I spent some time in Bergen last week (lovely place, bloody expensive beer!) to talk to some people about a new content management system. Whilst I was there I dropped in on a seminar about data…
…dedicated to the emerging “web of data” and how it could create new possibilities in a deeply disrupted media economy.
The shorthand for this was ‘breaking out of the silos’. To underline that point, some of the organizers were running around in municipal-workers jackets. That was a bit lost on me other than thinking Norwegian workers are pretty snappy dressers!
It turned out to be a really interesting, mixed bag of people who were fired up by the possibilities of linking open data (LOD).
Pia J.V. Josendal opened the batting with a neat presentation that was kind of a dummies guide to data. A few interesting things in there for me like finding out what a triple is and also the five star rating system for your data.
The next delegate was Hjalmar Gislason from DataMarket.com, a nifty website that collects data (time series at the moment) and lets you visualize it like this.
I was struck by what a cool name they had and pondered that it shows just how recent the mainstream interest in this stuff is that you could get a name like that. Hjálmar Gíslason agreed.
His presentation was quite nifty too.
One presentation I couldn’t stay for but looked really interesting was Rune Smistad’s run through rNews (a proposed standard for using RDFa to annotate news-specific metadata in HTML documents) The slides are interesting but I think I missed out on not hearing the context.
There was a heavy presence of journalists but they were by no means the majority, it wasn’t a data journalism conference. But it was clear that everyone thought that journalism was the place that the concept was getting most traction and most use.
The UK got a lot of love for it’s data-J work during the sessions but I saw a lot of similarities in the approaches. It also showed me that there are a lot of tech people, people who understand all this triples, sparq and data stuff. They can see the use for it and they have a passion for getting it out there. It doesn’t matter that they are in Norway (or the UK for that matter) they just want journalists to come and do good stuff with the data they are freeing from the silos.