It’s several weeks since the third UK Open Data Camp. In case that means nothing to you:
‘Camp’ is a term commonly used to refer to an ‘unconference’, which basically means it’s an event with no predefined agenda – instead, attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas to each other.
‘Data’, refers to text, words, numbers, images, sound and video etc. (Hang on, what’s the difference between data and information? See this useful explanation.)
‘Open’ means that the publisher of the data has made it available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence. The most common licence for public sector in the UK, is the Open Government Licence, which is usually referred to by its acronym, OGL. There are lots of other licences. For a detailed overview, take a look at the Guide to Open Licensing.
“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”
Open Data Campers
So, Open Data Camp is an event where people – from lots of different sectors, and with many different perspectives – get together to discuss absolutely anything to do with open data. There’s also networking, socialising, and generally a good time is had by all.
There’s a widely held view that national events favour London. As the nation’s capital, and most densely populated city in the UK, that’s perfectly understandable, but there’s a risk that other cities across the UK might be overlooked. From the outset, therefore, Open Data Camp has (so far) deliberately avoided the metropolis.
That’s not to say we don’t love London too – we do – it’s just that there’s loads of open data activity right across the UK, not in just one place.
Previously, Open Data Camp has pitched-up in Winchester (South-East), and Manchester (North West). This time, we were in Bristol, in the beautiful South West of England.*
There’s masses going on in Bristol , and it’s a leading light in the UK Smart City scene with Bristol is Open – a joint venture between Bristol City Council and University of Bristol:
Using data sensors, smart city technologies will be able to respond in real-time to everyday events including congestion, waste management, entertainment events, e-democracy, energy supply and more. Together we are creating an open programmable city region.
Amongst (many) other things going on, there’s Bristol Girl Geeks and a very active South West Data Meetup. And, of course, Bath: Hacked is just down the road as well.
The timing for Open Data Camp was perfect for it to be featured as part of Digital Bristol Week – a week-long series of workshops, masterclasses and other events, coordinated by the BBC Academy.
Our venue was the lovely Watershed – ‘Cultural cinema and digital creativity centre’ – right by the Harbourside. We were also really fortunate to have access to the adjoining Pervasive Media Studio, which meant that we had a large and really versatile space available.
Capturing what happened
The introduction and session pitches were livestreamed both days, and are embedded below for your viewing pleasure. The pitches from both days were used as the basis for the session grid, which became the agenda for the weekend.
The list of sessions is also included to give you a flavour of what was discussed. Most of the sessions have notes taken by volunteers. N.B. The notes are blank for a small number of sessions. If you led or attended Open Data Camp and can add anything to the notes, please do.
Welcome / introduction & session pitching PT1
- Datopolis, led by @ellenbroad and @JeniT
- How to co-create data licences with + for citizen driven open data project, led by @MarthaRoseKing
- Data Literacy keeping the conversation going / building data literacy thru a community of practice with stories, led by @ms_j_walker and @natfoo
- How to map everything (but why would you want to), led by @undertheraedar
- Undercover open data – what’s already available to use?, led by @skwlilac
- Land registry and after, led by @peterkwells
- Open up business data, led by @juliepierce77
- How can the #open Defra / EA data be better AND #Little Data, led by @dataenvagency and @davidbuckster
- Lessons learned from local open data AND Building participation in local open data, led by @ldodds and @martinhowitt
- Women and open data, led by @paulineroche
- Open data from space, led by @billroberts
- Local gov open data – policy direction (outside city hubs), transparency, engagement, led by @owenboswarva
- Finding the best spot for a pint using LIDAR & HTML Canvas, led by @brandonhawkes
