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Wolfpack Meeting Notes, 1/10/12

- October 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

Team Meeting

Team meeting [1/10/12]. at 3:00pm UK time. (14:00 UTC)


  • Kat Braybrooke
  • Lucy Chambers
  • Marcus Dapp
  • Velichka Dimitrova
  • Jonathan Gray
  • Sam Leon
  • Naomi Lillie
  • Laura Newman
  • Joris Pekel
  • Darwin Peltan
  • Tom Rees
  • Michelle Heydon


  • Irina Bolychevsky
  • Daniel Dietrich
  • Laura James (probably not going to make this week)
  • Rufus Pollock
  • Meg Foulkes


  • OKFest follow-up (coordinating contacts etc) + OKFestival book + ‘After’ page

Events (

  • Update from RP (following discussion with LN and MF)
  • MozFest (potential attendees include Michael Bauer, Lucy Chambers, Laura Newman (?), Tom Rees, Sam Smith… ) -> Propose action should be, to try and get the people who proposed the school of data session. That should be Michael’s priority on the call, see if we could get those 4 people there Budget -> project vs core Lucy to request weekend slot


  • Who now is responsible for registering domains? (Re: Jonathan’s suggestion to register and who reviews existing domains (sites) and works out if we should keep them on? -> in future (for now at least, people register their) -> from Darwin – how do we ensure renewal reminders don’t get missed?
    • NB in next 45 days Accuwebhosting is deleting,,,,, and (should these messages, currently to admin@, go to sys-admin?)
  • What is correct address for sys-admin Qs / request? or
    • sysadmin@
  • This call – time & chair, and do we like Google hangouts?
  • Move community call to 15 uk /16 europe for 1 hour
  • ping team re: wolfpack timing and focus
  • New projects submission form – what are we doing with this?
  • Open Transport working group want to write an Open Transport Data Handbook. They are looking for a) a copyeditor b) around €5k to fund printed copies. How much can we help? Who can we point them towards? WG coord (LauraN/Naomi) has a £2000 budget for random WG support – happy to delegate to them to figure out how this divides between WGs <– ddin’t know about this! Might need some guidance… :-) Likewise… project support -> network and WGs\


Good for a laugh: 7th image in the series <- haha. photo of the day! thought you’d like it :-D

Wolfpack Notes, 3/9/12

- September 3, 2012 in Meeting Notes

Team Meeting

Team meeting 03/09, around 1.30 pm UK time. (12:30 UTC)


  • Discussed practical details of OKFest, including autoresponder strategy, emergency contact, payments and volunteer coordination – see notes below.
  • Travel de-brief documents (GDocs – Chapters > Travel Briefing). If you have been on a major trip, please record notes & experiences here. Remember to use Highrise for contacts! This folder is also a starting point for anyone planning a trip.
  • The Dashboard – a heads up of a snazzy new thing to come. The Dashboard monitors our activity (tweets, mailing list sign-up etc). See the Dashboard User Stories.
  • Highrise training for all who need it – an email to come round from Lucy.
  • Darwin is away for roughly two weeks.

Events (

  • LN / RGRP / MF to discuss in more detail


  • keeping things going while at OKFest – out-of-offices confuse people, how can we manage expectations in terms of response-times etc? [NL]
    • no auto-responders
    • mob # emergency (RP offers his # for texting!)
    • blog-post week before
    • Meg being 1st point-of-contact with back up from Jonathan and others
    • nothing so urgent can’t wait a week (in theory)
  • Slightly related: is there a way to find out who is doing what on which days, and who needs extra help during OKFest?
    • Morning stand-ups for volunteers, please come along to that (details tbc but likely 20mins around 09.30) – Naomi/Kat to be at these each morning if have questions ;)
  • Travel debrief documents [LN] (GDocs – Chapters > Travel Briefings)
    • read!
    • Use Highrise
  • Payments – there will be lag over OKFest, please make sure you have alerted LJ to any urgent payment requests well before then (normal pay-run won’t be affected, we’ll get up to date for post-OKFest invoices the week before)

Announcing The Dashboard

  • Dashboard User Stories From Tom Rees :-D ++
    • maps our activity, tweets etc –
    • good stats – #s posts per day, #s users etc
    • data more than visualisation at this stage but will lead to snazzy viewing thingy…
    • github issues –
    • Opinions welcomed, speak to Tom Rees
    • possibly automate Sam Leon’s info collection! (Tom – prob missed stuff, please add – slow typing)


