An awesome Brewcamp with most excellent cake ensued Wednesday 27th June at Browns Cafe Bar in Coventry. We are already scheming the next one!
Those amongst others in attendance were..
Karen Ramsay Smith
Amongst the great discussions on the night..
Bus timetable information
Shropshire team have built an application that takes the data from internal teams, it enables search by where you are coming from/going to/bus number. It generates a timetable for the user. Discussions then progressed to talking about making the data open for other people to use. A common format would be needed from the bus companies.
Buses that link boundaries – thought not to be useful for people living on the edge of the boundaries. There was a general consensus that we need to get everyone to open up the data so we can create something more useful but how do we do this when councils don’t talk to each other? Thoughts around working with the bus operators to get them to open there data. A lot of our data is coming in from elsewhere – need to encourage external companies to help open up the data.
Although there are no location tracking devices on buses – may look at doing a trial for this. Also looking at putting QR on bus stops so people know when the next bus is coming. Still need case studies to prove the case for open data. The Shropshire team are interested in knowing what people want from them that can help others do this in their own
Andy Mabbet suggested that as there are already a lot of initiatives looking at timetable data – perhaps it would benefit to look at who’s doing it already and how they could help/give ideas/advice. e.g Some work is being done on train timetable data.
Simon Gray spoke about the Matisse project – which centers around traffic data – they are hoping to release an XML feed, however this has been held up. This is being picked up however and that data should be coming on stream fairly soon.
Filming/tweeting council meetings
A general discussion began around recent issues highlighted by the media how a blogger had been arrested for filming council meeting and how this came about. It was mentioned that the BCC have been filming council meetings, which hasn’t gone without problems.
Shropshire live tweet all cabinet meetings. 6 years ago they filmed and broadcast it – but the take up and broadband were both low.
Concerns over filming are :-
- People with laptops disturbing meetings
- Things being mis-reported and mis-quoted.
- Members worried about live filming in case information misinterpreted.
- No enough demand from the public
Andy Mabbett and & Karen Ramsay-Smith noted that the amount of reach is key – not the number of people watching. It’s the blog posts and news reports that are generated as a result of the filming that are the real benefits here.
Al Smith mentioned that it would be helpful to find out what members are worried about happening as a result of opening the meetings to film and try and alleviate those fears.
If archived videos were used this could perhaps solve disputes over misinterpreted information. It shouldn’t be about what the members want, it should be about what the citizens want. If my councillor is falling asleep during meetings, I want to know about it.
Feeling from most that they are open meetings, so this should be done.
Andy Mabbet concluded by talking about accessibility and the need to ensure videos are properly subtitled.
However! using not being perfect as a reason for not doing something means we’ll never do it! Putting things online, will lead to people doing things offline.
Andy Mabbett introduced the session and spoke about his role as a Wikipedia editor, the GLAM WikiProject (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums) and how this is creating a link between Wikipedia editors and museums. Volunteers undertook writing articles about the artifacts in the museum. The staff produced lots of background information about the artifacts to help write the articles of particularly notable items. Also did some work to do foreign language articles – 500 were created (including translations) as a result of 12 – 20 people in 1 day. Derby agreed to donate their text from handouts and brochures to save it all being re-written.
Also a project to put QR codes against museum exhibits – encoded url will go to QR-pedia – will transmit default language from phone so that it can return the article in the correct language and it would be served in a mobile friendly format.
Andy is also a Wikipedia Outreach Ambassador – helping ARKive (promotes conservation of threatened species through wildlife imagery) to write articles and open up the information.
Andy explained how there are strict issues around copyright which make it difficult for museums to make photographs available under an open license, even photographs of artifacts. Shropshire and Lichfield are both making a lot of their old photographs available already.
Andy has shared his brewcamp bookmarks here
and here are some of the excellent posts from the evenings events..
Kate Sahota, Warwickshire County Council – “Brewcamp Coventry”
Jan Britton – Chief Executive, Sandwell Council – “Brewcamp & Curry”
Dan Slee, Walsall County Council -“Tea and innovation: Are we, like, getting mainstream, now?”