11th March 2015

Our involvement in the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp

Luke Hampson

We were recently involved in the UK’s first ever Open Data Camp, a weekend event that was held in Winchester on the 21st & 22nd February and which was devoted entirely to open data. Whilst a couple of weeks may have passed since then, we thought we’d share our experiences from the event with you here on the blog.

The Camp was run as an ‘unconference’; meaning the agenda for the two days was not pre-determined and it was up to the 150 delegates to propose the sessions that would run over the course of the weekend. The organisers had promised however that there would be plenty of opportunities to learn, share and participate in a number of presentations, open discussions and story-telling sessions – as well as plenty of coffee and cake throughout the weekend!

OD Camp Banner

With OS announcing some exciting news on the opening day of the event (more of which I’ll come on to), there was great interest in both the session that we ran, as well as in the exhibitor stand that we had at the event. Other sessions that the OS team participated in included discussions around open data usability; debates on how open data currently is or should be used in journalism; how open data has been used in the education sector to share resources more effectively; as well as presentations highlighting the power of combining data from many different sources. There was even a light-hearted session to wrap day 1 up with, where participants were invited to share their own ‘open data horror story’ with other delegates.

OD Camp Horror stories

The OS team ran a session that aimed to introduce delegates to the news that we’d announced at the event – which was that we are due to launch a world-leading digital map as open data. The new suite of ‘OS OpenMap‘ products have been designed to work with the latest mobile and web platforms, allowing innovators to build new products incorporating some of the most sophisticated mapping data in the world. An enhanced level of building detail, extended naming of roads and identified sites such as hospitals and schools will be accessible through the new products, which will be accessible in a customisable and easy to style format.

There was great interest in the news and we took some sample data along with us to the event, where lucky developers were able to get their hands on the data to have a sneak preview. The products will be launched at the end of March, so keep lookout on our social media channels for more information.

Both I and my OS colleagues really enjoyed the Open Data camp. If it appeals to you and you missed it, you can still catch up on the conversation that took place on twitter and see the photos on flickr

…and be sure to make a note in your calendar for next year’s International Open Data Day!