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Open Data Camp with a Welsh flavour

This post was first published on the Epimorphics blog.

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

Open Data Camp continues to grow and and build a diverse open data community. I’m delighted that just before St. David’s Day it is visiting the Pierhead in Cardiff….

Image: “The Pierhead” by: Alex Coley: CC BY 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/d2Fuef  

Open Data Camp continues to grow and and build a diverse open data community. I’m delighted that just before St. David’s Day it is visiting the Pierhead in Cardiff.  Cardiff was my home for many years and is a place I have huge affection for.  More importantly, this is a great opportunity for the open data community to discuss and highlight some of the Welsh context of Open Data.

There are many public bodies in Wales doing great things with Open Data. The Welsh Government is growing their open data resources and implementing their open data plan. The ODI Node: Cardiff continues to grow, connect and equip people across Wales to innovate with data. It would be great for all of us to be able to add some data stories to the developing community from across Wales.

We at Epimorphics are looking forward to what has become great forum for discussion, hearing great data stories and sharing challenges. We will be attending again and are proud to be sponsoring the event.

We’d love to see you there but as a reminder tickets are going fast. The next batch of tickets will be released on Sunday 8th Jan, see here for more details.  

Byddwn yn eich gweld yn fuan.

 

Open Data Camp 4 – festive update

This is a quick post to update you on preparations for Open Data Camp 4, and to wish you all a Merry Christmas.

Preparations underway

So far, we’ve released two batches of tickets, and they’ve been snapped-up really fast.

49 tickets have been issued so far, and there are another 71 remaining.

These will also be released in batches on the following dates:

  • Sunday 8th January at 8pm
  • Friday 13th January 2017 at 4pm
  • Thursday 19th January at 12noon

Who’s coming?

As you probably already know, Open Data Camp is free to attend, and is open to everyone. We often get asked who attends Open Data Camp. We obviously can’t divulge any personal information, and some people choose not to volunteer any additional information about themselves, but we can share a summary.

Sector theme

We suggested some sector themes for attendees, and those who responded selected the following themes:

Sector theme Number
Data Infrastructure 13
Open Cities (or Smart Cities) 13
Data as Culture 11
Agriculture and Nutrition 4
Global Development 2

Job titles

There’s a really wide range of job titles amongst attendees who chose to tell us their title, with students, researchers, policy people, founders, directors, CEOs, analysts, developers and technicians, and many more besides.

We’re starting to get all Christmassy, so here it is as a picture (click to see full size).

Organisations

Here are some of the organisations attendees identify with. With three more ticket releases to go, there will be lots more yet to come.

Diversity

At the moment, attendees are approximately ⅓ female and ⅔ male, which is remarkably similar to all three previous events. There are still several opportunities through the forthcoming ticket releases on Jan 8th, 13th and 19th to attract a diverse range of attendees. The Open Data Camp organising team currently comprises 10 men and 6 women, and for the previous Camp, we adopted a Code of Conduct to ensure that we continue to have an enjoyable event for everyone.

Practicalities and logistics

If you’ve managed to grab a ticket, you may have some questions about how to get to the venue, and where to stay. Take a look at the Venue and Accommodation page on the web site. We’ll be keeping it updated, and posting more information as we get it. If you’re stuck, let us know at @ODCamp on Twitter, or through the contact page on the web site, and we’ll try to help. We’d also welcome any other suggestions on good (and cheap!) places to stay, or any tips on local hostelries.

That’s it for now

Merry Christmas!

Picture credits

Word clouds thanks to Tagul

Announcing Open Data Camp 4

Open Data Camp is back!

Click to skip to this post in Welsh.

odc4-1We are delighted to announce that Open Data Camp is returning once again. Open Data Camp 4 will be the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 25/26th February 2017, at The Pierhead in Cardiff.

We are extremely grateful to Assembly Member Mark Drakeford, of the National Assembly for Wales, who has sponsored our use of the Pierhead building.

In case you’ve no idea what Open Data Camp is, here’s a quick recap:

Open

‘Open’ means that data has made available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence.

Data

‘Data’, refers to text, words, numbers, images, sound and video etc. (Hang on, what’s the difference between data and information? See this useful explanation.)

Camp

‘Camp’ is a term commonly used to refer to an ‘unconference’, which basically means it’s an event with no predefined agenda – instead, attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas to each other.

