All posts by Mark Braggins

Announcing Open Data Camp 6

The Open Data Camp Charabanc is coming to Aberdeen!

We are delighted to announce that Open Data Camp is returning once again. Open Data Camp 6 will be the weekend of 3/4th November, hosted by the University of Aberdeen

We will share details about the venue in due course.

We are really grateful to  the University of Aberdeen for offering to host Open Data Camp, and to the team at ODI Aberdeen / Code the City for volunteering to bring ODC 6 to their city. 

In case you’ve no idea what Open Data Camp is, here’s a quick recap:

Open

‘Open’ means that data has made available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence.

Data

‘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.)

Camp

‘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.

“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”

More info to follow

We will let you have lots more information in the coming weeks, which will of course include details of ticketing, travel and accommodation.

We also look forward to seeing the Northern Lights Conference on Friday, 2 November, also at the University of Aberdeen, which brings together tech developers, designers and students.

Picture credit

Open Data Camp charabanc thanks to Drawnalism

 

Open Data Camp 5: weekend arrangements

Open Data Camp is returning for a fifth time this coming weekend, 21st and 22nd October 2017.

This time, the Open Data Camp charabanc will be visiting the lovely city of Belfast, in Northern Ireland.

The purpose of this post is to provide details for attendees.

Where

At Queen’s University Belfast, in the Computer Science building

View Larger Map

See the Travel and Accommodation page for information on getting to Belfast from other parts of the UK and Ireland, and where to stay.

Friday

For those arriving on Friday, there’s an optional walking tour in the afternoon. There are a limited number of places, so please sign up [here]

For those who have registered for the walking tour, we will be meeting at the gates of Queen’s university at 4:30pm, and the tour lasts about 1.5 hrs.

On Friday evening, a few people will be meeting at The Duke of York from 6pm. Nothing formal, just turn up if you feel like it.

Weekend arrangements

Registration

Registration will be from 9:30am on Saturday, and 10am on Sunday. There’s no need to print your ticket, as we’ll check you in using Eventbrite. There will be tea, coffee and pastries available on arrival

Timings

At a glance

Day Registration from Welcome Lunch Last session finishes Close
Saturday 9:30am 10am 12:15-1:15pm 4:30pm 5pm
Sunday 10am 10:30am 1-2pm 3:15pm 3:45pm

There will be two sessions in the morning, and three in the afternoon on both days.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be available mid-afternoon on both days.

Lunch

A light lunch is being provided onsite, and there will be vegetarian options (at least 30%). We haven’t catered for special dietary requirements, but if you have a more specific need, please let us know in advance and we’ll try to help.

Final sessions

We aim to finish the last session by about 4.30pm on Saturday and 3:15pm on Sunday.

Evening social

Networking continues on Saturday evening, and we will be gathering at The Bear and the Doll from about 6:30pm. Remember to bring your lanyard in the evening, as there will be a (not inexhaustible) tab for Open Data Camp-ers. There will also be a snack buffet laid on (but please don’t come expecting a full meal!)

A view from inside The Bear and Doll

Never attended an Unconference before?

If you’ve never attended an unconference before, you may be wondering what on earth to expect. Unlike traditional conferences, unconferences have no pre-defined agenda, and instead attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas to each other at the beginning of the event. These ideas are then written on post-it notes, which are assigned to vacant slots on a session grid, and that becomes the agenda.

For a more detailed (and much better) explanation, and links to more information, take a look at Unconference in a Box, compiled by James Cattell.

Our Volunteers

If you need anything at the weekend, or have a question, look out for people wearing maroon hoodies emblazoned with the Open Data Camp logo. Maroon-hoodie-wearers (Volunteers) have all given up their time for free, and will do their best to help you.

If you are a volunteer and haven’t already seen it, please take a look at Pauline Roche’s blog post Volunteers and Open Data Camp.

A massive thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help plan and run Open Data Camp. I won’t list everyone in this post – you already know who you are.

Our Sponsors

As you will already be aware, Open Data Camp is free to attend. That wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of forward-thinking organisations who help cover the costs associated with holding a large event.

If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to look at our sponsors’ web sites, and show your appreciation in person, or on Twitter.

