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Let’s bring the Public Domain Calculators Worldwide !

- July 10, 2014 in Featured, Front Page, Public Domain, Workshops

This blogpost was written by Pierre Chrzanowski, Open Knowledge Foundation France Our cultural heritage is immense but it has been dispatched across countries, public institutions, private collections, and so forth. Hence, for a long time, there was unequal access to culture and knowledge. Those who were close to cultural institutions or knowledge centers had lots […]

Open Data in Cultural Heritage – OpenGLAM in Germany

- July 10, 2014 in Events/Workshops, Featured, Workshops

Are you working in a cultural heritage institution, or interested in opening up cultural heritage data for wider reuse? On the morning prior to the start of the Open Knowledge Festival, the OpenGLAM initiative, DM2E project, Open Knowledge Germany and Wikimedia Deutschland  are organising a half day workshop on open cultural data, with a special focus […]

Open Data in Cultural Heritage – OpenGLAM in Germany

- July 8, 2014 in Events/Workshops, Featured, Workshops

Are you working in a cultural heritage institution, or interested in opening up cultural heritage data for wider reuse? On the morning prior to the start of the Open Knowledge Festival, the OpenGLAM initiative, DM2E project, Open Knowledge Germany and Wikimedia Deutschland  are organising a half day workshop on open cultural data, with a special focus […]

OKCon 2013 Guest Post: The Curse of Plenty

- September 15, 2013 in OKCon, Workshops

This post is brought to you by Christopher Wilson, Knowledge Lead at the engine room. Christopher manages the design and implementaion of research projects at the engine room, and supports partners in the use of data to realize programming objectives. Christopher is partnering with Jun Matsushita, information innovation lab (iilab) to facilitate the Wednesday session on Interoperability Standards for Public Good Data.
We are awash in a sea of data. Produced by all kinds of actors for a variety of reasons, and there’s more on the way all the time. On the plus side, much of this is being produced or aggregated for the public good, and implies tremendous potential for transparency, accountability, education, knowledge and efficiency across a broad range of sectors. A quick scan of the #OKCon program shows just how broad. On the minus side, it can be overwhelming. And this raises the big question about what open data is actually being used, by whom and for what? One might argue that as a community, we aren’t asking this question enough. It’s  revealing to see how much of the open community’s attention is still focused on the supply side of open data.  Open, access, release, connect: these are some of the most common words in the program—supply verbs every one. This can be justified to some extent by the state of play in open. The norm of #open is still being established, and there remains a tremendous amount of data that is not yet produced, collected or released. But we also know that there are demand-side challenges, and that uptake is not matching release as much as we would like. For the lofty aim of informing and enabling citizens, data literacy poses a real problem with no obvious, cookie cutter solution. And ironically, it’s a problem that’s exacerbated by the increasing production and release of data on public interest issues. Access to complementary data sets covering the same phenomenon would at first glance seem to be a boon for advocates or researchers seeking to better understand complex social phenomena or power dynamics. Working on corruption in the extractives industry? What better than to have hard data both from the government, the companies, the media, citizen reporting mechanisms and international regulators? Hard evidence on what’s really happening? Great! squarepegroundholeBut here enters another well-known thorn in the side of open data: the lack of standards. This issue gets raised a lot in the abstract, and there are differing opinions on whether it is a fundamental or a constructed problem. Would interoperable social good data actually help advocates and researchers working on social change issues, or will differences in data from different producers frustrate any attempt to make sense of it anyway? Are data standards even feasible, even for specific industries or data types, or is it way too early in the game to even be suggesting this since most of the data being opened is just so bad?  We don’t think anyone has the answers to these questions in the abstract, but  are pretty convinced that they are questions we need to start asking in specific use cases. We’ll be holding a workshop on Monday to do exactly that. The Standards and Interoperability workshop will come with 4 specific use cases (international aid in Nepal, extractive industries in Nigeria, Internet freedom in Iran and tech and accountability initiatives globally), each with a set of different, complimentary (and often contradictory) data sets—we call them data clusters. We’ll spend the beginning of the session talking about some of the interoperability issues and background for each of the use cases. Then we will dig in and start hacking out the different data clusters in small groups, trying to understand what the data tells us, what we can do with it, and what the obstacles are. We’ll be looking for insights, advocacy tools or just plain strategies. Frankly, we don’t really know what these data clusters have to offer. But we have lots of specific questions. At the end of the session, we hope that this exercise will give us some indication about whether meshing data can actually provide useful tools, where the obstacles for doing so lie, and if there are any tricks for automating interoperability that could be further tested (at least for these use cases). We might not answer these questions definitively, and they are by no means the only questions, but we hope to get a little bit smarter about what this whole question of standards actually means, and by extension, what it means for thinking about the demand side of open data. We only have room for 10 spots in the workshop, which means we will likely have to focus on just two use cases. If you would like to join us, sign up at! Photo Credit

Get ready for the OKCon workshops!