  • Darwin – Away for two weeks
  • Highrise training
    • NL +1
    • LC to e-mail staff@
  • Events – ongoing (RP, LN, MF)
    • briefing: people, places, existing contacts etc – make more of an effort to combine ideas
    • Discuss in Oct (comm team)
    • Meg + NL discussing better comm of contacts etc… will tie-in

Updates (paste your notebook link in here name):


  • Kat Braybrooke
  • Lucy Chambers
  • Marcus Dapp
  • Daniel Dietrich
  • Velichka Dimitrova
  • Jonathan Gray
  • Meg Foulkes
  • Laura James
  • Naomi Lillie
  • Laura Newman
  • Joris Pekel
  • Darwin Peltan
  • Rufus Pollock
  • Tom Rees


  • Sam Leon

Development Data Challenge

- August 31, 2012 in Events, External, School of Data, Sprint / Hackday, WG Development

Over the weekend of 25th and 26th August, the second event in a series of ‘Development Data Challenges’ took place at the Guardian’s offices in London.

What is a ‘Development Data Challenge’?

Development Data Challenges are an interesting concept. They draw together a disparate group of people (we had development experts, coders, designers, data wranglers, journalists and various intrigued individuals), and ask them to use data and technology in order to answer a development-related question. The last Development Data Challenge took place in Washington DC in June, and the next will take place at OKFest in Helsinki this September. All are welcome! In London, the day began with an entire wall covered in questions. All were interesting, but it soon became apparent that some were more feasible than others. Even after careful selection, several teams struggled to find the necessary data. As Julia observed in her blog, ‘the leitmotiv continues to be data availability and data quality’‘if the model was only to continue to deliver those datasets already identified… that would not be good enough’.

The Chosen Projects

Over the course of the weekend, a host of teams worked on a variety of questions.

1. Mapping access to water in South Sudan

One of the most inspiring projects for me was ‘Watermap’. The team mapped wells and settlements in South Sudan, ultimately allowing you to identify the settlements that are furthest from their nearest water source. By the end of day one, the team had already produced this visualisation – or at least an alpha version of it. By selecting various filters, you can pinpoint all wells across the country, explore a heatmap of settlements, and even see where all the natural waterways in the country flow. Take a look!       NEWSFLASH: Dominik Moritz has walked us through the process of the tools he used and what he did in order to create this visualisation on the School of Data blog. To get inspired by his Data Wrangling project, head over there and check it out!

2. Media and aid

Another team attempted to analyse how media coverage affects aid donations. Sounds simple? Far from it. As Katherine Purvis explains in her blog, ‘media coverage’ had to be reduced to the official YouTube channels of 31 reputable news organisations, ‘donations’ were those recorded by the Financial Tracking Service and ‘natural disasters’ had to be carefully selected (interestingly, no data could be found on donations after Hurricane Katrina). Even then, the data was difficult to wrestle with. But the team managed to come up with this visualisation. The x-axis is TV coverage per minute, the y axis is donations, and the size of the bubble represents the number of people affected. Interesting stuff.

3. Geo-locating Schools and Health Clinics in India

Given the time I have recently spent in India, I was particularly interested to watch this project progress. The purpose of this project is to use geo-located data to map community services in India. The ultimate aim is to create simple mobile applications which would allow users to search for the nearest services. Primary user stories include: ‘Where is the nearest clinic?’ ‘When is the next vaccination day?’ The project has received data from the Karnataka Learning Partnership. You can see the work in progress on the Konekta website, view the code on Github and see the data on the Datahub.

4. Aid projects in Malawi

Another team created an interactive visualisation, which geo-locates aid projects in Malawi by sector. It’s worth having a play with their map. They managed to include a serious amount of information (amount of funding, status of project, donor agency) onto a visualisation that still looks friendly. The data came from the Government of Malawi’s Aid Management Platform, and the relevant datasets can be found stored on the Datahub.

5. Tracing aid – from tax revenues to the ground

Another group attempted to trace the flow of aid money right from the point of collection to its actual expenditure. This was fraught with difficulty. Often, there are multiple links in the chain: e.g. DfID grant money to the World Bank, who sub-grant to local partners, who may even sub-grant again. How much gets where it is meant to go to? What percentage is lost along the way? At present IATI data isn’t complete enough to really drill into these questions. The team was often stumped after a long chase by finding the dreaded words ‘Implementing Organisation: Other’. Before the task began, there had been all sorts of interesting discussion about if and how final impact could be measured – but there were many barriers to address before that stage could be reached. Nonetheless, some useful information was collected about aid flows. Perhaps there will be a future opportunity to take this further.