Join us on Slack

https://opendatacamp.herokuapp.com/

https://opendatacamp.slack.com/

 

Announcing Open Data Camp 5

We are delighted to announce that Open Data Camp is returning once again. Open Data Camp 5 will be the weekend of 21/22 October at Queen’s University Belfast, in the Computer Science building

The Computer Science building at Queen’s University

We are really grateful to Queen’s University, and the School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in particular,
for letting us use their magnificent Computer Science building, and to Suzanne and Cormac from OpenDataNI for making such a convincing case for Belfast to host our next event.

In case you’ve no idea what Open Data Camp is, here’s a quick recap:

Open

‘Open’ means that data has made available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence.

Data

‘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.)

Camp

‘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.

“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”

More info to follow

We will let you have lots more information in the coming weeks, which will of course include details of ticketing, travel and accommodation.

Photo Credit

Cormac McConaghy

Open Data Camp 4: Weekend Arrangements

Open Data Camp is returning for a fourth time this coming weekend 25/26th February.

This purpose of this post is to provide details for attendees.

When

  • Saturday 25th and Sunday 26th February
  • 10am-4pm on Saturday
  • 10:30am – 4pm on Sunday
  • See session grid for more detailed timings on individual sessions

Where

Pierhead
The National Assembly for Wales,
Cardiff Bay,
Cardiff,
CF99 1NA

We are particularly grateful to the National Assembly for Wales, and Assembly Member Mark Drakeford for sponsoring our use of the fabulous Pierhead building

The Pierhead web site has full details on how to get to the venue, and there is more information in our Venue and Accommodation page.

View Larger Map

Access

Pierhead is fully accessible, there is a lift as well as stairs connecting the public areas between the ground and first floors. A hearing loop is installed in the main hall and blue badge parking is available. Phone 0300 200 6565 with details of your blue badge to arrange.

Registration

Registration is from 10am on Saturday and 10:30am on Sunday. There’s no need to print your ticket, as we’ll check you in using Eventbrite.

We’ll be using “Hello. My name is….” sticky badges. Feel free to bring your own lanyard if you’d rather not stick it to yourself directly.

Who else will be there?

Around 150 people have registered to attend during the course of the weekend. Almost a hundred of those are on Twitter, and are included in the list: ODCamp_4

We have participants coming from India, America and across the British Isles.

Refreshments

It’s a weekend, and people are travelling from far-and-wide, so of course there’ll be tea and coffee – and pastries – for when you arrive.

Tea & coffee will be kept topped-up throughout the day,  and there will be cake in the afternoon.

Lunch: You’ll need to make your own arrangements for lunch, but don’t worry, as Pierhead is surrounded by cafes and restaurants. More info about that at: http://www.mermaidquay.co.uk/

Social activities

On Saturday evening we’ll be gathering at The Waterguard, which is about 5 mins walk from Pierhead [directions]. It’s a distinctive building – see Waterguard’s Facebook page for more info and photos.

Thanks to our sponsors, there will be some free drinks for Open Data Camp attendees (not inexhaustible!) and a snack buffet delivered in stages throughout the evening. Don’t expect a main meal.

Sunday

There’s less public transport around on Sundays – and people like a bit of a lie-in – so sessions will be starting slightly later, the doors will open at 10:30am.

Never attended an Unconference before?

If you’ve never attended an unconference before, you may be wondering what on earth to expect. Unlike traditional conferences, unconferences have no pre-defined agenda, and instead attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas to each other at the beginning of the event. These ideas are then written on post-it notes, which are assigned to vacant slots on a session grid, and that becomes the agenda.

For a more detailed (and much better) explanation, and links to more information, take a look at Unconference in a Box, compiled by James Cattell.

Our Volunteers

If you need anything at the weekend, or have a question, look out for people wearing maroon hoodies emblazoned with the Open Data Camp logo. Maroon-hoodie-wearers (Volunteers) have all given up their time for free, and will do their best to help you.

If you are a volunteer and haven’t already seen it, please take a look at Pauline Roche’s recent blog post Volunteers and Open Data Camp.

A massive thank you to everyone who has volunteered to help plan and run Open Data Camp. I won’t list everyone in this post – you already know who you are.

Our Sponsors

As you will already be aware, Open Data Camp is free to attend. That wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of forward-thinking organisations who help cover the costs associated with holding a large event.

If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to look at our sponsors’ web sites, and show your appreciation in person, or on Twitter.

