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  • [Vince] so it is my extraordinary pleasure to welcome

  • Sir Nigel Shadbolt here. I saw him give a talk

  • about openness at the British Library just recently I thought he'd be a

  • spectacular addition to this particular meeting

  • Nigel's list of accolades so long that if I read them out we'd be here

  • till the lunchtime

  • and I think hopefully is going to be touching on

  • many of the highlights today. With Sir Tim berners-Lee he recently founded the

  • Open Data

  • institute. Another big development is with the government data portal where

  • again I think

  • with them Tim berners-lee you were heavily involved in in founding that

  • initiative

  • and that's led to a spectacular really transformation

  • in the openness of data associated with government

  • and making giving the public much greater access

  • to that data in a really much more transparent

  • way. And that

  • data portal is really the foundation for some of our own activities within the

  • Museum

  • associated with a net the NHM data portal

  • the we'll be hearing about this afternoon. So I'm with that

  • is my pleasure to am hand over to Nigel Shadbolt.

  • [Nigel] okay

  • well thank you. Its a real pleasure to be here. I'm really gonna be talking today

  • I suppose you did see

  • to what extent I'm preaching to the choir but I'm really going to be talking

  • about

  • the point of the Open Data movement

  • why is important, what results we are finding and ready to enjoy all of you here

  • to really take that step to wherever possible.

  • Imagine a releasing your data under

  • open licenses as open data now I kinda represent to us you should really

  • the Open Data Institute, which was just open up literally

  • in the last nine months a has been running since

  • October last year and also

  • may day job as professor at the University Southampton in electronics

  • computer science

  • where I i've been working for a number of years on next-generation web

  • technology to think of ways in which we could integrate data into the web

  • and much more natural way.

  • First of all I'd like to persuade people that this stuff around open crowd-sourcing really can be material and we had some

  • examples around the

  • the an actual estimate this is one of my favorites is quite often used

  • its not a high resolution image here but to say that

  • but when the a Haitian earthquake hit in January 2010

  • there was no map is haiti have any detail didn't exist.

  • One of the extraordinary things that happened is over a period of 12 days

  • software open source software open standards

  • and a huge amount of crowd-sourcing went in

  • and literally with GPS, with hand-held mobiles, with laptops

  • they were uploading, literally walking the streets of this devastated capital.

  • Within 12 days they had produced a detailed map

  • which is essential actually to organise the

  • humanitarian relief.

  • When you see the video that was put together that it's really one of those

  • kind of

  • these hair raising moments on the back of your head, as this is this is a

  • powerful new source

  • of capability. It's not historically new if we go back to

  • Nightingale, for example, the wonderful work she did in

  • cataloging mortality in the Crimean War.

  • There is a brilliant infographics, by the way. This is the Cox diagram which

  • represents deaths through

  • a particular year and the observation crushing the obvious now was

  • that most people were dying out there through hospital-acquired infections

  • diseases in the battlefield they weren't dying

  • directly through and on the battlefield. Snow's work on the spread of cholera

  • where again he began to collect mortality statistics

  • put it on a map an each of these black blocks is a bit of a personal tragedy

  • it's a

  • family death and these houses here

  • clearly associating with people pumped their water. This pump here

  • was locked. They actually came to a view

  • that cholera was probably water-borne it hadn't been widely

  • accepted a ttaht point. So the usage data at scale

  • can be transformational has been in history and and it's no less true now of

  • course

  • if we sink a prototypical example the sequencing of the human genome

  • the fact that data is available for all to do

  • and research how they will. That's a huge

  • gift to humanity and not just the fact that data is available but the whole

  • source

  • of open signs that arise from it is incredibly fast-moving. So this is a

  • actually a DNA sequence, a piece of the genome also

  • of E. coli. It was the E. coli outbreak that occurred, in new member those

  • you remember that salad and lettuce instances in Holland and Germany. It was a huge panic, people getting very

  • very ill with an acute form of

  • a of poisoning and

  • within days a group in China

  • had sequenced that particular sample was spreading the information around the

  • web people starting to look compare against

  • reference models E. coli, get some idea of what the

  • differences were between this and standard references models to think about

  • treatments.

  • That is illustrative of both

  • the way in which the state could be put to use and the rapidity of putting it to

  • use

  • and sometimes when you all kinda arguing with people and the CEOs and politicians

  • about why do this

  • you take examples that have been profoundly destructive and

  • transformational because

  • the underpinning IP,

  • the underpinning data was made freely available the underpinning standards. In

  • the case the World Wide Web

  • this man Tim berners-Lee, who I'm

  • privileged to work with, he gave those standards to the world

  • via CERN and they

  • are the fundamental protocols that allow us to

  • build the construct that is the World Wide Web, on top of

  • existing Internet protocols or the GPS signal that silly wasn't developed

  • with commercial applications in mind but when the decision was taken

  • to switch of the blocking to switch that on as a commercially available

  • public good, huge amounts of value flowed.

  • It's inconceivable now a that

  • would be switched off except from possibly

  • natural disasters solar flares frying it down.

  • But in a real sense we've come to expect in just the way we come to expect

  • with

  • the work that was done with

  • calculating longitude or working out Meridian time

  • that these things are public got certain data made available

  • has very white utility.

  • The story that I like to tell it's not just about the data that this is virtuous circle

  • of data for sure but standards

  • agreeing formats in which there is no proprietary interest

  • in which to represent the data. Agreeing licenses that don't put bizarre

  • restrictions on using the information

  • One example of a government that released its data

  • thinking it was doing the right thing and had one clause in its license said

  • do not use this data to bring the government into disrepute

  • what possible use

  • for most system activists is data without restriction

  • Open source open participation

  • The sum total at these elements of open are former open innovation

  • that both accelerates and widens impact. So this is why we're excited by this why

  • spend my time

  • kinda promoting this this whole approach

  • just to be clear on open data is data that is

  • available for anyone to use for any purpose at no cost

  • and there isn't kind of slightly open

  • It is either available in these Terms appropriate licensing or not.

  • And just to illustrate this scale of the journey

  • when we began this word back in 2009 under the last government

  • Tim and I a came up with the wiz which was to imagine

  • we would all have the ability to have a local papers give us a little

  • supplement the

  • Post code paper, this would be a little supplement your local paper and it

  • would be

  • your postcode give you all the public data held about you

  • by government local government everything from your school attainment

  • rates to when the buses ran to where the b-cycle points were

  • to how frequently the potholes filled. The whole

  • nine yards. We put this together actually

  • at The Guardian a we assemble a whole range data produced this

  • lovely a

  • 7-10 page document took too long to actually

  • a cabinet meeting put it on the table in all the politicians thought the job was

  • done

  • we pointed out that eighty-five percent of the content

  • on that newspaper was illegally reproduced okay

  • we had broken Crown copyright we weren't allowed to use tool

  • post goes cause we had to pay for them at that stage the Ordnance Survey

  • whole raft reasons some sane some less sane

  • about why that data couldn't be reused in an open format

  • and the the change has been remarkable that in 12 weeks we had the beginning

  • over

  • open data portal, data.gov.uk, which back in the day

  • up was still is a beta site. One of the things that we

  • kind of took government on a journey was to match in that the notion of a

  • perpetual beater

  • a site that is on the continuing development does not expose you to