6. How good is IATI data?

The final group worked on a set of tools to examine the quality of data published by aid donors. The Guardian Development blog reported some of their early findings:
  • “Only 20% of IATI data files include information on what results – if any – have been achieved by aid projects.
  • Less than 0.002% include details on any conditions attached to donor funding.
Next steps include developing tests to examine what data has been published, and how useful it is, and to see how to weight different tests to get an overall data quality “score”.”

Find out more

  • By contributing offline, Rufus Pollock pulled together a neat list of the various tools that people were using during the day. If you used something else, you can add it via this spreadsheet

  • The Guardian Development blog have produced an excellent summary of the day, with links to much of the raw data and output code.

  • Come along for the next event in Helsinki!

  • … And don’t forget to check out Dominik’s post about Watermap on the School of Data blog.

Open Data – Delhi

- August 31, 2012 in Chapters, india, Meetups

This is post 4 of 5 in the Open Data India series, following Lucy and Laura’s visit to India to learn about the challenges and opportunities for open data. Read previous posts from Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai. Our final stop in India was Delhi. Several people had told us that Delhi was the ‘policy capital’ of India, which seemed a fitting finale to our journey. By the time we arrived, we were excited and intrigued about who the meet-up would draw. Our meet-up was held at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). Entering a room full of microphones was daunting for a moment! But the warmth of the group shone through, and soon everyone was participating freely in the intense discussion that characterised all of our Indian meet-ups. The group was perhaps the most diverse that we encountered. It included Wikimedians, academics, people from NIC, NIPFP and ICAR, as well as someone from the FOSS community, members of Accountability India, open access advocates and others. We were also pleased that the gender balance was much more equal in Delhi!

The Discussion

The suggestion of holding a meetup had been bubbling under the surface of the Delhi NGO scene for quite a while. Agendas had been drafted but the meetups had never taken place. Building on the discussions in Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai, we were asked whether the purpose of the meeting could be to try and find ‘solutions’ to some of India’s issues surrounding open data. Encouraging the group first to highlight the problems they had encountered, we promised to share our experiences and how we had seen similar issues tackled in other places. So what were the issues?
  • Lack of clarity about whether data released in response to an RTI request can be republished, and how it can be used. A new dimension explored at this meet-up was the possibility that private or personal information may sometimes be released in response to an RTI filing. There was no definitive conclusion as to whether this could happen or what would happen if that were then shared further, but it provoked some interesting discussion.

  • Standards of Data reliability. Many of the people in the room were researchers by profession and used to collecting their own data. They posed the question, “How can we be sure that data released openly is reliable?”. A discussion followed about how the quality of open data could be ensured, particularly when data was often remixed and re-used. The group started elucidating a vision for some kind of recognition system, traceable trackbacks/referencing, and ‘quality assurance stars’ for data released openly.

  • Resistance to the concept of sharing data, even within NGOs. Many people feel a sense of ownership over data they have collected themselves. Some resent the idea that others could benefit from their work, and there is also resistance to sharing data for fear that the researcher’s name could be associated with inaccurate conclusions. Some of the NGOs even encountered resistance when trying to share their own data! People viewed this ‘generosity’ with suspicion, and feared a hidden agenda.

Stories shared

The Wikimedia community in particular had much to contribute based on their own experiences. They shared anecdotes about how politically charged certain topics could become in India – e.g. when a map incorrectly displayed the national borders around India provoked tensions with neighbouring countries. They also detailed some of the more unusual dilemmas they had encountered. What, for example, is the copyright situation if you take a picture of a monument in the street? There was also some interesting discussion about whether data had a ‘release’ period, where, like a work of art or literature, it would pass into the public domain. We speculated that that would depend on contractual agreements and the nature of the data concerned, but if you can shed any more light on the situation regarding this in India (or elsewhere), please do get in touch!