Gold Sponsors

Government Digital Service @gdsteam

Silver Sponsors

Food Standards Agency Wales @foodgov
Food Standards Agency @foodgov
Fusion Data Science @FusionDataSci
The Open Data Institute @ODIHQ
Epimorphics @epimorphics
The Office of National Statistics @ONS
Ordnance Survey @OrdnanceSurvey
GeoVation Hub @Geovation
Safe Software @SafeSoftware
Valtech @Valtech

Bronze Sponsors

Networked Planet @nwplanet
UKgovcamp @UKGovCamp
AHA Digital Ltd @ahadigitalltd
Drawnalism @drawnalism
Swirrl @swirrl
nquiringminds @nqminds
ODI Cardiff @ODICardiff
Southampton Data Science Academy
Propolis @northernjamie
R n R Organisation @RnRworks
The Sensible Code Company @sensiblecodeio
SRS Shared Resource Service / Gwasanaeth Rhannu Adnoddau @SRSCOO

Open Data Camp 4 – festive update

This is a quick post to update you on preparations for Open Data Camp 4, and to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Preparations underway

So far, we’ve released two batches of tickets, and they’ve been snapped-up really fast.

49 tickets have been issued so far, and there are another 71 remaining.

These will also be released in batches on the following dates:

  • Sunday 8th January at 8pm
  • Friday 13th January 2017 at 4pm
  • Thursday 19th January at 12noon

Who’s coming?

As you probably already know, Open Data Camp is free to attend, and is open to everyone. We often get asked who attends Open Data Camp. We obviously can’t divulge any personal information, and some people choose not to volunteer any additional information about themselves, but we can share a summary.

Sector theme

We suggested some sector themes for attendees, and those who responded selected the following themes:

Sector theme Number
Data Infrastructure 13
Open Cities (or Smart Cities) 13
Data as Culture 11
Agriculture and Nutrition 4
Global Development 2

Job titles

There’s a really wide range of job titles amongst attendees who chose to tell us their title, with students, researchers, policy people, founders, directors, CEOs, analysts, developers and technicians, and many more besides.

We’re starting to get all Christmassy, so here it is as a picture (click to see full size).

Organisations

Here are some of the organisations attendees identify with. With three more ticket releases to go, there will be lots more yet to come.

Diversity

At the moment, attendees are approximately ⅓ female and ⅔ male, which is remarkably similar to all three previous events. There are still several opportunities through the forthcoming ticket releases on Jan 8th, 13th and 19th to attract a diverse range of attendees. The Open Data Camp organising team currently comprises 10 men and 6 women, and for the previous Camp, we adopted a Code of Conduct to ensure that we continue to have an enjoyable event for everyone.

Practicalities and logistics

If you’ve managed to grab a ticket, you may have some questions about how to get to the venue, and where to stay. Take a look at the Venue and Accommodation page on the web site. We’ll be keeping it updated, and posting more information as we get it. If you’re stuck, let us know at @ODCamp on Twitter, or through the contact page on the web site, and we’ll try to help. We’d also welcome any other suggestions on good (and cheap!) places to stay, or any tips on local hostelries.

That’s it for now

Merry Christmas!

Picture credits

Word clouds thanks to Tagul

Announcing Open Data Camp 4

Open Data Camp is back!

Click to skip to this post in Welsh.

odc4-1We are delighted to announce that Open Data Camp is returning once again. Open Data Camp 4 will be the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 25/26th February 2017, at The Pierhead in Cardiff.

We are extremely grateful to Assembly Member Mark Drakeford, of the National Assembly for Wales, who has sponsored our use of the Pierhead building.

In case you’ve no idea what Open Data Camp is, here’s a quick recap:

Open

‘Open’ means that data has made available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence.

Data

‘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.)

Camp

‘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.

“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”

More to follow

Tickets (free!) will be released in batches on the following dates & times (all times are GMT):

  • Wednesday 14th December at 3pm
  • Tuesday 20th December at 12noon
  • Sunday 8th January at 8pm
  • Friday 13th January 2017 at 4pm
  • Thursday 19th January at 12noon

We’ll be sharing lots more information – including how to book your ticket(s) – on the Open Data Camp blog, via @ODCamp on Twitter, and using hashtag #ODCamp in the coming weeks.

 

29929792165_c091995192_z
The Pierhead

Photo credit

The Pierhead building, by Nigel Bishop on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/MAN1tp

Open Data Camp word cloud based on Pierhead building outline, created using Tagul

Yn datgan Gwersyll Data Agored 4

Mae Gwersyll Data Agored yn ol!