“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”

More to follow

Tickets (free!) will be released in batches on the following dates & times (all times are GMT):

  • Wednesday 14th December at 3pm
  • Tuesday 20th December at 12noon
  • Sunday 8th January at 8pm
  • Friday 13th January 2017 at 4pm
  • Thursday 19th January at 12noon

We’ll be sharing lots more information – including how to book your ticket(s) – on the Open Data Camp blog, via @ODCamp on Twitter, and using hashtag #ODCamp in the coming weeks.

 

29929792165_c091995192_z
The Pierhead

Photo credit

The Pierhead building, by Nigel Bishop on Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/MAN1tp

Open Data Camp word cloud based on Pierhead building outline, created using Tagul

Yn datgan Gwersyll Data Agored 4

Mae Gwersyll Data Agored yn ol!

Rydym yn falch i ddatgan bod Gwersyll Data Agored yn dod yn ol unwaith eto. Bydd Gwersyll Data Agored 4 yn cael ei gynnal ar benwythnos dydd Sadwrn a dydd Sul y 25/26ain o Chwefror 2017, yn Adeilad y Pierhead yng Nghaerdydd.

Rydym yn hynod o ddiolchgar i Aelod Cynulliad Mark Drakeford, o Gynulliad Cenhedlaethol Cymru, sydd wedi noddi ein defnydd o adeilad y Pierhead.

Rhag ofn nad oes ganddoch syniad beth yw Gwersyll Data Agored, dyma crynodeb sydyn:

Gwersyll

Mae ‘gwersyll’ yn cyfeirio yn aml i ‘anghynhadledd’ (‘unconference‘), sydd yn golygu bod yn ddigwyddiad yn dechrau heb agenda rhagosodol – yn hytrach, mae mynychwyr yn cynnig (‘pitch’) syniadau i’w gilydd ar gyfer sessiynnau.

Data

Gall ‘Data’ cyfeirio at testun, geiriau, lluniau, swn, fideo, a.y.y.b. (Ond disgwyl.. beth yw’r gwahaniaeth rhwng data a gwybodaeth? Gwelwch yr esboniad defnyddiol yma.)

Agored

Golygai ‘Agored’ bod data ar gael hefo ychydig neu dim o rwystrau ar sut ellid ei defnyddio, fel a osodwyd allan mewn trwydded.

“Data agored yw data gall unrhyw un cyrchu, defnyddio a rhannu.”

Mwy i ddilyn

Mae ticedi (am ddim) yn cael eu rhyddhau mewn sypiau ar y dyddiadau & amseroedd canlynol (dengys yr amser yn GMT):

  • Dydd Mercher 14fed Rhagfyr am 3y.p.

  • Dydd Mawrth 20fed Rhagfyr am 12y.p.

  • Dydd Sul 8fed Ionawr am 8y.p.

  • Dydd Gwener 13fed Ionawr am 4y.p.

  • Dydd Iau 19fed Ionawr am 12 y.p.

Byddwn yn rhannu llawer mwy o wybodaeth – yn cynnwys sut i archebu eich ticed(i) – ar flog Gwersyll Data Agored, ar @ODCamp ar trydar, ac yn defnyddio hashnod #ODCamp yn yr wythnosau sy’n dilyn…

Credyd ffoto

Yr adeilad Pierhead, gan Nigel Bishop ar Flickr: https://flic.kr/p/MAN1tp

‘Cwmwl geiriau’ Gwersyll Data Agored ar amlinelliad o’r adeilad Pierhead, wedi’i greu yn defnyddio Tagul

After the Watershed

It’s several weeks since the third UK Open Data Camp. In case that means nothing to you:

Camp

‘Camp’ is a term commonly used to refer to an ‘unconference’, which basically means it’s an event with no predefined agenda – instead, attendees ‘pitch’ session ideas to each other.

Data

‘Data’, refers to text, words, numbers, images, sound and video etc. (Hang on, what’s the difference between data and information? See this useful explanation.)

Open

‘Open’ means that the publisher of the data has made it available with little or no restriction on its use, as set out in a licence. The most common licence for public sector in the UK, is the Open Government Licence, which is usually referred to by its acronym, OGL. There are lots of other licences. For a detailed overview, take a look at the Guide to Open Licensing.

“Open data is data that anyone can access, use and share.”

Open Data Campers

So, Open Data Camp is an event where people – from lots of different sectors, and with many different perspectives  – get together to discuss absolutely anything to do with open data. There’s also networking, socialising, and generally a good time is had by all.