- September 3, 2013 in News, OKCon, OKCon 2013, Workshops

Sign up now for workshops! Lovely attendees, it’s time to make plans for the workshops you want to attend at OKCon! Each workshop session now has detailed information about moderators and speakers, topics that will be covered, and practical information about capacity limits and where and when they will be taking place. There are three very easy steps to follow: Step 1 – Go to the Schedule
Step 2 – Click on your favourite workshop(s)
Step 3 – Get in touch with the organisers via the email address given to express your interest, begin collaborating, and book your place – hurry, seats are limited! The workshop organisers are ready and waiting for your input and ideas, and can’t wait to fine tune the session with you! Don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you have any questions about the workshop. Why not check out: …and there are many more!

List of selected proposals, updated programme and Early Bird tickets!

- June 18, 2013 in Call for Proposals, Early Bird, News, Panels, Programme, Speakers, Tickets, Workshops

  _MG_5069 We received more than 300 proposals and selecting the submissions that we could fit in the 2-and-a-half-day schedule was a real challenge. We had to leave out several truly exciting applications and believe us, that wasn’t easy. But today: here we are, ready to announce the list of selected proposals and our freshly updated programme! Please find them in our Call for Proposals and Schedule pages. Workshops, talks, lightning talks, panels, sessions and a selection of fine bars and clubs to bring on the conference discussions and working groups plans after dark. Some highlights? Monday:
  • kick off afternoon with workshops – from Open Data Census to CKAN, a collaboration between The Engine Room and the Information Innovation Lab and a data viz hands-on session by Interactive Things
  • Law Mining Hackathon, first day (the hackathon will end on Thursday, 19th September), run by Christian Laux and Jean-Henry Morin
  • a selection of high-level Swiss speakers presenting the state of the art of open data in Switzerland
  • a session of talks from our global community focussing on open government with projects and presentations from Nepal, US, North Africa, Asia, Europe & more
  • launch of the Swiss Open Data Portal, a milestone for openness in Switzerland, and celebratory drinks
  • keynote lectures by Ellen Miller (Sunlight Foundation) and John Ellis (CERN)
  • Open Data, Government and Governance session: with Kimberly Roberson (UNHCR), Chris Taggart (OpenCorporates), Amparo Ballivian (World Bank) among the others
  • Technology, Tools and Business talks and panel: with speakers such as Francis Irving (ScraperWiki), Thomas Gauthier (Geneva School of Management/ Biometis), Khristine R. Custodio (GEF/UNEP/SEASTART IW:LEARN)
  • Open Science and Research session: with Victoria Stodden (Columbia University), Ernst Hafen (ETH Zurich), Kaitlin Thaney (Mozilla Science Lab), Puneet Kishor (Creative Commons)
  • LinkedUp Award Ceremony
  • Urban Data Challenge exhibition and vernissage
  • Open Development and Sustainability talks and panel: with Chris Vein (World Bank), Jack Townsend (University of Southampton), Florian Bauer (REEEP), Anahi Ayala Iacucci (Internews) and many more
  • Evidence and Stories: with Justin Arenstein, Federico Ramírez Corona (Fundar), Eva Vozarova (Fair-Play Alliance), Julia Keserű (Sunlight Foundation) and further speakers to be announced
  • Open Culture: with Anna Gold (Kennedy Library, California Polytechnic State University), Merete Sanderhoff (Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen), Building the Digital Commons Workshop team and the Open Humanities Award ceremony
  • a booming closing party, of course!
Thursday, day dedicated to satellite events around town, like:
  • Scholarly International Infrastructure Technical Summit
  • KNOWeSCAPE workshop, by Christophe Gueret
  • Is Open Source Drug Discovery Practical? Workshop run by Matthew Todd
  • Build a Better Transparency Technology Project: Lessons from the TAI mentors: panel with Sarah Schacht, Lucy Chambers (Open Knowledge Foundation), Gabriela Lula and Miriam McCarthy (Transparency and Accountability Initiative)
  • Law Mining Hackathon, final day and demos
Further details will come in the next few days and weeks, keep your eyes peeled! Have you got your tickets yet? Now’s the time to buy, the Early Bird tickets are only on sale until 23rd June and after then the prices will rise. We can’t wait to meet you all in Geneva, it’s going to be amazing!

Notes from the 1st US OpenGLAM Workshop

- April 2, 2013 in Events/Workshops, Featured, Guest Blog Post, US, Workshops

Last week, twenty U.S. GLAM professionals met at U.C. Berkeley to learn about openness, culture, and how we could become evangelists for a movement already gaining traction in Europe and elsewhere. The event was the brainchild of Sarah Stierch, US OpenGLAM Coordinator, and was sponsored by the OCLC, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and the University of California, Berkeley School of Information. For two solid days it was a heady mix of new ideas, inspiring examples of what others were already doing, and calls to action for the attendees to not only spread the word, but actually set concrete goals for opening up their own institutions.

