The OKFestival [Open Knowledge Festival], the biggest open data and knowledge event ever held, has come to an end. And what a great week it was. On Tuesday we hacked on a number of Finnish cultural datasets and the 20 million openly licensed objects in Europeana. (writeup coming soon!) On Wednesday we met with a lot of people doing great work to open up cultural data, discussed the relevant issues and created several task forces to address and solve these. If you are a member of the mailing list, you have seen that several topics are already being heavily debated. Finally, on Thursday we organised a workshop for Finnish cultural heritage institutions where the benefits of open cultural data were explained and several issues were addressed. The event took place in the astonishing building of the Society of Swedish literature in Helsinki.
A few conclusions and lessons that can be taken from this day are:
- Many cultural institutions are willing to experiment with opening up parts of their collection, but many questions how to do this remain. Better documentation can assist them answering these questions.
- A lot can be learned from other initiatives from all over Europe. It is often hard to find out how successful projects like the one from the National Archive in Denmark have been emerged. Bringing together these different people and experiences can be very valuable.
- The use of different licenses always sparks a huge debate about which one is appropriate in which situation. Many institutions choose a restrictive license such as the Non-Commercial or No Derivatives. But at the same time they lack resources to actually check the proper use of these licenses and to act when the work is being used incorrect. Therefore there is no reason to choose these kinds of licenses.
- We are going to see a lot of cultural data coming from Finland in the next months!
During the OKFestival, we organised together with the open science stream a hackday where programmers, developers, designers, artists and data owners came together to unlock the potential of the openly licensed cultural data of Finland. There was a wide variety of tools and datasets where the participants could work on and it was great to see the results people were able to produce in this one day event.
After a series of lightning talks where different dataproviders presented their API’s, content, and ideas, five groups were formed.
- Open cultural heritage
- Wikimedia Edit-aThon
- Digital Humanities
- Open Video
- Open Science