Just a few of the many who attended Open Data Camp 3
Just a few of many who attended the third UK Open Data Camp.

On tour

There’s a widely held view that national events favour London. As the nation’s capital, and most densely populated city in the UK,  that’s perfectly understandable, but there’s a risk that other cities across the UK might be overlooked. From the outset, therefore, Open Data Camp has (so far) deliberately avoided the metropolis.

That’s not to say we don’t love London too – we do – it’s just that there’s loads of open data activity right across the UK, not in just one place.

Previously, Open Data Camp has pitched-up in Winchester (South-East), and Manchester (North West). This time, we were in Bristol, in the beautiful South West of England.*

Bristol

There’s  masses going on in Bristol , and it’s a leading light in the UK Smart City scene with Bristol is Open – a joint venture between Bristol City Council and University of Bristol:

Using data sensors, smart city technologies will be able to respond in real-time to everyday events including congestion, waste management, entertainment events, e-democracy, energy supply and more. Together we are creating an open programmable city region.

Amongst (many) other things going on, there’s Bristol Girl Geeks and a very active South West Data Meetup. And, of course, Bath: Hacked is just down the road as well.

Digital Bristol Week
Digital Bristol Week

The timing for Open Data Camp was perfect for it to be featured as part of Digital Bristol Week – a week-long  series of workshops, masterclasses and other events, coordinated by the BBC Academy.

Watershed

Our venue was the lovely Watershed – ‘Cultural cinema and digital creativity centre’ – right by the Harbourside. We were also really fortunate to have access to the adjoining Pervasive Media Studio, which meant that we had a large and really versatile space available.

20160505_103147
Harbourside in Bristol (Watershed is the blue building on the right)

Capturing what happened

The introduction and session pitches were livestreamed both days, and are embedded below for your viewing pleasure. The pitches from both days were used as the basis for the session grid, which became the agenda for the weekend.

The list of sessions is also included to give you a flavour of what was discussed. Most of the sessions have notes taken by volunteers. N.B. The notes are blank for a small number of sessions. If you led or attended Open Data Camp and can add anything to the notes, please do.

Session pitches were livestreamed
Julian Tait livestreaming session pitches
Some people had *lots* of session ideas
Some people had *lots* of session ideas

Saturday

Welcome / introduction & session pitching PT1

Sunday

I don’t have room here to go into detail about individual sessions. Fortunately, that’s not a problem because…

Drawnalism

Open Data Camp 3
Two of the team from Drawnalism

Drawnalism were on-hand, with 2 artists AND 2 writers. Their output was phenomenal, with LOTS of drawings and blog posts published ‘live’ as the weekend progressed.

18 ODCamp Session - hacking the hack
‘Hacking the hack’
ODCamp-Day-Two_5
‘Data standards: sampling chickens in an open data way’
Capturing the essence of GODAN (Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition)

Blogs and bloggers

Many people have already blogged about their own experience of Open Data Camp, or have continued to build on themes identified during the weekend. Here’s a list of posts (so far):

Sometimes, nothing beats a great big sheet of paper and lots of post-its
Sometimes, nothing beats a big sheet of paper, with lots of post-its

There’s also a great Storify put together by Pauline Roche, and photos:

          • here by Nigel Bishop
          • here by Neil Ford
          • here by Mark Braggins (inc some videos recoded by Angharad Stone)
          • here by Adam Tinworth

Thank you

Open Data Camp 3 keywords (1)So, that’s it for this post. I’d just like to finish off by thanking everyone involved in making the third Open Data Camp such a success. This includes, but isn’t limited to:

  • Watershed and Pervasive Media Studio for being superb hosts
  • Bristol Packet for a fab boat trip, and Angharad Stone for organising it
  • All our sponsors, who are magnificent, forward-thinking, and undemanding. If you haven’t already done so, please take a look at their web sites, and show ’em some love on Twitter.
  • All the volunteers and co-organisers
  • EVERYONE who participated
DSC_2362
Open data Camp 3 (some of) the organisers and volunteers

Pictured left to right, from the back:

Notes

  • We are very aware that all three camps so far have been in England, whereas it’s ‘UK’ Open Data Camp. Don’t worry, we are on the case. Open Data Camp 4 will return towards the end of 2016, somewhere in the UK.
    UPDATE!

Picture credits

 

An exciting few weeks at the Food Standards Agency

It has been an exciting few weeks at the Food Standards Agency:

Open by default

On 28th January our board set us on an open by default path https://president.com/zbzdczunpvsu/a-data-driven-fsa.

