Week 50 – 2013

the week beginning 9th December ’13 (Week 50)

Monday I was based in Horizon House (Environment Agency) for according to some the first time in a while.

I had a long morning call with colleagues from other Member States, the Commission and JRC for the ISA Spatial Data and Services Working group. This included updates on the Are3na platform, Joinup (joinup.ec.europa.eu), EULF and the Open Data Support activities. Some interesting discussions including around the current gaps in the extended INSPIRE platform and highlighting where we/I need to better describe the work that we have been doing in the space of URIS, standards and registries (and why). Also spending some (real) time getting up to speed on the activities of the programme will help.

I had a good catch up with DMMI (the Data Management team that I’m on loan to Defra from) including finding out a little about the Environment Agency change programme.

We had an update call with the LGA and DCLG about INSPIRE activities.

I missed an update on the Defra Network Knowledge and Information Management Strategy which launches this week and will put inlace some important steps to achieving improved use of our data, information and knowledge in particular by focusing on where silos (technology or organisationally) create issues. This partners with our Open Data Strategy (that I’m leading) which also will be published publicly later this week.

Spent some of the day discussing some Environment Agency digital proposals with my GDS colleagues. As always insightful discussions where we are building towards an approach for some data driven projects. An area I really hope to return to soon.  I was also minded of a post by Paul that still I keep coming back to (digital.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/2013/03/22/what-can-i-embed-on-gov-uk) I thinking that testing the mapping approach is a project nearing the top of my to do list.
I was back in Bristol on Tuesday to meet with the CLEARInfo project (www.environment-agency.gov.uk/aboutus/wfo/133385.aspx *) to talk about the interaction with INSPIRE and how we can find some added benefit from the project.  There were interesting aspects on the use of OLAP cubes and we had a discussion where open data standards, URIs and reference data sat within all this. [I’m thinking I need to spend some time penning my thoughts on BI approaches and unpicking lock-in]

* and yes I have noted that the .aspx isn’t a type URI that I’d like to see.

On Wednesday I worked from home (which is not as easy these days with the little ones downstairs). I had a day of teleconferences covering a slightly eclectic mixture of topics, including:

  • A discussion between Defra and the LGA on INSPIRE and Local Authorities, an update on where we are up to and what next.
  • The Defra network knowledge strategy launched and so there were numbers discussions in particular firming up the understanding with some of the network on the links with the open data strategy.
  • We had a positive update call on Registries and code lists project that will support the Defra Network including core Defra, the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and the Environment Agency. The pilot registry has gone live (although not publicised yet) at: http://environment.data.gov.uk/registry/ Although it is likely to change further during this initial shakedown period it is already showing how useful the concept can be.

On thursday I was in London for the PAS 182 Smart City Concept Model project steering group. See: www.smartcityconceptmodel.com The Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), have commissioned the British Standards Institute (BSI) to develop a model within the standards strategy for smart cities in the UK. I sit on the steering group with a number of hats.  A PAS is a BSi standards type, known as a Publicly Accessible Specification that is sort of in the BSi process a little faster tracked.

To Quote: Smart City Concept Model (SCCM) that can provide the basis of interoperability between component systems, and across service sectors, of a smart city. There is certainly a lot of overlap with concepts and areas of interest to my work – so the discussions were interesting and a huge amount of potential for the future.  It does remind me of the work of @semanticfire as described in his blog, I’m sure I have seen lots of other relevant case studies in recent months.

I then had the joy of the train network in a slightly rushed journey to Bristol for an evening out with my old team in the Environment Agency. Fantastic catching up with them after a year away although it did feel a little very strange.

On Friday we continued the process of publishing the Defra Open Data Strategy, meeting with the practitioner group from across the Network to get them and their organisations ready for the public publication early next week.

Other things included discussions with the team around INSPIRE Guidance, updating reporting on the numbers and detail of public sector INSPIRE Services on data.gov.uk (data.gov.uk/data/search?UKLP=True&sort=last_major_modification+desc)

We have been discussing a ticketing system to roll out across the Defra Network to route, track and report on data requests and queries that come in.  All to support better user support but also to help us run things in a way that shares skills and resources better across Defra.  Hopefully, this will be up and running very soon in partnership with the data.gov.uk team.

This week some interesting reading topics such as: the ODI Engaging with reusers guide (theodi.org/guides/engaging-reusers) with some helpful and topical areas to consider as we implement our Open Data strategy. Note to self: add to the must read resource pack for new team members.

Another full on week.

Bristol Waterfront Bristol Waterfront


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