Open Knowledge Canberra recap

It felt good to finally kick off an Open Knowledge Canberra meetup. For a long time I’ve been jealously reading the tweets and posts from the long running Melbourne meetups and wanting to be a part of that each week. Unfortunately, being based in Canberra, the science was impossible. And then Brisbane was rebooted to double the pain!

However, after having the opportunity to sit in on two of the Melbourne meetups recently, and after meeting Mitchell Stanton-Cook up in the Brisbane meetup group last week, I thought the time had come. The challenge of running a meetup in Canberra, I suspect, will be to bring together an interesting crowd each fortnight and keep the discussions fresh. I thought a good way to meet that challenge was to run a format which allowed members to join from anywhere in the country over video conference.

So, today we ran the first of these and I think our modest start was a great success. Just to have the video conferencing work without issue was our baseline for a success, so that was the first win. So, what topics were discussed?

  • Stephen Gates joined us from Brisbane to discuss the Open Data Census and the next steps for finalising our regional updates. Note – the deadline for submissions is on its way! A sprint to the finish is due to start on the 14th with Alex Sadlier, Pia Waugh, Stephen Gates and myself all chipping in.If you can help then drop a comment below. Not sure what this is all about? Stephen and I have organised to record a demo of the process this Sunday the 13th, so tweets from @okfnau and @auOpenDataIndex to come soon after… for now you can check out the article from Stephen that was posted to earlier this year.
  • Bill Browne joined us via chat to share his interest in Free Culture. We discussed the possible cross overs within the various Open Knowledge Working Groups and a number of scenarios where closed data and data silos presented a risk to the Free Culture movement. This grew into a discussion around Linked Data and the W3C web transactions group where I was aware of situations created from Country of Law agreements in one country have the potential to work against the civil rights of other jurisdictions. The recent decision by twitter to remove API access from those reporting on the post tweet deletions of public officials was one such scenario.
  • Lastly, I discussed how I would be in San Francisco next month and was aiming to meet with members of the local SFBrigade’s activities around Open Referral.

So, a modest start for a small group in Canberra with a video link to the big ideas surrounding Open Knowledge.

We hope to see you at the next meetup on the 24th of September!

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