Canberra LODLAM minibar – Tuesday 27 March 2012

Australian politics might dominate the landscape in Canberra during the day and politicians swell the bars in the evening, but linked open data helps anyone to make good connections!

rain + night + driving

rain + night + driving | swirling thoughts | CC by-nc 2.0

The Canberra Linked Open Data – Libraries, Archives Museums (LODLAM) minibar will be held on Tuesday 27th March, 2012 from 5.30-6.30pm. We will meet in the Fellows Bar and Cafe, University House at the Australian National University.

Those local to Canberra and in the library, archives, museum and gallery world of metadata and web development, or gov2 enthusiasts or those attending the Australasian Digital Humanities 2012 conference may wish to find peers and interested in attending the lodlam minibar. The Fellows Bar at University House is about 5 minutes walk from the Shine Dome (where the conference is being held).

The event is a means to:

  • Get to know each other – let’s all get a drink from the bar and we do some introductions
  • Get some shared understanding – let’s collate some information about what people are doing, ask questions and do some quick brain storming

lodlam attendees may like to head out to dinner to continue the conversation about linked open data (and perhaps digital humanities use of LOD too) in smaller groups.


We had about 18 people gather together to talk linked open data – libraries, archives, museums. From University of Queensland, Anna Gerber and Kerry Kilner; from the Australian War Memorial Roby Van Dyk, Adam Bell, Liz Holcolmbe; from University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre, Gavan McCarthy; from University of Western Sydney, Peter Sefton; from Deakin University, Deb Verhoeven; from Victoria University of Wellington, Sydney Shep; from Auckland War Memorial Museum, Russell Briggs; and last but definitely not least, Mia Ridge, PhD candidate from the Open University (UK).. and Oyvind Eide, PhD candidate at King’s College, London (UK). There were a handful of others, but I think the pong from the scratch and sniff ice cream stickers was affecting my capacity to memorise who was there… who I’ve missed, feel free to advise or correct me.

The upshot was, we shared our interest, questions, potential projects, desire to regroup again, so, here’s the takeaway:

  • A number of people in the group (from Australia) are working on the HuNI project (Humanities Networked Infrastructure) NeCTAR funded virtual laboratory project (which aims to start in May and goes for 2 years). Linked data is going to be a key aspect of this project. It is being led out of Deakin University.
  • There is another NeCTAR funded research tools project, Aust-ESE which will involve linked data, led out of University of Queensland.
  • Anna Gerber talked about how ITEE eResearch Group at University of Queensland has been focusing efforts around the use of RDF and linked data with their open annotation work.
  • Gavan McCarthy talked about how Melbourne eScholarship has been using linked data in their projects.
  • Peter Sefton talked about how he’s been interested and working with linked data in his application development work.
  • The Trans-Tasman ‘museums folks’ talked about an ongoing, and stronger collaboration around WWI data to enable them to contribute to centenary commemorations of WWI in 2014.
  • A Melbourne #lodlam date was set, 17th April, more information will be coming, check with @elyw or @elewhitworth for more information or watch for blog posts soon.
  • A Brisbane #lodlam date was mooted, 26th August, to time with a possible THATCamp, the 2012 International Council of Archives Congress check with @wragge and @annagerber for more information or watch for more blog posts soon.
  • A clear idea that a Sydney #lodlam event, late October/early November, to align with the eResearch Australasia 2012, and needs to have 3 sessions: a tech session, a content session, a mixed session, so that all parties (developer, scholar, collection manager, etc) can all get their heads around the work space. Check with @1n9r1d @dfflanders @richardlehane for more information or watch for more blog posts soon.

That’s all folks! See you at the next #lodlam Australian Style!

LODLAM Australian Style

So what is LODLAM Australian style? Does it mean our linked open data will have a particular twang that we all know and love? Will a fantastic dictionary of Australian slang finally impart to the world of searchers and researchers the cultural subtleties between saying AC/DC or acker dacker; or enable people to understand that when you say someone was wearing bathers, swimmers, budgie smugglers or togs – it meant that they were wearing a swim suit? Oh… the joys and that’s just the slang, of amazing connections linked open data is going to offer. Think about all the different (but almost similar) ways events, places, object, and people are referred to – it’s so spooky possums – it can make a girl dizzy!

Bondi Swimming Club by Tom Holbrook | CC BY NC SA 2.0

In November last year DigitalNZ hosted a LOD-LAM summit in Wellington, New Zealand. There was a small contingent of Aussies over in Wellington for the National Digital Forum that stayed on for a day to attend the summit. It was a day of great exchange and collective understanding, and better, some rattling of chains into action. The word is that WWI and ANZACs are going to drive some Trans-Tasman collaboration around linked open data – and – there are a number of eResearch projects based around Australia that will have linked open data at their core and allied to cultural datasets that are curated by researchers in the scholarly community in Australia. So perhaps in a year’s time there might be both cultural collection and scholarly datasets up and linked… let’s see.

Some of us are keen to run a series of LODLAM events in Australia to build the conversation and wider understanding and also look at opportunities to “do something” together. So here’s what’s happening so far:

  • Canberra: 5.30pm, 27 March 2012, Fellows Bar, University House, Australian National University campus. Organisers: Liz Holcombe @lizholcombe and Ingrid Mason @1n9r1d
  • Melbourne: Half day, 17 April 2012. Melbourne Museum. Organisers: Ely Wallis @elyw and Eleanor Whitworth @elewhitworth
  • Canberra: Semantic Web in Use, BAE Systems Theatre, Australian War Memorial, Monday 23 April 2012 at 12pm. Organisers: Tim Sherratt @wragge, Armin Haller , Laurent Lefort @laurentlefort
  • Brisbane: Possibly, and possibly 26th August 2012?, somewhere in Brisvegas possibly tied into a THATCamp (The Humanities and Technologies, Camp) and aligned with the International Council on Archives Congress 20th-24th August 2012. Organisers: Anna Gerber @annagerber and Tim Sherratt @wragge
  • Sydney: Later on in the year. Somewhere. Organisers: Richard Lehane @richardlehane and Ingrid Mason @1n9r1d
  • You tell us – here’s a short straw poll – even better leave your name and email so we can be in touch.

    The more we know of your interest, the better that would be! Murmurs are there may be a lodlam event that slides into the National Digital Forum 2012 in New Zealand in November too.