Rydym yn falch i ddatgan bod Gwersyll Data Agored yn dod yn ol unwaith eto. Bydd Gwersyll Data Agored 4 yn cael ei gynnal ar benwythnos dydd Sadwrn a dydd Sul y 25/26ain o Chwefror 2017, yn Adeilad y Pierhead yng Nghaerdydd.

Rydym yn hynod o ddiolchgar i Aelod Cynulliad Mark Drakeford, o Gynulliad Cenhedlaethol Cymru, sydd wedi noddi ein defnydd o adeilad y Pierhead.

Rhag ofn nad oes ganddoch syniad beth yw Gwersyll Data Agored, dyma crynodeb sydyn:

Gwersyll

Mae ‘gwersyll’ yn cyfeirio yn aml i ‘anghynhadledd’ (‘unconference‘), sydd yn golygu bod yn ddigwyddiad yn dechrau heb agenda rhagosodol – yn hytrach, mae mynychwyr yn cynnig (‘pitch’) syniadau i’w gilydd ar gyfer sessiynnau.

Data

Gall ‘Data’ cyfeirio at testun, geiriau, lluniau, swn, fideo, a.y.y.b. (Ond disgwyl.. beth yw’r gwahaniaeth rhwng data a gwybodaeth? Gwelwch yr esboniad defnyddiol yma.)

Agored

Golygai ‘Agored’ bod data ar gael hefo ychydig neu dim o rwystrau ar sut ellid ei defnyddio, fel a osodwyd allan mewn trwydded.

“Data agored yw data gall unrhyw un cyrchu, defnyddio a rhannu.”

Mwy i ddilyn

Mae ticedi (am ddim) yn cael eu rhyddhau mewn sypiau ar y dyddiadau & amseroedd canlynol (dengys yr amser yn GMT):

  • Dydd Mercher 14fed Rhagfyr am 3y.p.

  • Dydd Mawrth 20fed Rhagfyr am 12y.p.

  • Dydd Sul 8fed Ionawr am 8y.p.

  • Dydd Gwener 13fed Ionawr am 4y.p.

  • Dydd Iau 19fed Ionawr am 12 y.p.

Byddwn yn rhannu llawer mwy o wybodaeth – yn cynnwys sut i archebu eich ticed(i) – ar flog Gwersyll Data Agored, ar @ODCamp ar trydar, ac yn defnyddio hashnod #ODCamp yn yr wythnosau sy’n dilyn…

Credyd ffoto

Yr adeilad Pierhead, gan Nigel Bishop ar Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/MAN1tp

‘Cwmwl geiriau’ Gwersyll Data Agored ar amlinelliad o’r adeilad Pierhead, wedi’i greu yn defnyddio Tagul

After the Watershed

It’s several weeks since the third UK Open Data Camp. In case that means nothing to you:

Camp

‘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

‘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

‘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.

Just a few of the many who attended Open Data Camp 3
Just a few of many who attended the third UK Open Data Camp.

On tour

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.*

Bristol

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.

Digital Bristol Week
Digital Bristol Week

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.

Watershed

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.

20160505_103147
Harbourside in Bristol (Watershed is the blue building on the right)

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.

Session pitches were livestreamed
Julian Tait livestreaming session pitches
Some people had *lots* of session ideas
Some people had *lots* of session ideas

Saturday

Welcome / introduction & session pitching PT1

Sunday

I don’t have room here to go into detail about individual sessions. Fortunately, that’s not a problem because…

Drawnalism

Open Data Camp 3
Two of the team from Drawnalism

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.

18 ODCamp Session - hacking the hack
‘Hacking the hack’
ODCamp-Day-Two_5
‘Data standards: sampling chickens in an open data way’
Capturing the essence of GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition)

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):

Sometimes, nothing beats a great big sheet of paper and lots of post-its
Sometimes, nothing beats a big sheet of paper, with lots of post-its

There’s also a great Storify put together by Pauline Roche, and photos:

          • here by Nigel Bishop
          • here by Neil Ford
          • here by Mark Braggins (inc some videos recoded by Angharad Stone)
          • here by Adam Tinworth

Thank you

Open Data Camp 3 keywords (1)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
DSC_2362
Open data Camp 3 (some of) the organisers and volunteers

Pictured left to right, from the back:

Notes

  • 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.
    UPDATE!