Future of food regulation

The following week there was a public event about the future of food regulation (see https://storify.com/drsiant/the-future-of-food-regulation,  and we published our principles https://registration.livegroup.co.uk/regulating-the-future/content tabs/?ctid=824.

Open Data Camp

We are pleased to be supporting Open Data Camp 3 in May.

Open Data Camp 3 teaser

Purpose of this blog

A call for help linking these three distinct themes. There could be a key role for Open Data in the future of food regulation. There are many facets of this and we are keen to get people to help us develop some ideas.

As is customary, I will be at (and again involved with organising) Open Data Camp – but this time I am reaching out to the community to do some thinking before the event.

Share some ideas: from crowdsourcing to data standards – we need your help to explore the possibilities. After all, we all have to eat at least a few times every day.

Open Data Camp: Hitting the road again

We’re back

First, there was Open Data Camp, in Winchester (Feb 2015).

ODCamp1 screenshot

Then, came Open Data Camp 2, in Manchester (Oct 2015).

ODCamp2 screenshot

Guess what’s coming next….

Correct!

Open Data Camp 3 teaser

Back on the road again

We’re absolutely thrilled to announce that the Open Data Camp unconference charabanc is hitting the road again, and will be coming to Bristol the weekend of 14th & 15th May 2016.

5356584351_5237a99a93_z (1)
Bristol Charabanc No 173 Operated By Bristol Tramways & Carriage Co. Ltd.

Three = Free

As usual, Open Data Camp 3 will be free to attend. This is possible because:

  • the organisers are unpaid volunteers. This time, we’re also collaborating with South West Data and the ODI Bristol.
  • the generosity of sponsors, who are prepared to stump-up some cash to cover costs like venue, refreshments, merchandise, pre & post-event drinks, stationery, live drawing etc. Without sponsorship, we simply wouldn’t be able to hold these events.
Matthew Buck of Drawnalism 'In the Moment' at ODCamp1
Matthew Buck of Drawnalism ‘In the Moment’ at ODCamp1

Thank you already

We are delighted to announce that we already have two major sponsors:

We are hugely grateful. Networked Planet and Bristol City Council: You are, quite simply, marvellous.

Can you support ODC3?

There will of course be all sorts of other costs to cover, and we are therefore seeking other sponsors to help us make the event go with a whizz and a bang.

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please get in touch.

Watch this space

We’ll share more details on the Open Data Camp web site in the next couple of weeks, including the ticket release schedule, and information about travel & accommodation.

That’s it for now.

Picture credits

 

Linking open data

We’re happy to be sponsoring the first Open Data Camp UK and we’re looking forward to hearing, and seeing, what people are doing with Open Data. To us, as data publishers, the best thing about opening up data is the freedom it gives you to create something useful.

But if you link your open data the possibilities really open up. So, in that spirit, this post is about what publishing Linked Open Data really means and some of the practical advantages it has.

Linked Data is:

“a method of publishing structured data [on the web] so that it can be interlinked and become more useful.”

linked data switchWith Linked Data, each data point (i.e thing or fact) has its very own URL on the Web. This is unique and because it’s readily available on the internet, people can look it up easily. And Linked Open Data can also contain links to other facts, so you can discover more, related data.

LOD_Cloud_Diagram_as_of_September_2011
The linked data “cloud”

But Linked Data also rocks if you want to make something with the data. This is because when you look up the linked data page, all the metadata about it is embedded in: so there are no ambiguous column names to slow you down.

And if data is published as linked, as well as being published on a web site, it means that it comes with APIs, including a SPARQL endpoint – so developers can query the data in a variety of formats and use the data in their own programs.

But it’s not just for the techies – if you’re not technical, linking up your open data has other advantages.

  • It makes it easier to work with open data across organisations and departments because it’s not locked into silos: anyone can access it, making it truly open.
  • Linking open data with other data sources and having specific names for things saves time and effort when problem solving. Take a look at Steve Peters’ post on Joining The Dots across departments.
  • It’s low cost and sustainable – you convert the data once and reuse it – again and again. As part of our PublishMyData service, you can update your data yourself.
  • By linking your open data, it makes it easier to create apps and visualisations which are a friendly, quick way in to the data.
Swirrl's event space at Manchester's Museum of Science and Technology
Swirrl’s event space at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Technology

And on 21st April 2015 we’ll be sponsoring an event of our own: Local Open Data:Reaping the Benefits.

