Yesterday, the very first Open Data Awards were held at the Open Data Institute’s Annual Summit and Gala Dinner.

Presented by the ODI’s Founders, Sirs Tim Berners-Lee and Nigel Shadbolt, in a ceremony attended by leaders from the business, data and technology worlds. Shoothill were among the four organisations and one individual recognised for their contribution to the worldwide open data movement.

Nominations for the awards were open to everyone and were judged by a team of six. The panel of judges included Dr Nick Appleyard, Head of Digital at Innovate UK; Andrew Fletcher, Senior Manager at Thomson Reuters Data Innovation Lab; Paul Maltby, Director of Open Data and Government Innovation at the UK Cabinet Office; Rahma Mian, Journalist and Stanford Knight fellow in Pakistan; Beth Noveck, Director of The Governance Lab at New York University; Dr David Tarrant, Senior Trainer at the Open Data Institute.

Building on a promising hope for the world of open data Shoothill, won the Open Data Award for Innovation, for their work with GaugeMap which was accredited by one judge as being “a great tool to keep people informed and protected from flooding”.

Shoothill are the first firm in the UK to work on developing software based on the live flood and river-level data from the Environment Agency.

Rod Plummer, Managing Director commented “We were extremely excited to be nominated among the list of finalists for this award, and going on to win is real vindication of the work we have completed on both GaugeMap and FloodAlerts over the past few years and I am delighted for the team at Shoothill who put in such hard work to achieve it.”

The chair for the awards was Kathryn Corrick, Head of Content & Learning at the ODI, whom commented: “We received hundreds of entries for this year’s open data awards, who, excitingly, came from all over the world. All of them are pioneers. This year’s winners demonstrate, in particular, the power of open data to make a difference – be it social, environmental or economic. I am so delighted to be celebrating their work and the contribution so many people are making in using and publishing open data to make a local and global impact”.

The Open Data Awards demonstrates a hopeful encouragement for individuals and companies worldwide to participate in the practice of publishing and exploiting open data.

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