Following Edinburgh-based Meet-ups earlier this year, a small group of people interested in promoting openness recently met together to link-up ideas and projects, and explore possible areas of collaboration.

The attendees were:

  • Ewan Klein, University of Edinburgh
  • Sally Kerr, City of Edinburgh Council
  • Sam Leon, Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Naomi Lillie, Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Jilly Mathews, Open Knowledge Foundation
  • Bill Roberts, Swirrl
  • Peter Winstanley, The Scottish Government

Arranged by Ewan, the aim of the meeting was to identify opportunities and mechanisms for advancing Open Data initiatives at the city and national levels in Scotland.

Key areas of discussion included:

  • Prioritising what data to open next (as cannot do all at once)
  • Greater benefit from existing processes rather than generating more work
  • Awareness-raising amongst data owners
  • Developing a wish-list for datasets in forming a URI
  • Digitising cultural heritage information, including Europeana initiatives
  • Edinburgh council’s NESTA project (a digital service for local parks)

Peter pointed us to a list of Scottish datasets, and the following are areas of existing work around opening up data and knowledge:

We identified two mutually beneficial areas of focus – one on infrastructure, policy and standards, and another on community and network building – and agreed the following outcomes:

  • This group to meet again, along with others suggested
  • This group to support Sally in writing proposals to the City of Edinburgh council regarding open standards
  • OKFN to look into arranging a Local Group with Scotland focus
  • OKFN / Ewan to arrange an Open Data Edinburgh Meet-up (in progress)

This was an encouraging meeting, where examples of the use and promotion of Open Data / Knowledge were myriad; for example, Peter pointed us to (and the 3 icons linking to graphs) which has details of the principal Scottish Government building including daily and half-hourly utility consumption values!

If you are interested in being part of the open drive in Scotland, or keeping an eye on our progress, please sign up to our Scotland discussion list.

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Naomi joined Open Knowledge Foundation in 2011. At various points she has been involved with administration, finance, project management, HR, the community network, events, communications, and other miscellaneous areas where a helping hand was needed.