Introducing the Data Campfire Public Beta

Chloe and I are proud to introduce to you the Public Beta version of our Data Campfire website!

This Saturday I attended the third Open Data Camp in Bristol. It was my first time going and it turned out to be an excellent day. I was able to meet some familiar internet faces in meatspace as well as new people; hear stories of how people are using/working with open data and learn about their problems, needs and achievements.

During the event I took the opportunity to announce that we have now moved on from our last prototype of Data Campfire to the public beta version of the site.

What is the Public Beta?

As the name suggests, this is a publicly accessible version of the platform.

This version of the platform was iterated from our prototype2, and has some of key features from the prototype. I spent last month getting it set up, choosing the open source framework of Drupal. Although it isn’t perfect, we want to put something out there so that we can test things and get feedback as soon as possible so that we can iterate and improve on the platform as we go.

Data Campfire

What can you do on it?

Describe the steps you took when working on your project

You can:

  • Sign up and register for an account
  • Create a story about your project that involved working with data
  • Add images and videos about the project
  • Embed an outcome of the project such as an interactive map or visualisation
  • Add links to open data sources you used and rate them
  • Add links to other sites/media outlets that mention your project
  • List what software and tools you used
  • Add a step by step guide to how you worked with the data and produced your outcome (or didn’t — we also want to hear what didn’t work!)
  • Comment on other stories from other users

What’s in store next?

We’ve already got a long list of things to do which we are prioritising and will be working through over the next few weeks. These range from UX improvements, to accessibility and multi-lingual capabilities as well as improvements such as having the ability to link up with data sources more easily.

Data Publisher Accounts

We would also like to talk to data publishers, as we will be developing a data publisher account, to allow them to better connect with people who use their data and to get a better understanding of how their data is being used. If you’re a data publisher and interested in this, please get in touch with us so we can build something for you that meets your needs.

We need your thoughts and feedback

In order to make improvements to the site, we need your input! Unfortunately my mind-reading skills are lacking, so please reach out to us by email, twitter, online chat on our site or the contact form on our site. If you prefer we can have a Skype/Hangout.

Ready, Steady, Go!

So if you have ever worked on a project, large or small, where you used data in some way — please share your story, warts and all. Maybe you created something interesting at a hackathon way back when that you can dust off and showcase; maybe you made an app; maybe you were experimenting with a new tool you found — we would love to hear your story. If you don’t have a story, yet come and browse stories, so you know what you can do with data.

We want to create a community of practice around data so that knowledge and skills can be shared. Join us!

Illustrated by Chloe Eunsung Kim at Data Campfire