Six (quite long and rambling) things about Open Data Camp 6

Ben Proctor
Nov 6, 2018 · 6 min read

1. What is Open Data Camp?

I’m on a train heading south from Birmingham New Street. My day started in Aberdeen. It started in Aberdeen because I was at Open Data Camp (ODCamp) and this year OD Camp took place in Aberdeen.

  • an unconference is a self organised, low-cost, participative alternative to a conference
  • open data is data that anyone can find, use and re-use
  • Aberdeen is a city towards the North East of Scotland with a very old university and a very new and rather fabulous university library

2. Wardley Maps, a good thing or a bad king?

I think I learned more about Wardley Mapping. It’s one of those things that has become very voguish in certain gov-tech circles. This does not, necessarily, mean that it is a waste of time. Sensible people who I trust and respect think it’s a useful tool. That does not, necessarily, mean that it is not a waste of time.

3. Register here

There was much talk about registers. Including a session all about registers. Because of the presence of people from the UK Government registers team we focused on that project. (Yes there is a register of registers) I found this helpful in understanding more about what this is and is not trying to do. This service essentially delivers a cryptographically signed list on request via an API (or you can download the list as a CSV). GDS is providing the infrastructure to do this but the content of the list is the responsibility of a subject matter expert.

https://xkcd.com/927/

4. Data strategy

5. Mapping, can we make it pay?

Jez Nicholson (of Open Plaques fame) and I pitched related topics and so we ran a session together. I wanted to know if anyone had any good ideas for making openstreetmap.cymru financially sustainable. Jez wanted to talk more broadly about how and why people commit to crowd sourced projects. Notes were taken. We were also joined by Liz and Terence of Open Benches.

6. There were other great things

Owen Boswarva convened a discussion on the Geospatial Commission (which doesn’t seem to exist as a thing on gov.uk. It ranged far and wide. This is massively important but it’s hard to keep track. I’m immensely grateful for people like Owen and groups like OSM UK for paying attention and making contributions to the process.

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Ben Proctor

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Data and digital innovation director at Data Orchard CIC helping make non-profit organisations awesome at using data. Like maps, open data, dogs, bikes & boats.

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