Conversations still to be had…

The discussion left us with many threads to follow up as topics for the next meetup, which we hope Chirag and team will be organising in a couple of months. Keen to get things moving quickly, various options for the next meeting were floated. These included formulating a list of demands from CSOs towards government, discussing open data standards, understanding copyright (formulating a list of questions and attempting to get them answered), dealing with authenticity of data, an introduction to open data in an Indian context and the benefits of open data for education and research. We touched on many of these topics briefly, but two hours was just not long enough to cover them all. Although the conversation was still flowing, we did eventually have to let people get home! It would be great to hear of this group meeting again to explore some of these areas further. Do join the India mailing list to stay in touch.

… And one more meet-up!

We had scheduled the ‘official’ Delhi meet-up on a Thursday evening, but a mid-week meet-up – particularly on the eve of Krishna Janmashtami! – didn’t work for everyone. Some people who had been unable to attend the meet-up told us that they were free over the weekend, so Lucy and I decided to hold an informal ‘open table’ at the United Coffee House on Saturday afternoon. Chatting over a plate of Dilli chaat (sadly not actually bought on the street!), we heard much to excite us about the future of open data in India. There were ideas for an ‘Open Access Week’, plans to start collecting the data submitted in response to RTI requests, questions about promoting data journalism and plenty of enthusiasm, inspiration and fresh ideas. Watching new friends swap numbers after the meeting, we were sorry to be leaving the community that had so warmly welcomed us – but we hope that the conversations will continue both online with us and offline without us. In the next post, Lucy and I will showcase some of the organisations that we met whilst in India, and explore some of the open data projects that we witnessed.

Open Data – Mumbai

- August 28, 2012 in Chapters, Meetups

This is post 3 of 5 of the Open Data India series, following Lucy and Laura’s visit to learn about the challenges and opportunities for open data. Read previous posts from Bangalore and Chennai on the main blog. After joining forces with the DataMeet group in Bangalore and Transparent Chennai’s open data workshop, we were prepared for the challenge of ‘going it alone’ when we decided to arrange an open data meet-up in Mumbai.

Seriously soggy!

In India however we quickly discovered the beauty of the data community, whose extensive networks mean you’re never really alone – even as a newcomer to the city.   Thanks to @prolificd and @Netra, we had an excellent venue for the Mumbai meet-up. The Pinstorm offices have hosted Wikimedia gatherings in the past, and are a great space for fresh thinking and debate. The real challenge proved to be getting around Mumbai itself. As we soon grasped, Mumbai is an enormous city, and suffers from heavy traffic and – as we witnessed! – torrential monsoon rains. Probably for a combination of these reasons, our Mumbai meet-up drew the smallest crowd of the trip and was a very cosy affair.    

The Discussion

Despite (or perhaps because of!) the select group, the evening was productive. Conversation was wide-ranging, and included:

YourTopia India

The original YourTopia calculates which European country best aligns with your values, by allowing you to weight the relative importance of different indicators. An Italian version – YourTopia Italy – has since been created, which compares regions of Italy. Pranav Sidhwani is now working to produce something similar for the different states of India. Pranav pointed out the wider value of YourTopia. Not only is it a valuable tool in and of itself, but it requires several key datasets including e.g. health, education and employment data to be collected. The act of gathering these data sets is a major first step for open data in India. All data gathered will be stored on the Datahub.
  • To get involved with the YourTopia India project, sign up to the YourTopia list.


As in Bangalore, the group identified a real problem with a lack of explicit licensing. If material isn’t licensed – whether openly or otherwise – there is serious ambiguity over how it can be used. In Mumbai, we were offered an interesting perspective on the origins of this issue. It was suggested that culturally, copyright has a different history in India [1]. Arguably, the ongoing legacy of this is that people are less likely to consider issues of licensing when publishing or re-using data. Anecdotally, it has been organisations such as Wikimedia who have objected to the re-use of unlicensed material in India. Whatever the history, it remains clear that encouraging people to apply a license – any license – is one of the key changes that will allow re-users to work appropriately and confidently with data.

Understanding Data

As in Bangalore, the group affirmed that many people struggled to interpret basic visualisations such as bar charts and line graphs. However, it was drawn to our attention that under the IT@School initiative, Kerala has seen the world’s largest simultaneous deployment of FOSS based ICT education. I hadn’t come across this project before, and am interested to explore further how early exposure to FOSS software and familiarity with ICT will impact upon this generation. Other topics of conversation at the meet-up included the potential and challenges of open data for cultural heritage, GLAM, science, agriculture, and even for understanding the impact of planetary motion on agricultural outputs. There was much to discuss!