Picture credits

 

Open Data Camp: Hitting the road again

We’re back

First, there was Open Data Camp, in Winchester (Feb 2015).

ODCamp1 screenshot

Then, came Open Data Camp 2, in Manchester (Oct 2015).

ODCamp2 screenshot

Guess what’s coming next….

Correct!

Open Data Camp 3 teaser

Back on the road again

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that the Open Data Camp unconference charabanc is hitting the road again, and will be coming to Bristol the weekend of 14th & 15th May 2016.

5356584351_5237a99a93_z (1)
Bristol Charabanc No 173 Operated By Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co. Ltd.

Three = Free

As usual, Open Data Camp 3 will be free to attend. This is possible because:

  • the organisers are unpaid volunteers. This time, we’re also collaborating with South West Data and the ODI Bristol.
  • the generosity of sponsors, who are prepared to stump-up some cash to cover costs like venue, refreshments, merchandise, pre & post-event drinks, stationery, live drawing etc. Without sponsorship, we simply wouldn’t be able to hold these events.
Matthew Buck of Drawnalism 'In the Moment' at ODCamp1
Matthew Buck of Drawnalism ‘In the Moment’ at ODCamp1

Thank you already

We are delighted to announce that we already have two major sponsors:

We are hugely grateful. Networked Planet and Bristol City Council: You are, quite simply, marvellous.

Can you support ODC3?

There will of course be all sorts of other costs to cover, and we are therefore seeking other sponsors to help us make the event go with a whizz and a bang.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch.

Watch this space

We’ll share more details on the Open Data Camp web site in the next couple of weeks, including the ticket release schedule, and information about travel & accommodation.

That’s it for now.

Picture credits

 

A Shed load of ideas – Open Data Camp 2

ODCamp 2 Clean copies_2It’s nearly two weeks since the second UK Open Data Camp – the unconference devoted entirely to open data.

The first Open Data Camp was held ‘down South’ in Winchester, and this time headed ‘up North’ to Manchester.

The hosts – Digital Innovation (part of the Manchester Metropolitan University) – have a brilliant venue called The Shed, which is just a few minutes walk from Manchester Oxford Street and Piccadilly stations.

Up against it

Dave Mee and Sian Thomas greeting participants
Dave Mee and Sian Thomas greeting participants

Having encountered some travel problems with the first event, when planning the dates for ODC2, we carefully avoided Manchester’s regular football fixtures.

Our cunning planning had a flaw, however, as we found ourselves up-against TWO major rugby events AND a boxing match which we hadn’t known about earlier in the year.

Despite the clash – and resulting traffic, transport, and accommodation chaos – there was a good turnout on both days, albeit after a bit of a slow start, particularly on Sunday*.

The choice of dates, combined with lurgies, also meant that several of the organising team couldn’t make it, and we sorely missed James Cattell, Lucy Knight, Hendrik Grothuis and Pauline Roche.

Been there, done that, got the T shirt

T shirts designed by Sasha Taylor
T shirts designed by Sasha Taylor

We were fortunate to have Julian Tait on the organising team this time, who worked tirelessly with Jamie Whyte to make all the local arrangements, including sorting out discounts at nearby eateries.

Julian also organised super-speedy printing of the T shirts, which he collected on Friday, and ran an excellent session on crowdsourced Internet of Things.

Jamie Whyte, who facilitated, and pitched a session
Jamie Whyte facilitated & pitched

Having been local lead for the first event, I rather enjoyed being in the background this time.

Jamie Whyte wasn’t so lucky, and ‘was volunteered’ to step into James Cattell’s shoes as facilitator. I must say, Jamie did a marvellous job, at very short notice. 

