Exposing lobbying activities of "carbon fat cat" companies through data visualisation
In Europe, big polluters need a permit for every tonne of carbon dioxide they emit. Unfortunately the huge multinational corporations owning these polluting factories and power plants have been aggressively lobbying politicians. This has resulted in too many permits being given out. With too many permits in the system factories often have no need to reduce their emissions, which is good for the corporations - as it saves them a lot of money - but bad for the environment! Although the EU releases the emissions data publicly, the complexity of the data creates a lack of transparency, which benefits the big corporations and their polluters. At Sandbag we have been using a range of techniques to visualise this data (e.g. sandbag.org.uk/emissionsmap). Our new map exposes the 10 "carbon fat cat" companies that benefit most from having been given too many pollution permits (after all, the system was created for the benefit of the environment!). Future work aims to tie in data on company lobbying activities and see how this directly relates to those companies being allocated too many permits. As this is still work in progress, we would love to get feedback (ideas or data) from OpenTech.
Visualising Big Data - itoWorld
Talking about the challenges and potential of visualising big data - mobile, realtime, crowdsourced or just plain old big. How with intelligent visualisation, data can be used to engage communities in planning the future of their cities. Showreel of our visualisation work, as featured on BBC Joy of Stats, Tim Berners-Lee's TED talk and Wired Magazine:
--- Kristina Glushkova - makerhood.com ---
Makerhood is a project to promote local makers and create a website enabling people to buy things made in their neighbourhoods. We are currently working on a Drupal-based pilot in Brixton, funded by a grant from Unltd. We are taking an open approach to building the platform and working with the local community throughout, from the idea to implementation. The talk will go through the idea, the approach we have taken and the role of community engagement. It will reflect on the opportunities and trade-offs in balancing the community and trading aspects on an online marketplace that is grounded in physical local interactions.
--- Harry Wood - OpenStreetMap.org ---
OpenStreetMap is the wikipedia of maps, a project to create free and open maps of the world. This is is not a corporate endeavour. It's a somewhat disorganised rabble of thousands of volunteers collaborating to build something great and give it away to the world for free. The project started here in London and is still largely being served from cupboard in UCL. With a shoestring budget OpenStreetMap is turning the traditional geodata industry on its head, but open data is mainly about empowering a new wave of web developers and hackers. It's time to get behind OpenStreetMap and be proud of it.
--- Steve Kennedy - LBS is all about you (or where you are) ---
Location based services are becoming more and more important and services such as Twitter and Facebook allow geo-tagging posts. What does that mean? How can it help you?
Open Source Hardware (Part I)
An introduction to Open Source Hardware
An introduction to Open Source Hardware illustrated using a series of existing Open Source Hardware projects, from small physical projects, alarm clocks, 3D-printers, Arduinos through to cars and laptops. What are the motivations for starting a project? What is the best way to collaborate, accept contributions? How can you license your works for others to use?
Hard curves, soft electronics - code, tech & textiles.
In 2008 I was given an Arduino and made some LEDs blink - two years on what have I made and how?
London Hackspace is one of a growing number of physical spaces for geeks across the UK and the world. We'll talk about the history of hackerspaces, how a group of cash-strapped geeks managed to rent a place in one of the most expensive cities in the world, and what happens when the Internet spills out into real life.
Introduction to Self-hacking - The Quantified Self
We will talk about different aspects of personal tracking and how this information can be used.
Self Hacking/Quantified Self
As devices become ubiquitous it is becoming easier to track different aspects of our lives. Having this data allows us to perform self experimentation in the hope of improving our lives by better understanding our habits and thought processes. We can also combine each others information to learn more about the human condition. Is this always good though?
In early 2007 I was diagnosed with suspected bipolar affective disorder, and asked by a psychiatrist to keep a record of my mood for three months in order to help her confirm this. No tool or system was suggested to me for this so I ended up inventing my own, in the form of a card game based on a well-validated (but complex) psychological test. Measuring my mood and tracking it each day helped, but a real leap forward occurred when I started sharing my scores with a few close friends who could 'buddy' me. I put my card game online, and built a system that automatically emailed the scores as soon as I'd recorded them. Almost overnight, my mood pattern changed for the better - simply, it seems, because I'd stumbled upon a way to (a) quantify my mood, something that's generally difficult to be objective about, and (b) to benefit from knowing that others were watching over me. Moodscope, which is what I called the system, was initially built for my own purposes, but other people asked to try it and now nearly 20,000 people have signed up to use it. King's College's Institute of Psychiatry are conducting independent research into Moodscope.
21st May 2011