1. Ingrid Mason

    What happened?


    Reflections on the 2017 LODLAM Summit are emerging, here are some already posted up on the web (let us know if there are others, and we’ll add them to this list).

    Any of the 2017 Summit delegates that want to write a report up are invited to do so as a post on the 2017 Summit website.


    2017 LODLAM Summit was held at the Cini Foundation, Venice, ItalyMy Report

    To say the very least, I had an incredible time in Venice.  By incredible I mean a time full of intellectual stimulation, practical concerns and logistics, able to see friends and colleagues from all over the world, and, in a city of such extraordinary beauty, culture, and history.

    Once again I discovered how much I really love the world of semantics and informatics (see the session notes).  What an extraordinary stroke of good fortune to get an international summit up and running and in such a beautiful setting at the Cini Foundation.  Bellissima!

    The LODLAM Summits have a special quality and it is a generosity of spirit and mind (and supporters).  It is this special quality (and levels of informality in the way this community comes together) that makes my cup runneth over.  Much has been gained by “doing” (for me).  Here are my handful of insights and lessons learned as a first time facilitator, to offer back in.

    Lessons Learned

    Assume the best in people:  If I could have a wish, it would have been to capture all of the delegates creating the open space by rearranging the chairs and then closing it.  It was such a gift and a sight to behold.

    Best laid plans:  To quote from a kind email Rob Warren sent after the Summit that made me laugh “it’s a lot of thankless work and sometimes… well, the island starts flooding at dinner!”  Many of you offered thanks to the organising committee in some way and gracefully offered constructive feedback.

    Accepting change: We want to examine how we come together to share ideas, grow and collaborate: do better, maybe more or less, definitely do differently.  Check out the session notes collated on community plan / future LODLAM for our discussion.

    Leading lights: It is not possible for me to post on the Summit without reflecting on the people who have led (here’s looking at you Jon Voss) and are continuing to lead the way.  Apart from all the nerdy brilliance evident in newbies and experienced curatorial, informatics and technical folks I want to shine light on other kinds of leadership skills that are evident.  Those of you with the wisdom or life experience who know when to offer guidance, to stand up or back, be quiet or speak up, to give thanks, shrug off or expose problems, to have a stake or to take risks.  Plenty of that kind of leadership was on show too and it was an inspiration.

    Grazie mille.

  2. Ingrid Mason

    LODLAM Challenge Winners


    Over the past two days the ~100 delegates of the 2017 LODLAM Summit listened to the final pitches from the five finalists of the Technical Challenge and voted on the winners for two prizes.  Valentine Charles (Europeana) announced the two prize winners.

    Grand Prize went to: DIVE+

    Johan Oomen aka Invisible Man (Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision) & Valentine Charles (Europeana)














    Open Data Prize went to: WarSampo

    Eero Hyvönen (University of Helsinki and Aalto University) & Valentine Charles (Europeana)

    Grand Prize – DIVE+ was awarded this USD$2,000 prize because they have demonstrated significant impact (a mix of social, cultural, and technical factors). All of the Summit sponsors provided the sponsorship for the prize and funds for the travel grants.

    WarSampo was awarded USD$1,000 prize w​here making cultural heritage material openly available has been a core aspect of a linked open data project.  Synaptica provided the sponsorship for the prize.

  3. Ingrid Mason

    Session Notes


    In each session at the Summit there will be a facilitator, a notetaker.  A good idea if another delegate volunteers to keep time (timekeeper).  Many hands make light work!

    We will have a bulletin board onsite at Cini and online and invite delegates to update this as the sessions run. It’s at http://bit.ly/2sPCj3e

    The session notes become the informal Summit proceedings and can be shared with the wider community, especially if actions, collaborations and exemplars arise from those discussions.





  4. Ingrid Mason

    Pitching a Session


    Just what exactly does it mean to “pitch a session”?

    Pitch Ahead of the Summit

    As part of getting ready for the Summit we encourage people to pitch sessions (by activating their user account on the LODLAM site) before we all meet in Venice.  These accounts appear under Delegates/Profiles in the main menu of the LODLAM 2017 website.

    Close up of Kid Nichols grip [ca. 1901]. Boston Public Library.