I did have a half-baked idea I’d dreamt up during GovCamp Cymru (which was held right next door to the Doctor Who Exhibition in Cardiff) about pitching a session on using open data for time travel, but in the end decided not to, as there were already lots of really interesting pitches, including:

The Sessions

Title Session lead
West Midlands Fire Open Data Risk.  Jason Davies
Edible giving Gregory Marler
Government data programme Paul Maltby
Open data ideas for young people Jag Goroya
Food open data Sian Thomas
Open Street Map (Missing maps and humanitarian) Gregory Marler
Linked data #nerds Ric Roberts
Greater Manchester Poverty Action Steven Flower
#Open Defra Andrew Newman
Making open data suck a bit less Christopher Gutteridge
Crowdsourced #iot Julian Tait
Supply chain management in open data Glyn Jones
 Sunday
Open Addresses John Murray
Let go of the O – it is just data Andrew Newman
Help the Isle of Man do it right Kirsty Hemsley
Data visualisation Jamie Whyte
Lidar 4 3D – What would you do with it Christopher Gutteridge
Realtime Open Data James Moulding
Open Data + Health Care (Discussion)  John @kellasj
Open Data for culture and heritage SK53
Open Refine CSV > RDF Jen at NetworkedPlanet
Address Wars Bob Barr
Feedback Open Data Camp

We were fortunate to have Matthew Buck of Drawnalism on-hand, who brilliantly captured the essence of the session pitches:

ODCamp 2 Clean copies_3

All the classical elements

Fotothek Theosophie PhilosophieGlancing through the list, I was reminded of the elements as imagined by ancient philosophers: Earth, Water, Air and Fire.

There were sessions about three of those – Earth, Air and Fire. As a slight aside, it’s interesting to see the classical elements visualised as layers as early as 1617 in this copper engraving on paper

The other classical element – Water – is rather conveniently the topic of new latest Geovation Challenge, which seeks to tackle the global issues around water.

Real issues

As with the first Open Data Camp, I was really pleased to note that this wasn’t ‘just’ people ‘talking-up’ open data (although, there was some of that), or talking tech (although there was some of that, too) – it was also people finding and showcasing ways to use open data and associated technologies to overcome real-world issues like poverty, educationfood banks, and health care.

There were also some open data publishers, keen to engage with users and potential users of their data. DEFRA and Environment Agency were on-hand, as were Ordnance Survey OS was also one of our fab sponsors, speaking of which…

Our Fab sponsors

Ric from Swirrl (one of our sponsors) running a session on linked data
Ric from Swirrl (one of our sponsors) running a session on linked data for nerds

If you were at Open Data Camp 2, you may have noticed the complete lack of hard sell (in fact any selling) by the sponsors, all of whom just wanted to help make Open Data Camp happen, and do their bit for the open data movement.

Open Data Camp wouldn’t be ‘a thing’ if it wasn’t for organisations who are prepared to help cover the costs of free events.

On behalf of the organising team, I’d* like to express our huge and sincere thanks to the sponsors, particularly our hosts Digital Innovation, and main sponsor the DaPaaS Project.

The usual quandary

As usual, I was torn between which sessions to go to, as they were all really interesting. I don’t have time to go into detail in this post, but I was particularly impressed that Minister John Shimmin and Kirsty Hemsley from the Isle of Man Government was prepared to attend to seek advice from the open data community on ‘how to do open data right’. I was only present for part of that session, and I hope that someone will blog about it in detail.

ODCamp 2 Clean copies_6I was also impressed that Paul Maltby – the UK Government’s newly appointed Director of Data – pitched a session on what’s happening in the UK Government around data (including open data).

There was lots of interest in that session, which ended up being held in the main space with no parallel sessions, thereby becoming known as an ‘unkeynote’.

The term stuck, as the (nearly) final session on Sunday was a fascinating and highly entertaining talk from Dr Bob Barr about the ongoing battle for UK Addresses, now known as the Address Wars.

Looking back, looking forwards

I’m enjoying reading the blog posts and other output – including photos from Giuseppe Sollazzo and Sasha Taylor – from Open Data Camp, which we’re signposting to from the Open Data Camp home page. It’s really useful to have a record of what was discussed. So often, it’s these stories which become valuable resources to call upon in the future. On which note, I’ll also be including them in the mix over on Open Data Aha!

We’re also just beginning to think about the next Open Data Camp…

 Footnote

* We are soaking up the feedback – including the difficulty getting early morning trains on a Sunday – and will be incorporating it into planning for Open Data Camp 3, which will (probably) be in around 6 months

** I confess, I’m a little conflicted here, as the company I founded recently, AHA Digital, is also one of the sponsors

Photo credits

Drawnalism images drawn and photographed by Matthew Buck

T shirts by Sasha Taylor on Flickr

Jamie Whyte by Giuseppe Sollazzo on Flickr

Classical elements Deutsche Fotothek on Wikimedia Commons