This is a one day event at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry. Its aim is to bring together people working with, or interested in, data at a local level.

You can check out our awesome speakers here, or register your interest.

 

Swirrl logo

Photo credit

The linked data cloud features in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linked_data and is attributed to Anja Jentzsch

Food data to go

interactive-data-hr

We know from past hackathon events that the attendees are a talented hive of production and we want to help you to make more honey. At the Food Standards Agency, we have a healthy appetite for openness. This is because we’re an independent government department with no specific minister. It means openness and transparency are in our DNA.

We publish open data about food.

So let’s cook

We’re excited to be part of the Open Data Camp and have a series of digital offerings to serve up. If you’re into making stuff, we’re keen for you bring your experience to the table and use our data to make a new innovative application and that can include social media.

Below are details of our main datasets and some examples of where to find existing applications. These might inspire you.

Do let us know how you get on @foodgov and use #opendata. Our @drsiant will be at the event and me, @davidberrecloth, via Twitter.

  1. UK food hygiene ratings API (JSON and XML format)

 

fhrs5

About the geo-coded data

The food hygiene ratings given to restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places consumers eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops. A food business’s rating reflects the standards of food hygiene found on the date of inspection or visit by the local authority.

Get data

Our API 2.0, which includes calls to the server, can query and return data (not the whole dataset though):

http://api.ratings.food.gov.uk/help

A more basic API as well as static XML files by local authority:

http://ratings.food.gov.uk/open-data/en-GB

Consumers can search for ratings at:

www.food.gov.uk/ratings

Examples

There are a number of app outlets offering hygiene rating apps based on our data – have a search of Apple, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, for example. Also, there are a number of websites. Search for ‘food hygiene ratings’ to find these. Can you think of a potential social media application? For example, a Facebook check-in at a restaurant displays the restaurant’s rating on a map?

  1. Allergy alerts and food alerts (RSS feed)

allergy alert

About allergy alerts

Peanuts, egg, milk, fish are some of the 14 major allergens and when allergy labelling is incorrect on a food product, or if there’s another food allergy risk, the food product has to be withdrawn from sale or recalled to protect consumers. Food allergic reactions range from mild to very serious. Most people are not allergic to all 14 allergens and we know affected individuals would benefit enormously if they could get alerts for the allergen that they are affected by, straight to their preferred social media feed.

Get allergy alerts

www.food.gov.uk/news-updates/allergynews-rss

About food alerts

If there’s a problem with a food product (such as it contains pieces of metal or a nasty food bug) then that means it should not be sold and might be withdrawn (taken off the shelves) or recalled (customers are asked to return the product for a refund).

Get food alerts

www.food.gov.uk/foodalerts-rss

  1. Audit of meat establishments (CSV format)

About the data

Slaughterhouses (abattoirs), meat cutting plants and wild game handling establishments are audited by us to make sure that they are:

  •         complying with food law requirements
  •         meeting relevant standards in relation to public health and, in slaughterhouses, animal health and welfare

More information at www.food.gov.uk/business-industry/meat/audit

Get data

www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/csv/fbo-audits-completed-on-after-november-2012.csv

Example

Search web for ‘meat audit app’.

  1. UK local authority enforcement data (CSV format)

About the data

If something goes wrong or the risks become too high, local authorities can take enforcement action against a food business – closure, seizure of food, a simple caution, or a prosecution, for example. Data showing food law enforcement action taken is available in CSV format for the past four years up to 2013/14.

Get it

www.food.gov.uk/enforcement/monitoring/laems/mondatabyyear/

  1. Food and You survey

food and you

About data

This consumer survey is used to collect information about reported behaviours, attitudes and knowledge relating to food issues. It provides data on people’s reported food purchasing, storage, preparation, consumption and factors that may affect these, such as eating habits, influences on where respondents choose to eat out and experiences of food poisoning

Get data and user guide

www.food.gov.uk/food-and-you

www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/csv/2014-food-and-you-survey.csv

www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/food-and-you-csv-data-user-guide_0.xls

Example

It can be used for marketing to target food messages to the right groups through the relevant channel.

Keep connected

Join the conversation at @foodgov using #opendata

Be our Facebook community food.gov.uk/facebook

Watch our videos food.gov.uk/youtube

Get our news by RSS food.gov.uk/rss

Get our news by email food.gov.uk/email

Enjoy the weekend guys!