Useful Links

As always, we were introduced to several interesting databases, projects and websites at the meet-up. Here are just a few of the initiatives which were discussed.
  • – @prolificd’s project, which builds visualisations based on publicly available data sets.
  • MOPSI – Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation – a useful site home to a significant amount of data, although in my recent exploration, I struggled to find any information on licensing.
  • Parliamentary Legislative Research – presents analyses of data related to parliament; allows you to track bills, to view key statistics on parliament, to track the attendance of your MP etc. Deploys a non-commercial license; I struggled to find raw data on the site.


Much as in Bangalore, the wishlist included:
  • More data, and better availability of data that has already been collected
  • More data in a machine-readable format
  • Better tools for people who want to work with data
  • More uniformity around the data – what is collected, where it is gathered
All in all it was a great evening. Although the group was small, it was wonderful to meet excellent OKFN volunteers such as Pranav in person, to link up with the Wikimedia community, and to chat to others with a potential interest in open data. To keep this discussion going, please sign up to the India mailing list. [1] For a brief overview of the history of copyright in India, see

Ending Secrecy – Why Global Transparency Rules Matter

- August 24, 2012 in Labs, OKF Projects, Our Work, Policy

Earlier this week, the SEC voted on the final rules of Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Act. Global Witness teamed up with the Open Knowledge Foundation to explain what these rules are about, and why they matter. View the infographic ‘Ending Secrecy – Why Global Transparency Rules Matter’ On August 22nd 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) met to vote on the final rules for Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Section 1504 of Dodd Frank requires that oil, gas and mining companies publish the payments they make to governments. These provisions mark a watershed in the creation of global transparency standards, which could help to break the link between natural resources and conflict and corruption.
  • For Global Witness’ analysis of Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Act, see their blog post.

  • To see Global Witness’ response to the SEC vote on the finals rules, read their initial statement.

As part of their campaign, Global Witness teamed up with the Open Knowledge Foundation to communicate to the world why these rules matter. The OKFN Services team put together an infographic, ‘Ending Secrecy – Why Global Transparency Rules Matter’, which helps to explain the need for this legislation, and the impact that the current veil of secrecy has on ordinary lives. View the full infographic here In many countries, the majority of the population are living in abject poverty. When natural resources are discovered, their situation should change – but often it doesn’t. The natural resources are often sold off to foreign companies. Local communities are kept in the dark. Because there is no transparency around payments, revenues, and the deals that oil, gas and mining companies make with governments, it is much easier for corruption to take place. Laws such as those under Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Act are important because they outlaw this kind of secrecy, by requiring oil, gas and mining companies to publish the payments they make to governments. Transparency is the first step towards accountability. Global Witness are still reviewing the final rule text of Section 1504. Their initial response was cautiously optimistic. They said that ‘some aspects of the rule appear to represent a step forward’, and welcomed the decision that companies would not be able to exempt themselves from reporting in certain countries where governments do not want revenues disclosed. However, they noted that ‘the devil will be in the detail’ – not least because the SEC failed to define the term ‘project’, leaving dangerous ‘wiggle room’. See their full statement here. Section 1504 of the Dodd Frank Act is particularly important because the provision covers the majority of internationally operating oil companies, as well as the world’s largest mining companies. The Act is also likely to influence the draft revisions to the European Accounting and Transparency Directives, which, if implemented, would be likely to cover still more companies in the provision to publish details of their payments. If you wish to find out more about small projects and services at the Open Knowledge Foundation, please visit Services.

Science and Culture Hackday at OKFest

- August 23, 2012 in Uncategorized

This blog post is cross-posted from the OpenGlam blog and the OKFN main blog. For details of the open science sessions scheduled for the main OKFest programme, visit the OKFestival website. picture At the OKFestival in Helsinki next month, the Open Heritage and Open Science streams will be kicking off their three days of activities with a joint hackday dedicated to working with and building things with open cultural and scientific data. The day will involve a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, a digital humanities coding sprint working with tools such as TEXTUS, Pundit, and any other new tools people feel inclined to create, the opportunity to work with recently opened datasets from Finnish cultural heritage institutions and the Europeana API – and much more! Hackers will also have the chance to develop applications for the new PyBossa crowdsourcing platform, to hack for Louhos research software libraries and to contribute to the developing plans for a Hybrid Publishing Lab. Alternatively, join in with a variety of mini-projects related to open science, citizen science and open cultural heritage – if you have an activity suitable for a hackday, feel free to bring it along! This event is open to coders and non-coders alike, so people with all levels of technical proficiency are welcome. Below you can find some more practical information and some more details about the different thing we are going to work with. Excited already? Then click here to sign up right away as places are limited.