    Close up of Kid Nichols grip [ca. 1901]. Boston Public Library.

    The email address you supplied in your application to come to the Summit will be associated with your user account for the site and you can login and put your pitch into a post now and if you’re a Twitter user, post that out, so others know what you’re thinking about.

    Here’s an example:  Adrian Pohl has user name (acka47), his user profile is active, and he has pitched a session proposal already about documenting linked open data.

    Pitch At the Summit

    At the beginning of both days there’s a marketplace of sessions which we’ll all come up with together, a mix of those we have already put forward before the summit (on the website) and those we create on the spot. On the day, this involves, standing up, and summarising your session and then writing down the session name (and your name) on a post-it note, to put up on the board.  Pitching is just amazing (because people have incredible ideas!) and it happens really quickly.

    So it is a good idea to have some key messages for those you want to draw into your session.  What the session is about (the topics and discussion points you want to cover or collaborative action you want to take) and and who might be interested in joining in with you (whether you want to hack or yack, people with passion for your latest LODLAM mission, or expertise in XYZ).

    Once we are done with the pitching process, these session proposals will be clustered and sorted by organisers, and then we’ll all vote.  We take this approach so we can figure out which sessions might be of general interest and need a big space, or focused and need a smaller space, to work together in.

    This insures that the issues that are most important to us, many of which are evolving as we prepare to travel or get ready to speak, will be addressed in a dynamic, collegial and constructive environment.

    The Summit schedule is a framework, which may continue to change a little through the meeting.  The start and end times are the only things that won’t change at this point.  The flexible schedule will be updated on a wall during the meeting so that delegates can always find the sessions of most interest to them (of which there will be no shortage of!!).

    Should I have a presentation prepared?

    No.  Come with questions, ideas, passion, but not presentations, to do your pitching with.

    Dork Shorts/Speedos

    The only exception here is that we will have one session period at the end of the day on Wednesday for 2 minute “dork shorts” to borrow a term from THATCamp.org (or “speedos” if you’re an Australian).  These short talks are timed, 2 minute lightning briefs, that everyone will have a chance to get up and have a go.  This session is a great opportunity to tell the group what you’re working on.  Remember, technology doesn’t always work on the day, so have any video/screenshots, etc loaded onto your computer to share, and BYOD (bring your own dongle).

    Open Space Technology

    We’re utilising Open Space Technology (Wikipedia) as the format to run this summit.  Put simply pitching falls into items 3 and 4:

    1. a broad, open invitation which articulates the purpose of the meeting;
    2. participants’ chairs arranged in a circle;
    3. a “bulletin board” of issues and opportunities posted by participants;
    4. a “marketplace” with many break-out spaces that participants move freely between, learning and contributing as they “shop” for information and ideas;
    5. a “breathing” or “pulsation” pattern of flow, between plenary and small-group breakout sessions.
  5. Ingrid Mason



    Data about people is personal, social, political, and cultural.

    Passeggiata - Venice by Librarygroover https://www.flickr.com/photos/librarygroover/8872513950/

    Passeggiata – Venice by Librarygroover CC-BY 2.0

    The session I would like to propose for the Summit is on how using linked open data can aid in understanding the lives of people in ancient history right through to contemporary “history” and what issues can also arise.  What curatorial processes are in place to support linking and publishing openly (or not) data about people?

    Recording information in cultural customs and documentary forms about people to understand their lives, their community, their milieu, is a part of cultural heritage practice and often the subject of research.

    What are the best practices in different contexts and why?

    All delegates working in GLAMs and in digital humanities research e.g. classics, prosopography, archaeology, and history, are invited to share their curatorial ideas and practices.


  6. Ingrid Mason

    People in Linked Open Data


    People matter and representing “people” in data and turning that into linked open data is no small feat.

    Some simple examples: historical figures or people in the public sphere; creator’s of scholarly works, artworks, music; collaborators, contributors, or partners in the creation process or participants an activity or event; and characters in play or personas.  There are many in the LODLAM community working with data about people and either using or keen to use persistent identifiers (their own and others) to aid with enriching their datasets for greater discovery and interoperation.

