Open Data: Powering the Information Age, 21 Feb 2012, Winchester

Date: Tuesday 21st February 2012
Venue: Mitchell Room, Hampshire County Council, Elizabeth II Court, Winchester, SO23 8UJ
Time: Registration from 6pm, Start of seminar at 6.30pm

Thanks to all those who attended this event, which totalled an impressive 28 on the night, thanks for coming, joining in the question sessions and helping to create such a buzz around the opportunities for open data. We hope to provide links to download Nigel Shadbolt’s presentation shortly.

Download Peter Sleight’s presentation introducing the history of open data.

Download Ian Holt and Chris Parker from Geovation’s presentation on Ordnance Survey’s open data offerings.

Excellent News! We have secured the services of Prof. Nigel Shadbolt, one of the foremost experts on Open Data in the UK, and also one of the two people who have been instrumental in facilitating its introduction, to speak at this event.


Data is the new raw material of the 21st Century – a resource that gets more plentiful every day. Generated and disseminated by users of the Internet and World Wide Web a data deluge is changing our world. Data drives transactions and decisions of every kind. Transport, retail, health, education, leisure along with every aspect of our lives depends on an evolving data ecosystem. The science and engineering of data is fundamental to the modern world.

The past two years have witnessed the emergence of a new strain of data – Open Government Data (OGD). Nation states, regional authorities and cities are all setting up OGD programmes. The reasons are numerous and compelling; transparency and accountability, the drive to improve public services, the creation of social and economic value are all seen as reasons to publish public sector information. The UK is a pioneer in this work having put thousands of datasets online. These range from maps to spending data, crime to education data.

The UK has also pioneered new engineering and technological approaches to open data -this linked data capability is a next stage in the development of the Web.

This talk will examine the rapid emergence of open data and the technologies that support it. It will explore how government and business will benefit from open data. It will discuss the fundamental role of location data in this revolution.


Professor Nigel Shadbolt, FREng

Nigel Shadbolt is Professor of Artificial Intelligence and Head of the Web and Internet Science Group at the University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science. With over 400 publications he has researched on topics ranging from cognitive psychology to computational neuroscience, Artificial Intelligence to the Semantic Web. He was one of the originators of the interdisciplinary field of Web Science and is a Director of the Web Science Trust, and of the Web Foundation – both organisations have a common commitment to advance our understanding of the Web and promote the Web’s positive impact on society. He has recently been awarded £6M funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to lead a research project on The Study and Practice of Social Machines (SOCIAM). The project is for 5 years and includes the Universities of Southampton, Edinburgh and Oxford

In 2009 the Prime Minister appointed him and Sir Tim Berners-Lee as Information Advisors to transform access to Public Sector Information. This work led to the highly acclaimed site that now provides a portal to over 7800 datasets. In May 2010 he was asked by the UK Coalition Government to join the Public Sector Transparency Board – this oversees Open Data releases across the public sector. In April 2011 he became Chair of the UK Government’s midata programme – which seeks to empower consumers by releasing their data back to them. In November 2011 he was named co-director of the Open Data Institute to be based in Shoreditch, London.

A founder and Chief Technology Officer of ID protection company Garlik Ltd., he was responsible for overseeing development of its Semantic Web based technology platform. In 2008 Garlik was awarded Technology Pioneer status by the Davos World Economic Forum and won the prestigious UK national BT Flagship IT Award. In December 2011 Garlik was acquired by Experian Ltd.

In its 50th Anniversary year 2006–2007, Nigel was President of the British Computer Society. He is a Fellow of both the Royal Academy of Engineering and the British Computer Society. In 2011 he was awarded an Honorary DSc by the University of Nottingham.