Practical Details

  • When: Tuesday 18th September 2012
  • Where: MAKE Space, Aalto University
  • Who: Programmers, Developers, Designers, Digital Humanists, Scientists, Researchers and everybody else with an interest in culture and/or science
  • Costs: Free to attend. (NB: If you wish to attend other OKFest sessions, you will need to purchase an OKFest pass
  • What you need to bring: A laptop and lots of enthusiasm!
  • How to register: Please use this form


1. Cultural Data Hack

Prominent European cultural heritage institutions have agreed to open up specific datasets for use at this hackday. The Central Art Archives opens a dataset consisting of glass-plate negatives photographed by Daniel Nyblin (1856-1923), and their descriptive data. The set features black and white reproductions of artworks by Nyblin’s contemporary Finnish artists. The files have been photographed from the original glass-plate negatives. The team at Europeana have also agreed to make available the new version of the Europeana API, making use of Europeana’s new Data Exchange Agreement that secures all metadata within Europeana under a Creative Commons Zero (CC0) waiver. For a bit of inspiration what can be done with these datasets you can have a look at previous Europeana hackathons OpenCultuurData is a Dutch initiative that opens cultural data and encourages the development of valuable cultural applications. They have released several different datasets already and currently run an app-competition until the end of this year. This means that developers who make use of one of these datasets have a chance to win great prizes up to € 3.000! For more info about this competition click here Other datasets from contributing institutions include: Many more to come!

2. Edit-a-thon

Wikimedia Finland is a local chapter in the global Wikimedia network. One of their goals is to involve experts to improve Wikipedia, as well as engaging galleries, libraries, archives and museums through GLAM programs. In the Culture Hack Day Wikimedia Finland organizes an edit-a-thon, including some demonstrations of their current projects (e.g. GLAM Atheneum) and sharing practical advice on wiki culture, as well as discussions on how to improve it. In an edit-a-thon, a group of people come together at a specified time to edit Wikipedia together, usually around a particular topic. In our cultural heritage edit-a-thon a group of participants will collaborate to gather and record cultural heritage information for the Wikipedia. The focus will be mainly on Finnish Wikipedia articles, but many of the openly licensed objects that will be made available during this day, can also be used in Wikipedia for other languages.

3. Open Humanities Hack

The Open Humanities hack will be all about building open source tools for working with open content and open data for use within humanities teaching and research. Leading developers from the emerging “Digital Humanities” domain will join forces to build upon existing tools and forge entirely new creations. Tools that people have already expressed an interest in working on include:
TEXTUS is an open source platform for working with collections of texts. It harnesses the power of semantic web technologies and delivers them in a simple and intuitive interface so that students, researchers and teachers can share and collaborate around collections of texts. For a demo version and access to the Github repo see their website
  • Pundit
Pundit is a novel semantic annotation and augmentation tool. It enables users to create structured data while annotating web pages. Annotations span from simple comments to semantic links to web of data entities (as and, to fine granular cross-references and citations. Pundit can be configured to include custom controlled vocabularies. In other words, annotations can refer to precise entities and concepts as well as express precise relations among entities and contents.
  • BibServer
BibServer is a tool for quickly and easily sharing collections of bibliographic metadata.

4. Open Video Make Session

The Open Video Make Session focuses on open video as a rich resource for creative reinterpretation. Cultural heritage institutions are opening their archives and providing access to various audiovisual content and data online. Recent technical developments also make it easier to mix video with other types of content (see e.g. Popcorn). However, it is still rather complex to take video to the next level beyond traditional remixing, making use of video metadata, open data, and temporal and spatial video characteristics. In order to tackle this challenge, and to promote new uses for archival materials, we aim to open up video as an exploratory medium for a broader audience of potential makers. During the session, invited experts from different fields work with open video content and data, stretching the notion of video to discover novel ways for creative re-use. The outcomes of the session will be published later online in the form of mini tutorials to facilitate further explorations with video. Welcome to join the session if you are interested to explore video hands on, or just to see the experts at work! If you have further questions, please email Sanna Marttila / sanna.marttila [@]


PyBossa is an open source platform for crowd-sourcing online (volunteer) assistance to perform tasks that require human cognition, knowledge or intelligence (e.g. image classification, transcription, information location etc). PyBossa was inspired by the BOSSA crowdsourcing engine, but is written in python (hence the name!). It can be used for any distributed tasks application, although it was initially developed to help scientists and other researchers to crowd-source human problem-solving skills. It should be possible to put together a new application in a day, so come along and have a go!