    Concert in St. Mark's Place, Venice, Italy (Detroit Publishing Company, 1905) | Library of Congress

    Concert in St. Mark’s Place, Venice, Italy (Detroit Publishing Company, 1905) | Library of Congress

    With this in mind, the program committee for the 2017 Summit have been in touch with key practitioners and leaders in the LODLAM community to test out an interest in having a post Summit meeting on the use person identifiers and data about people.

    The rationale behind this outreach has been to understand if the community has an interest in and is ready for a wide ranging discussion on the capture and use of people data including persistent identifiers as part of their linked open data practices, and, critically, to work more concertedly as a community of practice.

    For example, whether the community are ready to work together internationally to:

    • Collate the different approaches to capturing and sharing data about people and the use and linking of local and persistent identifiers
    • Establish a shared public resource for these different practices to boost capacity to undertake linked open data initiatives that involve data about people
    • Establish a working group to optimise capacity for international interoperation around data about people and best practices in diverse contexts

    The feedback to date has been strong and positive from those we have been in touch with.  The program committee are confident in proposing session at the summit to discuss the use of data about people and persistent identifiers, so we as a community can explore how practices differ and where we might like to work together. With this is mind (and with the generous support of the Cini Foundation) an extra half day has been added for a satellite meeting for 15 summit delegates (the day after the LODLAM summit) should options for further planning around international interoperation arise from the community discussion at the summit.

    Election Night Crowd, Wellington, 1931 | National Library of New Zealand

    Election Night Crowd, Wellington, 1931 | National Library of New Zealand

    The LODLAM community are a wonderful mix of representatives working in cultural institutions, universities, in public and community services, and commercial organisations, with a range of viewpoints and goals.

    Working together around data about people is an ambitious and important move.

    But it seems apt that this kind of humanities initiative comes from a community that is passionate about making societal knowledge, culture, and history discoverable, shareable, reusable, and contestable.

    It will be up to the delegates from the LODLAM community attending the Summit to determine whether the 2017 LODLAM Summit in Venice is the event that kicks off a community of practice around capturing and sharing data about people and an international working group to advance that goal, with the community support as a driving force behind that.

  7. Ingrid Mason

    LODLAM Summit 2017 goes to Europe!


    Where is this Linked Open Data Odyssey taking you, and, where is it taking us all?

    The LODLAM Summit 2017 is going to take us to Europe.

    Save the date: 28-29 June 2017!

    Late Summer on the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy. Trish Hartmann. 2013 https://www.flickr.com/photos/21078769@N00/9717003249/

    Late Summer on the Grand Canal. Trish Hartmann. 2013 CC-BY

    Is it time to say that we, as a community, have enough confidence in what we have done, what we have shared, and what we now know works, to set upon another chapter in this adventure together?

    We hope so!

    For those that are yet join in on the action, here are three reasons to be at the LODLAM Summit 2017.

    Courage is at the fore when you’re leading and participating in cultural change. Make no mistake about it, the reason a person tackles new approaches, goes to extra lengths and raises their hand to be a LODLAM Summit supporter, whether a delegate, challenge participant, sponsor, or coordinator, is because it is an opportunity to be part of that exciting change.

    Learning is easy when you’re in a room with people who are open to new ideas, debate, connections, sharing ideas and developing expertise. Being in the room at the LODLAM Summit with people who are passionate about what they do, are slightly obsessed with data and technology, keen to liberate cultural heritage data, and enjoying the journey of discoverysunshine, potholes, and allis fantastic.

    Community in action is when there seems to be a magnetic vibe that pulls you all together and draws on every drop of brilliance, energy, skill, and opportunity in a network of people. Where we, the community, decide to go is up to us.

    LODyssey Trip 2015 at Europeana. L to R: Antoine Isaac, Ingrid Mason, Valentine Charles, Rowan Brownlee, Hugo Manguinhas.

    LODyssey Trip 2015 at Europeana.

    We are really looking forward to being at the Linked Open Data: Libraries, Archives, Museums Summit 2017. Not the least because the Summit is being held in dreamy Venice and our generous hosts will be the Cini Foundation, but also because as a community, the progress we make is inspiring and to be celebratedbecause there is so much more that we can do together.

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