The 1st US OpenGLAM crew, by @sarah_stierch

For me, the workshop was successful on three counts. First, it delivered an awful lot of content in a short period of time on issues I knew I didn’t understand as well as I ought to understand them. The moral imperative of the commons stopped being an abstract for me, and also became a useful lens for examining a situation I’ve long been dissatisfied with – the invisibility of GLAM content online and the over-representation of commercial entities in online search. As GLAM professionals, we know that our institutions sit on enormous repositories of cultural information (some of it already in the public domain, and even digitized), and making those repositories open and findable is a valuable contribution to open culture. The speakers on both days did an admirable job of introducing allies like Wikipedia, Creative Commons, and the Open Knowledge Foundation, and their strengths, as well as pointing out online tools that already exist and tools that still need to be made by somebody (us?).
Second, I appreciated the ambition of the event. It was not a typical professional development event. It was explicitly geared toward developing evangelists for OpenGLAM, and generating a set of achievable goals for next 6 months that each participant could take back to their institutions. The expectations were pretty high (Go forth and spread the US OpenGLAM word!) and I was grateful for how readily everyone in the workshop stepped up to the challenge. I am excited to see how things unfold in the next six months! I am about to step into a new position in a new museum in a couple weeks, so I’ll be playing some mad catch-up, but I’m determined to not let the team down! Third, the event did a great job of turning a group of people into a cohort. I knew several of the people beforehand, but now I have a network of twenty professionals I can turn to for advice, examples, and support. Part of our assignment for the workshop was developing a suite of resources to help GLAMs become more open, and we will be continuing to work in small groups to develop a First Steps list for GLAMs interested in getting started in open data culture, a toolkit of openGLAM resources for practitioners, and a quick one-page guide for practitioners to use to build institutional support for their own OpenGLAM efforts.

Hashing out first steps to opening up your institution, by @erodley

Expect to see more in the coming months! Already, efforts have gotten underway in a couple of institutions, and case studies should start to appear in the coming months, along with the resources the GLAMbassadors are still working on, conference presentations and more opportunities for others to join us. Before I went, a colleague asked me what twenty people could do in a weekend, and the answer seems to be, “A lot!” The main lesson I learned at the workshop was the truth of that saying attributed to Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  

OpenGLAM on the eve of OKFest

- September 16, 2012 in Events/Workshops, Hack days, Updates, Workshops

picture The last few weeks, it has been relatively quiet on the OpenGLAM blog. The main reason for this is the amazing OKFestival, which is about to start tomorrow and will welcome more than a thousand people during the week. We have been working together with great people from the Aalto University, the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, Europeana and many more on creating a program that is appealing to anybody with an interest in cultural heritage. Here a quick overview of what we are planning to do.

Open Culture and Science hackday

We will kick off on Tuesday with a collaborative hackathon together with the people of the Open Science working group, a field which has a lot more in common with opening up cultural heritage institutions than one might think at first. After all, treasures that are hidden in archives, libraries and museums are of great value for researchers as well. New ways of interacting with these documents, for example digitised manuscripts, with new tools can push the ways we do research further and help us get new insights in history and science. We have gathered lots of datasets and tools for this event to work on/with. It will be the first hackathon where people get a chance to work with the more than 20 million objects in the Europeana database that have been released under a CC0 license last week. We are also very happy with the fact that a number of Finnish cultural institions have been working very hard to prepare their data as good as possible especially for this hackathon. For a complete overview of all the datasets and tools, have a look at the OKFest page

Building the Cultural Commons

There are many people and organisations around the world that are doing great work in opening up cultural data. The OpenGLAM initiative has taken this opportunity to gather all these people to share experiences, discuss current issues and decide on next steps to be taken. We are delighted that representatives from organisations such as Wikimedia, Communia, Europeana, Creative Commons, the Open Rights Group and several Finnish institutions are joining us for this day. All results will be shared on the OpenGLAM blog.

OpenGLAM workshop

On the Thursday, we host a workshop for Finnish cultural heritage institutions where we discuss the idea of open data for cultural institutions. Here we demonstrate and discuss how opening up your cultural data will work for you as an institution. Unfortunately, there are still many problems in opening up data. Here we will especially focus on the licensing issues of the data. Besides that, we have invited several people who will demonstrate the work they have been doing with open data. This includes both cultural institutions, as well as users such as scholars and developers.


Finally on the Thursday afternoon, right after the workshop, we will invite Michael Edson from the Smithsonian Institute to take the stage at the INSPIRE auditorium and give a keynote for the entire festival. For a bit of a flavor what to expect click here. As mentioned above, in the coming weeks we will post several write-ups, results and reports coming out of the OKFestival. If you want to keep updated about these, do sign up for the OpenGLAM mailing list!