6. Research-oriented software libraries for open data (‘Louhos hack’)

New analysis tools are needed to take full advantage of the new open government data resources in academic research. Solutions can be borrowed from other data-intensive research fields, such as computational biology and economics, where on-line discussion forums and dedicated software libraries have already revolutionized international collaboration and research output. Louhos is a community-driven effort to develop flexible, research-oriented software libraries for open data. The project is coordinated through GitHub, and it provides general-purpose tools to fetch and analyze open government data streams, customized to local standards and needs. We welcome the community to join the effort in this hackathon to extend these tools and discuss the need for open data analytics in academic context. We also have some more hack ideas bubbling in the pipeline, so keep an eye on the Culture and Science Hackday page for breaking news and latest developments! If you have a project that you would like to bring along to the hackday, please contact educationandresearch [@] or openheritage [@]

Wolfpack Meeting, 20/8/12

- August 20, 2012 in Meeting Notes


  • Welcome Michael Bauer! A new Data Wrangler working on School of Data and Labs.
  • Events to be decided via a different process from now on. Rufus & Laura N to work on this.


  • Introducing Michael Bauer
  • OKFest weekly bulletin – please send Kat feedback by end of this aft :)

Updates (paste your notebook link in here name):

Events (

  • DDC – Development Data Challenge in London: 25-26 August, the Guardian offices Meeting with Mark Brough about the questions on Tuesday, 21 August, 2 pm – you can join per skype if interested
    • LN to talk to VD re going (if anyone else keen, holler) -awesome, maybe join the meeting with Mark tomorrow to discuss the challenges
  • OpenDataMX event and Hackathon this week in Mexico City: 24-25 August – an event relevant for the School of Data, Labs and Regional Chapters, please talk to Velichka
  • CleanWeb MeetUp tonight in London:
  • Question from NickS: are we going to Strata?
    • LN to pick up with LC
  • National Human Rights Council in Morocco – 21st & 22nd Sep.
    • no clear decision – RP and LN to discuss (see below)
  • Free Culture Forum, Barcelona Oct 25-27
    • KB and DD to discuss w mgmt


  • RP and LN to re-examine events to come up with better process


  • Michael Bauer (an introduction)
  • Irina Bolychevsky
  • Kat Braybrooke
  • Marcus Dapp
  • Daniel Dietrich
  • Velichka Dimitrova
  • Meg Foulkes
  • Jonathan Gray
  • Laura James
  • Sam Leon
  • Naomi Lillie
  • Laura Newman
  • Joris Pekel
  • Darwin Peltan
  • Rufus Pollock
  • Tom Rees


  • Lucy Chambers

Get your ticket for OKFest TODAY! Early bird closes August 8th.

- August 7, 2012 in Announcements, Events

The excitement is mounting as plans for OKFest move into the final planning stages. As Kat Braybrooke reports, hundreds of OKFest tickets have been snapped up already. The early bird ticket deadline is THIS WEDNESDAY 8th AUGUST, so book your tickets now! Book your OKFest ticket here On the Open Research and Education stream – which includes sessions on open science and open access – we have a packed schedule of speakers, panelists and hands-on workshops confirmed. See the Research and Education topic stream on the main OKFestival website for more details of what’s in store.

Tuesday 18th September – Hackday & Social

On Tuesday 18th September, we will be holding a [science hackday]( With capacity for up to 25 hackers to join us in person and more welcome online, we will be spending the day developing applications to open up science through citizen participation, open research processes, data sharing, open access to scientific articles and more. Participation is free but numbers are limited. Please sign-up for the hackday here. Following the hackday on Tuesday, everyone interested in open science is invited to a social – more details to follow!

