To Budapest for a couple of days this week to take part in two events. First of all,
in my role as an advisor to the ePSIplatform, I'm speaking on a panel discussing the status of
Public Sector Information in Europe. The attitudes taken by different governments when asked
to let their populations have access to the data they, as taxpayers, have already funded
story from Croatia is, sadly, not unique, so the counter arguments have to be repeated.
I dare say I'll be citing the example of Transport for London's massive return on investment when they
opened their data (details in a Deloitte study conducted as part of the
On my second day in the Hungarian capital I'll be
taking part in a W3C Hungary Day and giving a talk I've called What's so great about 5 star data.
This is going to be driven mostly by a study I've been working on recently with others into government use of
linked open data which has been a very interesting exercise. I need to write up various blog posts when that
doc is finally published but the headlines are clear: people who use linked data do so entirely for their own benefit,
not for the benefit of others, except where offering linked data is a trivial addition to what they already do.
This past week included one of those "Doh! How come I didn't know that?" moments.
While working on a document with Ivan Herman I discovered
Not only that, it's been possible for years.
I wanted to create an easily re-usable stylesheet that I could just link to whenever I wanted to include
those 1, 1.1, 1.2, 1.2.1 style headings. Turns out it's really simple.
Last year I was delighted to be asked to speak at the Samos Summit, an annual
event organised by the University of the Aegean that brings together many eGov and
open data related projects. This year, through my role as an advisor to the ENGAGE project,
the organisers have kindly asked me back. I'll do my best to provide an overview of the topic as an update to last
year's Summer Summary.
To Pisa for a couple of days, or rather, a hotel on the beach near Pisa, for the kick off meeting
of a new EU funded project, PRELIDA, who have kindly asked me to serve on their advusory board.
I don't know the partners in this project so I'm looking forward to making new connections, but I know the subject area -
how to create and maintain persistent URIs. The project is broader than that but the basic questions remain - how
can you create and maintain electronic data that will persist across decades.
My 'slides' for this event are really just a collection of links.
(Dublin & Manchester)2
A ridiculous schedule this week! I'm in Dublin on Monday 17th for the first part of the Crossover
project's International Conference on Policy Making 2.0.
This has been a very interesting project
in which I've played a very minor role but have learned a great deal. The use of open data for evidence-based policy
making is definitiely something to be encouraged.
At last year's Using Open Data workshop (PMOD), Noel van Herreweghe was buzzing with the
excitment from the successful first Flanders Open Data Day he'd organised the previous week. He
kindly invited me to give a keynote speech at the next year's event … which is now upon us.
Tia Sharpe and April Jones are more important than Edward Snowden
The Web privacy and freedom communities are screaming about the revelation that the US intelligence services
routinely record details of phone calls, e-mails and other electronic communications. They are, however, silent
on the use of the Web to distribute and thereby encourage the production of child abuse material.
Earlier this week I gave a talk at Sem Tech Biz
in San Francisco that reported on the Open Data on the Web workshop
I ran back in April and how that fits in to the likely future work around the topic of (open) data
at W3C. Slides on their own only tell you so much so I've created a
As is so often the case, I'm working on an EU project proposal at the moment and I want to be able to
show the countries covered by the project. To do that I needed a map that I could just click the
relevant countries and they'd be filled in, then I could copy and paste that into the proposal.
My guess is such tools already exist on the Web but I wanted to make my own.
It needs writing up but it's all working now so I may as well publish it and add the
Machine Readable Rights and the News Industry: Opportunities, Standards and Challenges
Hmm … rights expression languages, how to attach metadata to lots of online resources at once,
machine readable metadata … those themes have a familiar ring to them. The IPTC - the membership
organisation for news agencies that does a lot of technical standards work including rNews - has invited
me* to speak at their event in Amsterdam, something I'm looking forward to. For good reason, licences on the Web are
almost synonymous with Creative Commons but how can licences be included in a modern, high capacity workflow?
I need to talk to various colleagues and get a full picture of the space but I can't help but think that
POWDER just might have a role to play here.
* Actually the invitation first went to Ivan Herman but he passed it to me.
EUROGI imaGIne Conference
My role at W3C means I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about open data (and I
wish I had more time to actually do something practical about it/with it to). The role
played by geospatial data is critical in this. Obviously there are the base maps, but so many
data sets refer to specific locations, regions, postcodes etc. Applications that use open
data very often depend on geospatial data. Things like the UK Crime Map
are the post-children of the open data movement.
So I'm pleased to have been invited to contribute to the imaGIne conference - an event that
provides the first of several trips to Dublin this half year as Ireland is the current holder of the
EU Presidency. I'll be reviewing how GI data is currently used on the Web and what we need to do to make
I've just finished a very throught provoking book: C J Sansom's Dominion. By coincidence, this week
saw the UK Independence Party gain its highest poll rating in a Westmister byelection. Scarily the two go together.
I've used the same picture as my online image/avatar since it was taken, I think in 2003. Hmm … maybe
it's time to update it. This new one was taken on Saturday
at a reunion for staff of Radio Orwell. Photo credit is due to Wendy Bailey.
I suppose I ought to update relevant pages now in different corners of the Web. Gah! But hey … I kept the
same URI and the images are identical in size so where the old was was referred to rather than copied, it's
just been updated automatically.
And be honest — you don't look the same as you did 10 years ago either.
Science Fiction First Editions
It's hardly surprising that someone who makes a living as a techie enjoys reading science fiction novels —
but I've got a thing about not just the novels but their first editions … and having complete sets of them.
At the end of last year I worked with the team at PwC to study how different public authorities were
tackling the creation and publication of URI sets designed to be persistent over the long term. This is a crucial
part of the open data infrastructure and different countries have gone about it in slightly different ways
although there is a lot of commonality - which is reassuring. The original document is published as a PDF
on the EC's Joinup Platform. I wanted a Web version …