Tag Archives: livecapture

Helloooo Wolverhampton!

Welcome to the Live Blog for Open Data Camp 8.

We’re at the University of Wolverhampton’s Springfield Campus, which is a modern building, updating a brewery, and who couldn’t like that? Ahead of us lie two days of ‘unconferencing’ about all things open data.

Stand by for updates on the pitching, the discussions about the hot topics in data collection and use, and some great examples of why open data really matters. It’s going to lively, it’s going to be FUN…

Data Art: what are the limits and opportunities in data licensing for artists?

A session on using open data in artistic works of various sources, led by Leela Collins.

Traditionally, we have infographics, where we take data and visualise it so people can understand it. And then there’s conceptual art, which gains some of its meaning from the original data source. Does that create a new work, or does it owe something to the data producer?

Data is becoming a tool, in the same way that brushes are.

And then there’s protest art, where the whole of the data is used to create the art. But if the data is licensed non-commercially, can the artist make money from the work? A full open data licence is free for reuse. However, a non-commercial licence on some data is somewhat ambiguous – is it just restricting resale of the data itself, or does it prevent it being used for anything commercial?

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What makes for a good API?

One of the first questions to come up on day two of Open Data Camp was “what is an API?” One of the last issues to be discussed was “what makes a good API?”

 

Participants were asked for examples of application programming interfaces that they actually liked. The official postcode release site got a thumbs up: “It was really clear how to use it and what I’d get, and I can trust that the data will come back in the same way each time.”

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A tale of two datasets

Controversially, Gavin Freeguard, head of data and transparency at the Institute for Government, was allowed a PowerPoint presentation at Open Data Camp 4. However, it was in a good cause.

His slides enabled him to give some concrete examples of the data in the Whitehall Monitoring Project, which he runs. The project monitors the shape and size of government, the morale of civil servants, and other factors.

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Sustaining Senior Sponsorship

If sponsorship is taken away – there must have been sponsorship before. So why does it go away? Understanding that might help.

 

Why we lose sponsorship

  • Short attention spans
  • Whitewashing, which they move on
  • People over-promising, and the results not matching that.

The enthusiasm needs to be sustainable.

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Better local government through open data

Local government seems to be in a perpetual state of competition – while the most efficient use of resources would be to collaborate. So how could open data help facilitate that?

 

One attendee talked about formalised co-ordination roles. There have been some pockets of good stuff: the Cabinet Office nominated over a dozen councils as their open data champions, with some mixed results. Redbridge’s data sharing platform DataShare, part funded by the LGA, seems to be well-liked by those who have used it. Some other user authorities are using it – but it’s often not as well implemented as the Redbridge implementation.

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