cities evolve if all data was open? – emerged during FutureEverything’s festival in May 2009. From an early stage, we saw there were huge opportunities. The emergence of the Greater Manchester City Region, and associated structural reforms, created a unique opportunity for the development of Open Data practice, and raised the potential for Greater Manchester to become a leader in city data led service and application innovation. Developments during this time led on to the Greater Manchester Data Synchronisation Program in 2013.

Using advocacy and tenacity, demonstrating a demand-side case, and creating a community of open data activists in the city, that is still active five years later, the project was a success. The outcome was new open data policy and infrastructure, and Manchester is now established as a leading European city in open data.