Around forty participants came along to the event held in the Apex café on the Edinburgh Napier University Merchiston campus. As is the practice at these events there was plenty of time for networking. We enjoyed the refreshments and chat prior to the first set of presentations, in a break in the middle of the meeting, and at the end of the evening.
After my short welcome presentation nine of the visitors gave lightening talks. This was more than double the number at the last meeting on 24th January 2013. The speakers and their presentation themes were:
- Leah Lockhart on digital engagement for the third sector
- Kate Byrne on the Google Ancient Places project
- Eilidh MacGlone on publishing film metadata for the Scottish Screen Archive
- Claire Turnbull on open data and the Scottish Parliament
- Ally Tibbitt on Local Edge
- Tina McLelland on developing a proof of concept for TellMeScotland and making it real
- Peter Winstanley on linking triplestores with XML databases
- Robert Raeside on public data for studying employment
- Ewan Klein on what happened on Open Data Day, and future plans for the Edinburgh OKFN group
For me the highlights of the evening were Leah Lockhart’s enthusiastic presentation on social media surgeries for community groups and her suggestion that the model of surgeons and patients may be applied to disseminating information about open data, and Kate Byrne’s fascinating animated demonstration of the work of the Google Ancient Places project. Ally Tibbitt’s mention of community council websites as a form of “witchcraft” struck a chord following my research centre’s recent review of Scottish community councils’ online presences. It was also interesting to hear Ewan Klein’s ideas for the Edinburgh OKFN group to ensure that it sustains interest and keeps its momentum. These included suggestions such as: additional less formal get-togethers in a pub; bigger events such as a half-day meeting or unconference; the creation of working groups; recruiting more people to help organise meetings.
As is the custom at these events thanks were expressed to those who set it up. Unfortunately on this occasion the main on-site organiser – Peter Cruickshank – was unable to attend. If you are interested in knowing the reason why Peter didn’t make it, check slide 5 here.