Past Meetup

Saving the world with open data standards

This Meetup is past

55 people went

Every 1st Tuesday of the month until December 31, 2018

Location image of event venue


This is the August CamPUG meeting. Normally some of us go to the pub afterwards.

Ben Webb will talk about Saving the world with open data standards:

I’ll be talking about my work for Open Data Services Co-operative, a worker co-operative which helps organisations publish and use standardised open data in a variety of fields including international development, philanthropy and government procurement.

The goal is to help organisations have an impact on the world - to make taxes go further, to stop corruption, increase the effectiveness of aid, and to help make sure that charity money goes where it's needed most.

To make this possible there’s a bunch of tech required - including JSON, JSON Schema, and plenty of Python code. In particular we make heavy use of the Sphinx static documentation builder, including writing our own extensions.

I’ll cover what open data is, why standards are important, what tech we use, the impact of the work, and also what it’s like to work for a co-operative.


**How CamPUG uses**

We mainly use meetup as a way of publicising meetings, at which it is very good. We also use the RSVP mechanism to get some idea of how many people will turn up to a meeting, but this is very inaccurate - at best, we normally get between half and two-thirds of the "yes" numbers attending.

We do not require people to pay for meetings, or acquire tickets, and we do not "take a register" of who actually turns up. We don't even insist that people have to use meetup to indicate they're coming. It is important to me that this be a free and open meeting.

This does mean that we have a problem when a meeting is very popular and reaches the practical room size - i.e., how many will safely fit in our meeting room (although we've really only had that problem once so far).

From now on, I shall put a limit on the number of "yes" RSVP replies that is larger than the actual room size, but hopefully not too large. I shall try harder to send a message or messages before each meeting to remind people to un-RSVP if they cannot come, and I shall count the actual number of attendees to each meeting and monitor the situation.