Wednesday 19th September – Seminars, Panels and a Keynote

The majority of the science-orientated sessions will be taking place on Wednesday 19th September. Sessions on Wednesday will include:
  • Communicating Science‘ – with panelists from Wikimedia, academia and the media,
  • Open Access in Practice – how?‘ – covering everything from business models to the technicalities of standards and licensing, five panelists explore how open access can work in practice.
  • Immediate Access to Raw Data from Experiments‘ – Mark Hahnel (Figshare) and Mark Wainright (CKAN) discuss data sharing platforms and aggregators, algorithms and tools, and the challenges and benefits of releasing raw data now.
  • From data mining to graduate training‘ – Ross Mounce and Sophie Kershaw, the first ever Panton Fellows, discuss the work of their fellowships: come and find out how mining open data could help phylogeneticists decipher the tree of life and how to inspire a new generation of open scientists through pre-doctoral training.
Wednesday’s sessions will close with a keynote speech by Mat Todd from the University of Sydney. Mat headed up a project to improve synthesis of the major drug used against the tropical parasite schistomaniasis, which involved extensive collaboration between academia and industry. During his keynote on Open Source Drug Discovery, Mat will explore how open science has and could aid the development of treatments for disease across the globe.

Thursday 20th September – Workshops, Cross-Streams, and a presentation from the European Commission.

Thursday 20th September will feature one of the highlights of the Open Science programme. Carl-Christian Bohr, Member of the Cabinet of Neelie Kroes, will present the Commission’s new open access policy and infrastructure initiatives, before leading an interactive discussion about opportunities for bringing together the European open data and open access communities. The European Commission is highly supportive of both open access and open science, and this is an opportunity not to be missed! Thursday will also feature a cross-stream session with the Development stream, exploring how crowdsourcing can be used in development. Other sessions will have a more hands-on edge.
  • Put open science tools on trial in our hands-on workshop and review session;
  • Help to draft a section of the forthcoming Open Research Data Handbook;
  • Film yourself in our open science video booth
  • … and more!
If that isn’t enough, a whole host of other presentations and sessions will be taking place on learning, education, the School of Data and the School of Open as part of the Open Research and Education Topic Stream, and all participants are welcome to dip into sessions that the other streams have on offer. There will be plenty to see!

Book your tickets now!

Early bird ticket sales close on Wednesday 8th August, so book your ticket now! Visit the main OKFestival site for full details. If you have any questions about the Research and Education topic stream, please contact educationandresearch [@]

Call for Papers: Open Data Academic Research at OKFest

- June 29, 2012 in OKFest, Open Data, Open Government Data

At Open Government Data Camp in Warsaw last year, much discussion took place about academic research around Open Data. In response to these conversations, a specific ‘Open Data Academic Research’ session will be taking place at OKFest this year. The session will bring together a community of researchers from a variety of disciplines who are exploring Open Data from a range of perspectives.


The Open Data research session will focus on the impact of Open Data research within the academic environment. The session will bring together the latest research concerning Open Data and Open Government Data, forming an interdisciplinary mix of short presentations followed by a discussion panel. The panel will be 2 hours long, and invites submissions from a broad range of disciplines. Below is a list of some of the topics that the Open Data Academic research track is interested in.


  • Mapping the movement: What histories can illuminate current open data practice? How should we understand the idea of an open data movement? What can research tell us about the future directions a movement might take?
  • Open data impacts: What impact is open data having in different fields? What methods can be used to trace the impacts of open data?
  • Open data and grassroots communities: What is the impact of open data on grassroots communities, how do they integrate and influence into the open data community? How has open data changed the practices of grassroots movements?
  • Open data internationally: What impact is open data having in different countries? How is open data supporting transparency as well as participatory engagement?
  • Open data and democracy: How is open data being used to support democratic engagement, or impacting upon the democratic sphere?
  • Open data as a tool for research: exploring how open data can be used in research, and tools for open data-driven research.

Workshop Submissions and Outcomes

Submissions should consist of a 2 page extended abstract of a position paper of current research. Accepted authors will require to produce a 4-6 page paper and 15 minute presentation to be given at the workshop. Please send all submissions to academictrack.okfest [@] The aim of the workshop is to publish the accepted papers and outcomes in a relevant journal/proceedings – keep checking back for updated information on this.

Key Dates

  • Submission Open: 22nd June
  • Submission Deadline 20th July
  • Accepted Papers: 3rd August

Additional Contact Details:

  • Session Leader – Ramine Tinati @raminetinati
  • Part of the Research and Education topic stream. Contact educationandresearch [@]