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Techie Brekkie : Collecting Data - Tips and Techniques

Someone once said 'knowledge is power' but in today's information age data, more specifically rapid access to organised and verified data, gives us power. But how can we acquire, organise and publish data in an open, transparent and accessible way? 

In this discussion about open data, we’ll look at acquisition of data, it's use and how you can contribute. There are many ways to acquire data; whether it’s using published datasets, enlisting a community of volunteers to find things for you, using Freedom of Information requests to get access to the data you need, or writing code to scrape the data from other people's websites.

At this Techie Brekkie, Ben from mySociety will share their experiences of collecting data to make data-heavy websites such as WhatDoTheyKnow, TheyWorkForYou and Mapumental.

Come along to discuss data collection techniques and to share your experiences of gathering data for your projects.

Thanks to mySociety for their kind sponsorship of this breakfast! 

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  • Richard S.

    Really useful, probably about 8 conversation threads I'd love to continue! If anybody here wants to get their hands dirty on some local open data, don't forget the meetup next week - I can promise a warm welcome (and free beer, which helps).

    1 · July 24, 2014

    • Toby J.

      Agreed, I think with a subject as broad as "data" there's probably a whole day just to scratch the surface. As @Dan pointed out, the pause-4-chat method worked well, but I've not been to any other breakfasts yet

      July 25, 2014

  • Dan B.

    I enjoyed the subject-lead format; I learnt a few things and I think the talk got some good conversations going. I liked the pause-and-discuss breaks. I didn't want to 'pollute' the discussion with employment opportunities (!) but us folks at are currently looking for a new dev who enjoys working with big datasets and the challenge of displaying them in usable, visual formats. If you're interested get in contact!

    July 24, 2014

    • Jamie M.

      Hi Dan - feel free to post the jobs for free on the job board:­
      P.s. This is open to anyone with tech jobs in the South West (No agencies please)

      1 · July 24, 2014

    • Naji D.

      Really enjoyed this morning and subject format - would support a big data discussion too.

      July 24, 2014

  • BenJam

    Thanks everyone for coming along. As a bit of an experiment I'm unsure whether this subject-lead format or the more open discussion is preferred so let us know here, on twitter or directly. If others are keen on taking the discussion through linked data/storage and into publication and licensing then let us know and we'll line up something up!

    1 · July 24, 2014

  • Jamie M.

    Really very interesting - I very much hope the suggested other meetups on breaking down issues about Big Data happen, as I think they would be very worthwhile too.

    2 · July 24, 2014

  • Naji D.

    Is the limit set in stone. Really keen to meet up with people and my diary has just changed so I can attend???

    July 23, 2014

  • BenJam

    Morning! Looking forward to this. If you've anything specific you're interested post it here. I'm keen to hear from everyone about their experiences as well as share our own :)

    July 23, 2014

  • Christopher P.

    I'd love to be there, but I'm needed on site Weymouth. Looking forward to the next time.

    July 18, 2014

  • Roger E.

    Valuable. Would most definitely attend but have previous travel booking. Hope to hear about the discussion.

    June 25, 2014

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