- Open data for social value, led by @ashroplad
- Open data fusion – making better datasets by merging multiple data, led by @SK53onOSM
- Open data to improve local highways, led by @teresacjolley / @futurehighways
- Linked Data AND Software tool for creating/prototyping linked data, led by @nwplanet and @gklyne
- What resources are we using to support innovative practices such as skills learning, knowledge transfer and where are the gaps?, led by @ms_j_walker
- Open data evaluation makers AND Indices of multiple deprivation AND Sharing successful case studies – demonstrate value, led by @drsiant, @_datasmith and @callumtanner
- How to make open data meaningful and readable – working with artists etc, led by @martharoseking
- User requirements for open data platform, led by @callumtanner
- Tips and tricks for finding a senior sponsor, led by @alexrcoley
- Open data for community groups – making it easily accessible, led by@simonredding
- Turning LIDAR into actionable insight, led by @MurrayData
- Expert panel on open data Q&A, led by @paulineroche
- Creative writing based on data, led by @likeaword
- What can we do that isn’t a hack?, led by @krooneyrooney
- Stories on linked data – illustrating value & potential, led by @glynrjones
- Drupal and open data, led by @jorgelopezlago
- BlockChain, led by @jonesIOM
- Weather & Community Data Collection, led by @nigellegg
- Data Standards, led by @drsiant
- OpenStreetMap editing, led by @sk53onOSM
- Building an intro guide for local community groups, led by @simonredding
- Advocacy/lobbying for open data – where have all the user groups gone?, led by @owenboswarva
I don’t have room here to go into detail about individual sessions. Fortunately, that’s not a problem because…
Drawnalism were on-hand, with 2 artists AND 2 writers. Their output was phenomenal, with LOTS of drawings and blog posts published ‘live’ as the weekend progressed.
Blogs and bloggers
Many people have already blogged about their own experience of Open Data Camp, or have continued to build on themes identified during the weekend. Here’s a list of posts (so far):
- Future Highways goes to Open Data Camp, by Teresa Jolley
- Beneficial Ownership title, by Openmindedly
- Some thoughts after Open Data Camp 3, by Giuseppe Sollazzo
- Introducing the Data Campfire Public Beta, by Nathalie
- Open Data Camp Hat-Trick (Day 1), by Glyn R Jones
- Live capturing Open Data Camp, by Adam Tinworth
- Bristol (& New Brighton) Buildings from Lidar, by SK53
- In Bristol for the Open Data Camp, by Jen Layton
- What’s changing in the open data ecosystem? by Tom Smith
- Telling stories with data, by Ben Proctor
- Open Data Camp 2016, by W N Bishop
- Open Data Camp 3 – Bristol fashion, by Jen Williams
- #ODCamp 3, by David Buckster
- Data Literacy as Concept and Capability, by Paul Matthews
There’s also a great Storify put together by Pauline Roche, and photos:
#odcamp boat trip approaching Bristol Bridge pic.twitter.com/CNaiDWPDQw
— John Murray (@MurrayData) May 14, 2016
So, that’s it for this post. I’d just like to finish off by thanking everyone involved in making the third Open Data Camp such a success. This includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Watershed and Pervasive Media Studio for being superb hosts
- Bristol Packet for a fab boat trip, and Angharad Stone for organising it
- All our sponsors, who are magnificent, forward-thinking, and undemanding. If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at their web sites, and show ’em some love on Twitter.
- All the volunteers and co-organisers
- EVERYONE who participated
Pictured left to right, from the back:
- We are very aware that all three camps so far have been in England, whereas it’s ‘UK’ Open Data Camp. Don’t worry, we are on the case. Open Data Camp 4 will return towards the end of 2016, somewhere in the UK.
It is now official: the next Open Data Camp will be in Cardiff, Wales!
Stay tuned for date & venue.#opendata #odcamp #dataaragor
— Open Data Camp UK (@ODcamp) June 15, 2016
- A few of the many, thanks to Nigel Bishop
- Digital Bristol Week, thanks to BBC Academy
- Harbourside panorama, by Mark Braggins
- Livestreaming, thanks to Nigel Bishop on Flickr
- Owen Boswarva session ideas, thanks to Nigel Bishop on Flickr
- Drawnalism, thanks to Adam Tinworth on Flickr
- Drawnalism output, thanks to Matthew Buck and the Drawnalism team
- Paper and post its, thanks to Nigel Bishop on Flickr
- Organisers and volunteers, thanks to Neil Ford on Flickr