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The first Open Knowledge Foundation Glasgow Meetup

The following guest post is by Lorna Campbell, former assistant director of the Centre for Educational Technology and Interoperability Standards (CETIS). It is cross-posted from her blog.

Last night Sheila and I went along to the first meeting of the Open Knowledge Foundation in Glasgow. The meeting was hosted by the Electron Club and the room was packed to the gunnels with over thirty enthusiastic open data geeks. The event was introduced by Edinburgh University’s Ewan Klein, who has already been instrumental in helping to facilitate a successful series of Open Knowledge Foundation events in Edinburgh.

There were six fascinating lightning talks on a wide range of open data topics:

Glynn Staples introduced the Glasgow Future Cities Demonstrator project, which Sheila, Martin Hawksey and I have already had a little involvement with, when we presented a worksop on social media engagement strategies earlier in the year.

Lizzie Brotherston gave a presentation on the Learner Journey Data Jam which took place in Edinburgh in April, and which featured the work of Cetis’ very own Wilbert Kraan :) It was interesting listening to Lizzie talking about the value of events such as the data jam, and reflecting back on the DevCSI hackdays and the earlier Cetis CodeBashes which ran between 2002 and 2007. We were ahead of our time!

Graham Steel’s presentation was called “Publishing research without data is advertising, not science” and to prove his point, he provided us with lots of useful links which you can find on his prezi here. [And look out for blog post to follow soon - ed]

Bill Roberts, from linked data company Swirrl, reminded us about the importance of presenting Open Data for multiple audiences and introduced a sort of typology of data users which featured “hard core spaqrl junkies” at the bottom!

Neil Logan, of Amor Group, introduced the SFC innovation centres initiative and the Data Science Innovation Centre proposal. You can read more about Neil’s presentation on his own blog here. One of the points that Neil made was that “academics talk to industry because they want money for research”, which I suspect is true, but it did rather make me wonder about whether industry could also offer any investment in teaching and learning?

The final presentation of the evening was by Peter Winstanley of the Scottish Government who talked about the Cabinet Office’s Open Standards Hub. Peter also presented one of the most robust justifications for the adoption of open standards, including persistent resolvable identifiers, that I’ve heard in a long time. If I hadn’t been precariously perched on the edge of a rather high table, I’d have stood up and applauded!

All in all it was a really lively and thought provoking evening and judging by the energy in the room and the many positive comments on twitter, there seems to be real enthusiasm for future Open Knowledge Foundation meetings to take place in Glasgow, so here’s looking forward to the next one!

If you’re intereted in learning more about the first #OpenDataGla event, I’ve posted a Storify here and Martin Hawksey has archived all the tweets here.

For all the latest on the Open Knowledge Foundation in Scotland, follow @okfnscot.

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