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Mashed Libraries: data.ac.uk
 

Mashed Libraries: data.ac.uk

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  • So a little bit of background information about me and where I work.
  • it is a song by Groove Armada (but I'm not going to sing to you)
  • it is a district of Liverpool (but we've not been there for 76 years)
  • I've been at Edge Hill over three years.
  • I started as web applications developer, then I played at being a project manager and now I'm the rather grandly titled "Head of Web Services"
  • which doesn't mean SOAP, RPC or REST but means I lead a team which does design, development and maintenance for
  • which doesn't mean SOAP, RPC or REST but means I lead a team which does design, development and maintenance for
  • corporate website
  • portal
  • student communities. And of course attending lots of meetings.
  • This talk isn't about Edge Hill, or what we've done or how great we are (because we're not) - it's my personal views about what I'd like to see us doing as teams, an institution and a sector.I don't have all the answers - I'm not sure I have any answers - but I want to question what we do online.
  • site:ljmu.ac.ukAbout 12,900 resultssite:livjm.ac.ukAbout 16,000 resultssite:edgehill.ac.ukAbout 8,570 results
  • site:ljmu.ac.ukAbout 12,900 resultssite:livjm.ac.ukAbout 16,000 resultssite:edgehill.ac.ukAbout 8,570 results
  • site:ljmu.ac.ukAbout 12,900 resultssite:livjm.ac.ukAbout 16,000 resultssite:edgehill.ac.ukAbout 8,570 results
  • site:ljmu.ac.ukAbout 12,900 resultssite:livjm.ac.ukAbout 16,000 resultssite:edgehill.ac.ukAbout 8,570 results
  • I’ll let you into a secret. Most of it isn’t very good.
  • In my opinion one of the primary reasons for this is the prevalence of content management systems which give the wrong people access to update information online but that's an entirely different rant of mine and my doctor tells me not to go there.So if we accept that our websites aren't working for all our users, what can we do about it?  One option is to plough increasing amounts of time and effort into satisfying everyone.  You already see this happening with many homepages where departments compete for prominence
  • The other option is to strip back to core audiences and find other ways to satisfy the long tail.For me that means providing data in an open, accessible form that users can make use of as they wish.  There are experts in creating mashups here today and I'm definitely not one of them, but I hope I can play my part in providing the raw data feeds for others to use.So what data do we have that we can expose easily?A few years ago Tony Hirst created a tool to detect auto discoverable feeds on pages and as of yesterday just 53 / 132 had them - 40% - http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/iwmw/iwmwAuto.phpI'm sure others have feeds but if you don't tell people how to find them, what's the point?
  • Events.  Feed of forthcoming events?  Newly announced events?  Other formats like iCal allow you to add it directly to Google Calendar or Outlook.
  • Courses are quite an important thing for Universities yet most don't know what they run!  The process for getting information from an institution to aggregators like UCAS involves at best munging some spreadsheets and at worst retyping from a printed prospectus!  Yet there is now a standard for exactly this information - XCRI-CAP allows a university to publish a catalogue of courses in a machine readable format which others can make use of.
  • Course information was a trickier proposition but fortunately around the time we were redeveloping this area of the website another project did all the hard work for us.
  • An XML format called XCRI-CAP defines course information for marketing purposes quite neatly and we were able to convert that into a database.
  • Simultaneously the most awesome and scary website for the public sector in the UK.  It allows anyone to make and track FOI requests.  Every university has a site offering key information but how is it provided?  Probably as links to PDFs but that's certainly not how it was originally created so let's try to break out.  Why not upload spreadsheets to Google Docs so people can query them directly?
  • Most of this is still very distant from the end user so let's get more specific.  What systems do we have?
  • Most of these systems already have some form of API available for internal use but we’re all reluctant to let people use them.
  • So my challenge to you is to make a start. Go back to your institution, find some data and put it online. Start small with some spreadsheets of data you’ve collected. Upload it to Google Docs and put a link on a page. Then look at what APIs your systems provide and see which ones you can open up. When you procure new systems ask questions about suppliers’ commitment to open data – make it a requirement.

Mashed Libraries: data.ac.uk Mashed Libraries: data.ac.uk Presentation Transcript

  • data.ac.uk?
    Michael Nolan
    http://twitter.com/MikeNolan/
    http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/webservices/
    http://www.michaelnolan.co.uk/
  • Edge HillWTF?
  • 3 years
    8 months
    7 days
  • © 1984 Charles Platt and David Langford; Micromania: The Whole Truth About Home Computers
  • SOAP
    RPC
    REST
  • SOAP
    RPC
    REST
  • The internet is
    really
    big
  • site:warwick.ac.ukAbout 236,000 results
  • site:ljmu.ac.ukAbout 12,900 results
  • site:livjm.ac.ukAbout 16,000 results
  • site:edgehill.ac.ukAbout 8,570 results
  • site:library.edgehill.ac.ukAbout 1,850 results
  • Sturgeon’s Law:
    90%ofeverythingiscrap
  • http://redesignland.blogspot.com/
  • News
  • Press Releases
  • Events
  • Calendar Entries
  • Courses
  • Courses?
  • XCRI-CAP
  • WhatDoTheyKnow
  • Library Catalogue
  • Student Record System
  • HR Database
  • Virtual Learning Environment
  • Finance System
  • data.metropolis.ac.ukwww.metropolis.ac.uk/library/datapeople.metropolis.ac.uk/~smith/data
  • data.ac.uk
    What can you bring to the party?
    Michael Nolan
    http://twitter.com/MikeNolan/
    http://blogs.edgehill.ac.uk/webservices/
    http://www.michaelnolan.co.uk/