Amidst the kerfuffle and cacophony of the Fringe Festival packing up for another year, the Edinburgh contingent came together again to meet, greet, present and argue all aspects of Open Data and Knowledge.
OKFN Meet-ups are friendly and informal evenings for people to get together to share and debate all areas of openness. Depending on the number of people on a given evening, we have presentations and/or round-table discussions about Open Knowledge and Open Data – from politics and philosophy to the practicalities of theory and practice. We have had two previous events (see here for the ‘launch’ write-up and here for the invitation to the second instalment); this time we were kindly hosted by the Informatics Forum, and the weather stayed fine enough to explore the roof terrace (complete with vegetable garden, gizmos to record wind-speed and weather, a view across the city to Arthur’s Seat and even a blue moon).
Around 20 of us gathered together and presentations were given by the following people:
- James Baster – Open Tech Calendar: an introduction to this early-stage project to bring tech meet-ups together, talk about the different ways we are trying to be open and ask for feedback and help;
- Ewan Klein – a short overview of business models for Open Data, including for government bodies;
- Gordon Dunsire – library standards and linked data;
- Gill Hamilton – National Library of Scotland’s perspective of library standards and open data;
- Bob Kerr – State of the Map Scotland (see here for Bob’s featured OKFN blog post);
- Naomi Lillie – OKFN as part of the Scottish Open effort.
What struck me overall was that everybody already knows each-other… As well as cross-over in the talks, I kept trying to introduce people who would exclaim, “Ah yes! How was the holiday / conference / wedding?” or similar. This was quite useful, though, as it emphasised the point I made in my talk: OKFN doesn’t need to start anything in Scotland, as efforts towards Open are already ongoing and to great effect, we just want to provide support and possibly a brand under which these activities can be coordinated and promoted. With this in mind, we are going to look into a Scotland OKFN group as soon as things settle down again after OKFest – keep your eyes open for updates to follow!
To keep up-to-date with #OpenDataEDB and similar events, with the above and other interesting folks, and with the emerging Scotland OKFN group: