NEWSFLASH: On Tuesday, 29 October 2013, I had the honour of meeting the man who invented the World Wide Web. Don’t believe me? Well, thanks to Nader, we have picture proof.
This is Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man who created http://www. He’s also the President & Founder of the Open Data Institute. Sir Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt founded ODI in order to raise awareness about open data and encourage more people to share and use open data.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself, as I did, “what is open data?” It’s actually just that – data that is free for anyone to use, reuse, and redistribute. I’m still wrapping my head around the idea but I believe it means there is data out there that people can use for free. However, people either aren’t using it or don’t know it’s out there to use.
At the 2013 ODI Summit, held in London, I learned there is still a bit of a controversy regarding open data. There are many organisations and government entities that already have data available for public use. But, there is still a great deal of information that is locked up and unavailable. I’d start to give examples but the list is endless.
As a novice on this subject, my above explanation of open data may have just confused you more. For more information on the Open Data Institute and their goals, check out their webpage: http://theodi.org/.
The 2013 ODI Summit was my first UK conference and one I won’t ever forget. There were speakers and representatives from all over the United Kingdom, the United States, and many other countries. I had to opportunity to listen to speeches government officials and not-for-profit organisations as well as network with these individuals and other businessmen and women from all over the world.
A huge thanks goes out to Dr. Lisa Harris, the University of Southampton WebScience Doctoral Training Centre, and the University of Southampton Management School! I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to attend this event and will use the knowledge I obtained during my postgraduate studies.