the State of The Union – #EUlife

The last few months have seen a huge amount of discussion on the future of the European Union with events in Greece putting views in sharp focus. In the UK citizens will have a chance to make their views known  in the referendum to be held by the end of 2017. We have some time therefore to reflect on the benefits and realities of living in the Union before we make our way to the ballot box.

So it’s timely that open data should have a role in examining what we as Europeans currently think of life in Europe. The #EUlife AppChallenge is a competition, running from 1st July  2015 to 30th September 2015 to encourage you to develop innovative new  apps using European Quality of Life open data that has been published  with help from Eurofound  and the UK Data Service .The data includes survey responses from across Europe (including  all EU countries, Turkey and Iceland). The European Quality of Life  Survey is conducted every four years (they have published 2007 and 2011)  including:

  • Social Stratification and groupings – Family life and marriage
  • Education – Higher and further
  • Environment, conservation and land use – Land use and planning
  • Society and culture – Social attitudes and behaviour
  • Social stratification and groupings – General
  • Education – general
  • Employment and labour – General
  • Economics – Income, property and investment
  • Health – General
  • Health – Specific diseases and medical conditions
  • Housing
  • Health – Health services and medical
  • Transport
  • Politics – Political behaviour and attitudes
  • Society and culture – Social indicators and quality of life
  • Employment and labour – General
I’m delighted to be one of the judges  for the challenge and I’d really like to encourage people to access the data and create an app that uses this open data, perhaps  with other open data that you already work with, to create something  innovative and exciting that will have a real impact on society and helps further our understanding of how people feel, work and play together  across Europe.The AppChallenge  have worked with Eurofound, who own the data, and the UK Data Service  who are experts in cleansing and preparing data for use. If you’re not  sure where to start, don’t worry the organizers have put together a series of  tutorials that take you through using the API that they have built to  creating your first app with Python or Javascript. You don’t need any  expensive tools as they are using a text editor and the Internet so it doesn’t get  much simpler than that! Anyone can enter, from anywhere in the world. We’re interested in  your ideas. The dataset doesn’t just cover the European Union. It also  covers countries that are being considered for membership in the future.You can access the data here using the API Explorer or find out more about the challenge here. There is £15,000 available in prizes and the challenge closes on the 30th September. So spread the word and lets get some interesting insights on the state of the Union.
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