Wendy Hall on BBC Radio 4

On the 26th of August Wendy Hall was a panellist on the long running show “Any Questions?” where audience members ask questions on a variety of topics.

The other panellists were the theatre director and Artistic Director of the Southbank Centre, Jude Kelly, the UK Director of Islamic Relief, Jehangir Malik, and columnist Margaret Doyle.

A wide range of topics were discussed, including Libya, obesity, the Brain Drain in the U.K., social networking sites and Big Brother.

Nigel Shadbolt gives opening keynote speech at Ordnance Survey Cambridge Conference

The conference took place from the 26th of June to the 1st of July. Professor Shadbolt discussed the Open Government Data initiative and crowdsourcing, which is the outsourcing of a large task to a group of people via an open call.

The conference, which is held every 4 years and was opened by acclaimed BBC reporter Kate Adie, is a forum for debate on geographical information for chief executives of national mapping organisations and other interested parties.

Nigel Shadbolt gives keynote talk at Open Knowledge Conference

The conference took place on the 30th of June and 1st of July and the subject of the talk was “The Power, Promise and Perils of Open Government Data.”

The Open Knowledge Foundation is an international not-for-profit organisation and was set up in 2004 to promote open knowledge.

In the talk the Open Government Data (OGD) initiatives were introduced and the lessons learnt and the challenges for the future were discussed.

Wendy Hall and Nigel Shadbold speak at conference on the next generation of the Internet

The conference, entitled “Profiting from the New Web,” took place on the 23rd of May at the Royal Society.

Other speakers included Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Charlie Beckett of the London School of Economics, Bill Thompson from the BBC, Ralf Herbrich from Microsoft Research Cambridge, Hector Arthur from News International and Graham Spittle, Vice President of Software Group Europe for IBM UK.

The conference mission was to “Discover new and better ways to do business, run our countries, and lead fulfilling and sustainable lives via the intelligent, innovative and diligent development of the New Web, and to make progress faster than otherwise.”

A video of some of the attendees of the conference talking about the New Web can be found here.

See UK – Compare Your Neighbourhood

In collaboration with the EnAKTing Project, Seme4 have produced See UK, a demonstrator that gives an end-user visualisation of multiple Open Datasets against a geographic background.

See UK
is a simple visualisation of data that has geographic aspects
and has been published as machine-interpretable Linked Data.

See UK uses data that has been sourced from data.gov.uk and processed
into Linked Data where necessary, but is also designed to be able to use
other sources where available. All the datasets are then enriched, by
calculating area totals from point data and inferring aggregate values
for regions that do not have explicit data values, and further
enriched by establishing linkage between the datasets.
These enriched datasets are available directly from the
EnAKTing Project,
and can be accessed using the links below.

The visualisation provides a view centred on a chosen region of
specified size, and most noticeably gives a “pie-chart” that shows the
viewer how that region compares with similar regions around it. It
is thus designed to focus on the information most relevant to the
user. Colour indicates the “worst” (red) and “best” (green) areas
from those shown. This pie-chart is shown in preference to simply
colouring the map itself, as a coloured map confuses the map
features with the data being visualised.
It also gives some context of the real geography
involved, so that a full picture is seen. The user can navigate by
looking and clicking on the pie-chart, or the map, and can thus move
around using whatever view they are taking of the data presentation. A
search by postcode functionality is also supported, aiding the user in
finding specific locations.

An important aspect of the visualisation is that cross-dataset
correlation can be achieved and presented in a natural fashion, as
the data can be viewed as normalised by population or area, in
addition to the raw values. The user can therefore see how regions
compare in terms of, for example, crime density by population or
area, rather than just knowing that their county has little crime,
and guessing this is because the county has a small population or

See UK has been produced as a collaborative activity between Seme4 Ltd.
and members of the EnAKTing project at the University of Southampton.
For further details please contact Hugh Glaser
or Ian Millard; feedback on this application is very

Nigel Shadbolt appointed chair of midata

mydata is a new initiative to enable consumers to access data which relates to them held by businesses.

Midata is a joint initiative between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Cabinet Office. Professor Shadbolt will chair the midata working group which will decide the format of and mode of access to the data. A number of high profile companies will be represented on the working group, including Google, Microsoft, HSBC, MasterCard, Lloyds TSB and Centrica.

Hugh Glaser talks at JISC conference

The talk at the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) conference was part of the session entitled “What is the Business Administrative Case for Linked Data?”

The JISC provides leadership and support for the use of I.T. in post-16 and Higher Education establishments in the U.K. The annual JISC conference is aimed at a range of people, including those responsible for I.T. policy, those responsible for I.T. resources and researchers in the area. It was held in Liverpool on the 14th – 15th of March 2011.

The session explained the concepts of Linked Data, described how it can enable data to be shared and discussed how it can increase efficiency.